Disparity Levels in Parent-Child Relationship Satisfaction in Emerging Adulthood and Parental Relationship Dissolution


Kianna Zimmer, Raisa Lane, Emma Sherwood, Emily McAtee

Faculty Mentor(s)

Sarah Feeney (Family & Consumer Sciences)


Previous literature has found that healthy parent-child relationships are less common among children who experience dissolution of their parents’ relationship. Few studies have examined how parental relationship dissolution might contribute to children experiencing more satisfaction in their relationship with one parent over the other in emerging adulthood. The goal of this study is to determine whether disparity in parent-child relationship satisfaction among emerging adults differs between those who have and have not experienced parent relationship dissolution. Data from this study was collected through an online survey platform (Qualtrics) and was distributed on various social media sites. Participants (N = 309) were on average twenty-two years old and thirty-three percent had experienced the dissolution of their parents’ relationship. The results from this study indicated that those who experienced dissolution of a parental relationship reported greater disparity between parents in terms of satisfaction with their relationship. Findings suggest that families may benefit from support as they undergo dissolution in order to preserve or enhance parent-child relationships, and that future research should examine how conflict plays a role in creating disparity in parent-child relationship satisfaction.

Keywords: Parent-Child Relationship Satisfaction, Emerging Adults, Relationship Dissolution


2 thoughts on “Disparity Levels in Parent-Child Relationship Satisfaction in Emerging Adulthood and Parental Relationship Dissolution”

  1. Hello, presenters!
    What resources would you have in mind to achieve improvements in parent-child relationships in the event of parent relationship dissolution? How would these be allocated?
    I really commend you all for investigating this topic because of how impactful separation/divorce can be for children. Would it change the nature of your research question to eliminate either “different levels” or “of disparity?” I wonder if simply saying “disparate levels” or “disparities” would be more concise and still represent your research question.
    Your research topic is so important because having evidence is the start for justifying resources that can be put into place (in this case, parent-child relationship preservation). Along these same lines, I wonder if it would provide more credibility to rephrase “. . .our belief that divorce and separation are relatively common” (Limitations of Literature slide) to something that includes statistics about the prevalence of divorce and separation. For me, seeing how common it is with numbers would make the findings of your research that much more influential.

  2. Hello guys. Thank you for your research! This topic is highly relevant given how common divorces are and the impact they have on children. Very compelling topic! First, I think you need to make your research question more straightforward and direct. I had to read the research question several times to understand it. Keep in mind that you want to make research more accessible to people. They do not necessarily know the exact terms commonly used in your field of study, mainly because your field of study applies to basically everyone. Also, I think you need to define disparity to ensure readers know what do you mean.
    However, this does not impact the relevance of the study. You had a good methodology, sample size, and analysis of the information.
    There was a comment about providing statistics regarding how common divorces are (especially in minority groups). This would make your research even more relevant.

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