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postgraduate thesis: Risk and resilience: a study on the role of cognitive processing styles in adjustment of adolescents frominterparental conflict divorced families

TitleRisk and resilience: a study on the role of cognitive processing styles in adjustment of adolescents frominterparental conflict divorced families
Authors
Issue Date2010
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Poon, W. M. [潘惠玲]. (2010). Risk and resilience : a study on the role of cognitive processing styles in adjustment of adolescents from interparental conflict divorced families. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4765735
AbstractConcerns about the increasing high rate of divorce and marital disputes in the Hong Kong community and of children living in these families have been raised by educators, social workers and mental health professionals. It is held that parental divorce and interparental conflicts have strong and enduring detrimental effects on the development of children. This project examined the risk and resilience in terms of cognitive processing styles in adolescents under interparental conflict divorced family environment. The total number of adolescents participating in this study was 1,384. They came from 4 secondary schools in Hong Kong. Seven hundred and twenty of them (52.0%) were males, and 656 (47.4%) were females. Their age ranged from 11 to 18 years old, mean age was 13.59 years (SD = 1.06). Among them, 170 (12.3%) came from divorced families, 1,174 (84.8%) came from two-parent intact homes, and 40 (2.9%) participants did not answer this question. All participants filled in the same packet of questionnaires. These questionnaires assessed their attentional styles, symptoms of emotional disorders, happiness and interparental conflict. The participants completed the questionnaire under the supervision of the author, or a research assistant, or a teacher in class. Participants who reported that their parents had separated or divorced were required to answer additional questionnaires that measured self-blame and self-perceived positive change. Data obtained from the large pool of samples (n = 1,384) was used for validation of the Chinese version of the Attention to Positive and Negative Information Revised scale (CAPNIR). Data from participants who came from divorced families (n = 170) was used for validating the Chinese Posttraumatic Growth Inventory for Children (PTGI-C). Data from adolescents who reported to have witnessed interparental conflict (n = 767) was used for evaluating the psychometric property of the Interparental Conflict Scale (IPCS). Results showed that these three inventories had good internal consistency reliabilities as well as convergent validities. Results of the principle component analysis (PCA) also showed that the factor structures of both the APNIR and the CPTGI-C were comparable to the English version questionnaires. The main findings of this project consisted of two parts. The first part explored the adjustment of adolescents from divorced families. It also investigated whether divorced and intact families with presence and absence of interparental conflict would have different adjustment outcomes, and whether there was an interaction between family status and interparental conflict on the outcomes. Statistical methods that included correlation analysis, independent sample t-test comparisons, 2-way multivariate analysis and factoral analysis of variance were used. In consistent with existing findings, the following results were obtained. First, adolescents from divorced families in general demonstrated more symptoms of emotional disorders than those from two-parent intact families. Second, adolescents from divorced families had witnessed a significantly higher level of interparental conflict than those from two-parent intact families. Third, parental divorce and interparental conflict significantly predicted adolescents’ maladjustment. Fourth, adolescents from two-parent intact families were happier than adolescents who came from divorced families. The second part of the main study focused on examining the relationship between cognitive processing styles (attentional styles and internal attribution) and adjustment by using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Several significant findings were presented. First, a greater level of negative attentional style was predictive of more symptoms of psychopathology and less happiness. Second, a higher level of positive attentional style was related to more positive emotion and self-perceived personal growth, and less symptoms of psychopathology. Third, while interparental conflict was found to associate with anxiety and aggression, its effects were partially mediated by self-blame; and the effects of parental disputes on depression and happiness were fully mediated by self-blame. The current findings extend existing empirical knowledge by demonstrating that negative attentional style and internal attribution not only linked to more symptoms of emotional disorders but also to less positive emotion. At the same time, positive attentional style predicted positive affect and self-perceived positive change, which to the best of the author’s knowledge, had not been explored in previous studies. Implications, limitations and future directions of these findings were discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Psychology
SubjectAdjustment (Psychology) in adolescence.
Children of divorced parents - Psychology.
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPoon, Wai-ling, Maggie.-
dc.contributor.author潘惠玲.-
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.identifier.citationPoon, W. M. [潘惠玲]. (2010). Risk and resilience : a study on the role of cognitive processing styles in adjustment of adolescents from interparental conflict divorced families. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4765735-
dc.description.abstractConcerns about the increasing high rate of divorce and marital disputes in the Hong Kong community and of children living in these families have been raised by educators, social workers and mental health professionals. It is held that parental divorce and interparental conflicts have strong and enduring detrimental effects on the development of children. This project examined the risk and resilience in terms of cognitive processing styles in adolescents under interparental conflict divorced family environment. The total number of adolescents participating in this study was 1,384. They came from 4 secondary schools in Hong Kong. Seven hundred and twenty of them (52.0%) were males, and 656 (47.4%) were females. Their age ranged from 11 to 18 years old, mean age was 13.59 years (SD = 1.06). Among them, 170 (12.3%) came from divorced families, 1,174 (84.8%) came from two-parent intact homes, and 40 (2.9%) participants did not answer this question. All participants filled in the same packet of questionnaires. These questionnaires assessed their attentional styles, symptoms of emotional disorders, happiness and interparental conflict. The participants completed the questionnaire under the supervision of the author, or a research assistant, or a teacher in class. Participants who reported that their parents had separated or divorced were required to answer additional questionnaires that measured self-blame and self-perceived positive change. Data obtained from the large pool of samples (n = 1,384) was used for validation of the Chinese version of the Attention to Positive and Negative Information Revised scale (CAPNIR). Data from participants who came from divorced families (n = 170) was used for validating the Chinese Posttraumatic Growth Inventory for Children (PTGI-C). Data from adolescents who reported to have witnessed interparental conflict (n = 767) was used for evaluating the psychometric property of the Interparental Conflict Scale (IPCS). Results showed that these three inventories had good internal consistency reliabilities as well as convergent validities. Results of the principle component analysis (PCA) also showed that the factor structures of both the APNIR and the CPTGI-C were comparable to the English version questionnaires. The main findings of this project consisted of two parts. The first part explored the adjustment of adolescents from divorced families. It also investigated whether divorced and intact families with presence and absence of interparental conflict would have different adjustment outcomes, and whether there was an interaction between family status and interparental conflict on the outcomes. Statistical methods that included correlation analysis, independent sample t-test comparisons, 2-way multivariate analysis and factoral analysis of variance were used. In consistent with existing findings, the following results were obtained. First, adolescents from divorced families in general demonstrated more symptoms of emotional disorders than those from two-parent intact families. Second, adolescents from divorced families had witnessed a significantly higher level of interparental conflict than those from two-parent intact families. Third, parental divorce and interparental conflict significantly predicted adolescents’ maladjustment. Fourth, adolescents from two-parent intact families were happier than adolescents who came from divorced families. The second part of the main study focused on examining the relationship between cognitive processing styles (attentional styles and internal attribution) and adjustment by using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Several significant findings were presented. First, a greater level of negative attentional style was predictive of more symptoms of psychopathology and less happiness. Second, a higher level of positive attentional style was related to more positive emotion and self-perceived personal growth, and less symptoms of psychopathology. Third, while interparental conflict was found to associate with anxiety and aggression, its effects were partially mediated by self-blame; and the effects of parental disputes on depression and happiness were fully mediated by self-blame. The current findings extend existing empirical knowledge by demonstrating that negative attentional style and internal attribution not only linked to more symptoms of emotional disorders but also to less positive emotion. At the same time, positive attentional style predicted positive affect and self-perceived positive change, which to the best of the author’s knowledge, had not been explored in previous studies. Implications, limitations and future directions of these findings were discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47657352-
dc.subject.lcshAdjustment (Psychology) in adolescence.-
dc.subject.lcshChildren of divorced parents - Psychology.-
dc.titleRisk and resilience: a study on the role of cognitive processing styles in adjustment of adolescents frominterparental conflict divorced families-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4765735-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Psychology-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4765735-
dc.date.hkucongregation2011-

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