Browsing by Author "Watson, Nichola Marianne"
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- ItemAn analysis of schema theory and learning theory as explanations for variance in adolescent adjustment to divorce(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-03) Watson, Nichola Marianne; Greeff, A. P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology .ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to identify factors contributing to the adjustment of adolescents whose parents are divorced. Learning theory and schema theory were evaluated as possible explanations for the variance found in the adjustment of these adolescents. The secondary aim of the study was to research the possibility of attitude to divorce acting as a mediator between the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent adjustment (a possibility suggested by schema theory). Self-report questionnaires were completed by first year Psychology and Economics students at Stellenbosch University. 293 students completed the questionnaires, but as only 39 of these students came from divorced families, 38 of the data sets from students with married parents were randomly selected for use in the study. Respondents completed Antonovsky's Life Orientation Questionnaire (measuring adjustment); Hudson's CAM and CAF questionnaires (measuring relationships with mother and father, respectively); and a set of questions measuring attitude to divorce; as well as a biographical questionnaire. The results showed only limited evidence for attitude to divorce acting as a mediator between the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent adjustment. Schema theory is therefore not supported conclusively, although further research is recommended. Results did, however, support learning theory as an adequate explanation for the positive correlations found between parent-adolescent relationships and adolescent adjustment. Knowledge of the importance of learning theory in explaining adolescent adjustment can increase parents' awareness of their influence on their children's adjustment. This knowledge can also be used in the design of therapeutic programmes for families going through divorce.