Advertisement

Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 467–486 | Cite as

Sense of Coherence, Ways of Coping, and Well Being of Married and Divorced Mothers

  • Orna Cohen
  • Rachel Dekel
Article

Abstract

The study examines sense of coherence and ways of coping as personality resources capable of helping divorced mothers deal with the divorce crisis. The findings show that although mothers from two parent families enjoy a higher sense of well being than divorced mothers, the well being of both groups was predicted by sense of coherence. They also show that mothers with higher sense of coherence used more effective coping strategies and derived more benefit from the strategies they used. The married and divorced mothers have a similar sense of coherence level. More study is needed to ascertain precisely how sense of coherence contributes to well being, as well as to the choice and effectiveness of coping strategies.

sense of coherence divorced mothers married mothers well-being 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Acock, A. C., & Kiecolt, F. J. (1989). Is it family structure or socioeconomic status? Social Forces, 68, 553-571.Google Scholar
  2. Albeck, S. (1990). Enforcement of the Israeli Family. Society and Welfare, 10, 199-210 (Hebrew Text).Google Scholar
  3. Amato, P., & Partidge, R. (1987). Widows and divorcees with dependent children: Marital personal family and social well being. Family Relations, 36, 97-102.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, K.H. (1994). Family sense of coherence: As collective and consensus in relation to family quality of life after illness diagnosis. In H. I. McCubbin, E. A. Thompson, A. I. Thompson, & J. E. Former (Eds.), Sense of coherence and resiliency: Stress, coping and health (pp. 169-188). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Andrew, F. M., & Robinson, J. P. (1991). Measures of subjective well being. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 61-69). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Andrew, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being: Americans' perception of life quality. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  7. Anson, O. (1988). Evidence that elderly women living alone may be in better health than their counterparts. Sociology & Social Research, 72, 114-117.Google Scholar
  8. Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unraveling the mystery of health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Antonovsky, A. (1995). The moral and the health: Identical, overlapping or orthogonal? Israel-Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 32, 5-12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Antonovsky, A., Sagy, S., Adler, I., & Visel, R. (1990). Attitudes towards retirement in an Israeli chorot. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 31, 57-77.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Argyle, M. (1987). The psychology of happiness. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  12. Berman, W. H., & Turk, D. C. (1981). Adaptation to divorce: Problems and coping strategies. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 43, 179-189.Google Scholar
  13. Black, L. E., & Sprenkle, D. H. (1991). Gender difference in college students' attitudes toward divorce and their willingness to marry. Special issue: Women and divorce, men and divorce. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 14, 47-60.Google Scholar
  14. Birnbaum, G. E., Orr, I., Mikulincer, M., & Florian, V. (1997). When marriages break up: Does attachment styles contribute to coping and mental health? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 643-654.Google Scholar
  15. Booth, A., & Amato, P. (1992). Divorce, residential change and stress. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 18, 205-213.Google Scholar
  16. Bradburn, N. (1969). The structure of psychological well-being. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  17. Bray, J. H., & Hetherington, E. M. (1993). Families in transition: Introduction and overview. Journal of Family Psychology, 7, 3-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (1984). Dimensions of subjective mental health in American men and women. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 25, 116-135.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Clarke-Stewart, K.A., & Bailey, B. (1989). Adjusting to divorce: Why do men have it easier? Journal of Divorce, 13, 75-93.Google Scholar
  20. Cohen, O. (1992). The single-parent family: The concept of gender role, modes of coping of divorced fathers and mothers raising their children alone. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-gan, Israel. (Hebrew Text).Google Scholar
  21. Cohen, O. (1995). Divorced fathers raise their children by themselves. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 23, 55-73.Google Scholar
  22. Cohen, O. (1996). The personal well-being of single parent family heads raising their children by themselves. Contemporary Family Therapy, 18, 129-146.Google Scholar
  23. Cohen, O., Dattner, N., & Luxenburg, A. (1996). Planning parenthood in the divorce transition. American Journal of Family Therapy, 24, 181-188.Google Scholar
  24. Cohen, O., & Loewenberg, M. F. (1994). Support system in divorce transition. Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 70, 168-174.Google Scholar
  25. Compas, B. E., & Williams, R. A. (1990). Stress, coping and adjustment in mothers and young adolescents in single and two parent families. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 525-545.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Coombs, N.E. (1991). Marital status and personal well being: A literature review. Family Relations, 40, 97-102.Google Scholar
  27. Curtner-Smith, M. E. (1995). Assessing children visitation needs with divorced noncustodial fathers. Families in Societies, 76, 341-348.Google Scholar
  28. Dangoor, N. (1993). The relationship of stressors, strains and coping resources to the psychological and family adaptation of women with and without physical disability. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Bar Ilan University, Israel. (Hebrew Text).Google Scholar
  29. Demo, D. H., & Acock, A. C. (1996). Singled, marriage and remarriage: The effects of family structure and family relationships on mothers' well-being. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 388-407.Google Scholar
  30. Dreman, S., Orr, E., & Aldor, R. (1990). Sense of competence, time perspective and state anxiety of separation versus divorced mother's. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60, 77-85.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Drori, J., Florian, V., & Kravitz, S. (1991). Sense of coherence: Sociodemographic characteristics and the perception of mental-physical health. Psychology, B, 119-125. (Hebrew Text)Google Scholar
  32. Emery, R. E. (1994). Renegotiating family relationships: Divorce, child custody and visitation. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  33. Feigin, R. (1992). The relationship between the sense of coherence of spouses and their adjustment to a post marital disability of one partner. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio.Google Scholar
  34. Flannery, R. B., & Flannery, G. J. (1990). Sense of coherence, life stress and psychological distress: A prospective methodological inquiry. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 415-420.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Fisher, J. D., Nadler, A., & Whitcher-Alagan (1982). Recipient reaction to aid. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 27-54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fleishman, J. A. (1984). Personality characteristics and coping patterns. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 25, 229-244.Google Scholar
  37. Flick, L. H., & Homan, S. M. (1994). Sense of coherence as a predictor of family functioning and child problems: Preliminary findings among homeless, substance-abusing women with children. In: H. I. McCubbin, E. A. Thompson, A. I. Thompson, & J. E. Former (Eds.), Sense of coherence and resiliency: Stress, coping and health (pp. 107-124). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Publishers.Google Scholar
  38. Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1980). An analysis of coping in middle-age community samples. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 48, 150-170.Google Scholar
  39. Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1985). If it changes it must be a process: Study of emotion and coping during three stages of a college examination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 150-170.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1988). Coping as a mediator of emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 466-457.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Garvin, V., Kalter, N., & Hansell, J. (1993). Divorced women: Factors contributing to resiliency and vulnerability. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 21, 21-39.Google Scholar
  42. Golburn, K., Lin, P. L., & Moore, M. C. (1992). Gender and divorce experience. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 17, 87-108.Google Scholar
  43. Gottlieb, A. (1994). Single mothers of children with disabilities: The role of sense of coherence in managing multiple challenges. In H. I. McCubbin, E. A. Thompson, A. I. Thompson, & J. E. Former.(Eds.), Sense of coherence and resiliency: Stress, coping and health (pp. 189-206). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Gray, C., Kooperman, E., & Hunt, J. (1991). The emotional phases of marital separation: An empirical investigation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61, 138-143.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Gringlas, M., & Weinraub, M. (1995). “The more things change... ”: Single parenting revisited. Journal of Family Issues, 16, 29-52.Google Scholar
  46. Herz-Brown, F. (1987). The post divorce family. In B. Carter & M. McGoldrick (Eds.), The changing family life cycle: A framework for family therapy (pp. 128-141). New York: Gardner Press.Google Scholar
  47. Hetherington, B.M. (1993). An overview of the Virginia study of divorce and remarriage with a focus on early adolescent. Journal of Family Psychology, 7, 39-56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hill, M. A., & King, E.M. (1995). Women's education and economic well-being. Feminist Economics, 1, 21-46.Google Scholar
  49. Holloway, S. D., & Machida, S. (1991). Child rearing effectiveness of divorced mothers: Relationship to coping strategies and social support. Special issue: Women in divorce and men in divorce. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 14, 179-201.Google Scholar
  50. Horowitz, H., & Andrews, J. (1995). A conceptualization of parenting: Examining the single parent family. Marriage and Family Review, 20, 43-70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Huddleston, T., & Hawkings, L. (1993). The reactions of friends and family to divorce. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 19, 195-207.Google Scholar
  52. Ingram, K.M., Corning, A., & Schmidt, L. D. (1996). The relationship of victimization experiences to psychological well being among homeless woman and low income housed women. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 218-227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kalimo, R., & Vuori, J. (1990). Work and sense of coherence: Resources for competence and life satisfaction. Behavioral Medicine, 16, 76-89.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Katz, R., & Peres, Y. (1995). Marital crisis and therapy in their social context. Contemporary Family Therapy, 17, 395-412.Google Scholar
  55. Kiecolt, K. J., & Acock, A. C. (1990). Childhood family structure and adult psychological well being of black Americans. Sociological Spectrum, 10, 169-186.Google Scholar
  56. Kitson, G. C., Babru, K. B., Roach, M. J., & Placidi, K. S. (1989). Adjustment to widowhood and divorce: A review. Journal of Family Issues, 10, 5-32.Google Scholar
  57. Kobasa, S. C. (1979). Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1-11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Kunz, J. (1992). The effects of divorce on children. In S. J. Bahr (Ed.), Family Research: A sixty year review, 1930-1990 (Vol. 2), 325-376.Google Scholar
  59. Kuntz, J., & Kuntz, P. R. (1995). Social support during the process of divorce: It does make a difference? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 24, 111-119.Google Scholar
  60. Lavee, Y., McCubbin, H. I., & Olson, D. H. (1987). The effects of stressful life events and transitions on family functioning and well being. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 857-873.Google Scholar
  61. Lewinson, P. M., Render, J. E., & Seeley, J. R. (1991). The relationship between life satisfaction and psychosocial variables: New perspectives. In F. Strack, M. Argayle, N. Schwartz (Eds.), Subjective well-being: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 141-169). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  62. Linn, J. G., Lewis, F. M., Cain, V. A., & Kimbrough, G. A. (1993). HIV-illness, social support, sense of coherence and psychosocial well being in a sample of help seeking adults. AIDS Education and Prevention, 5, 254-262.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Malo, C. (1994). Ex-partner, family, friends and other relationships: Their role within the social network of long-term single mothers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 60-81.Google Scholar
  64. McCubbin, H. I., Thompson, A. I., & McCubbin, M. A. (1996). Family assessment: Inventories for research and practice. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Publishers.Google Scholar
  65. Menagahan, E. G., & Lieberman, M. A. (1986). Changes in depression following divorce: A panel study. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 319-328.Google Scholar
  66. Nadler, A. (1986). Self-esteem and the seeking and receiving of help: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. In B. Maher, & W. Maher, (Eds.), Progress in experimental personality research, 14 (pp. 115-163). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  67. Nadler, A. (1991). Help seeking behavior: Psychological costs and instrumental benefits. In M. S. Clark (Ed.), Review of Personality & Social Psychology (vol. 12): Prosocial Behavior. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  68. Nelson, G. (1989). Life strains, coping and emotional well being. A longitudinal study of recently separated and married women. American Journal of Community Psychology, 17, 459-483.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Nelson, G. (1994). Emotional well being of separated and married women: Long term follow-up study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64, 150-160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Pearlin, L. I., & Schooler, C. (1978). The structure of coping. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 2-21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Pennebaker, J. W., Colder, M., & Sharp, K. (1990). Accelerating the coping process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 528-537.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Peres, J., & Katz, J. (1991). The family in Israel: Change and continuity. In R. Bar-Yosef & L. Shamgar-Hendelman (Eds.), Families in Israel. Jerusalem: Akadmon. (Hebrew Text)Google Scholar
  73. Propst, L. R., Pardington, A., Ostrom, R., & Watkins, P. (1986). Predictors of coping in divorced single mothers. Journal of Divorce, 9, 33-53.Google Scholar
  74. Reynold, E., & Greenfield, S. (1991). Work stress and well being: An investigation of Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence model. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 6, 39-54.Google Scholar
  75. Reynolds, J. R., & Ross, C. E. (1996). Stratification, education and the integration transmission of well being. American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
  76. Ricard, M., Lee, M. C., & Hunsley, J. (1997). Support system received and desired: The experiences of recently divorced parents with their parents and parents-in-law. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 27, 57-70.Google Scholar
  77. Rosenbaum, M. (1983). Learned resourcefulness as a behavioral repertoire for the self-regulation of internal events: Issues and speculations: In M. Rosenbaum, C. M. Franks, & J. Joffe (Eds.), Perspectives on behavior therapy in the eighties. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  78. Sauer, W. J., & Warland, R. (1982). Morale and life satisfaction. In: D. J. Magne & W. A. Peterson (Eds.), Research instruments in social gerontology, Vol. 1 (pp. 195-240). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  79. Sharlin, S. (1992). Family policy in Israel. Haifa, Israel: The Center for Study and Research on the Family, Haifa University, the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. (Hebrew Text)Google Scholar
  80. Silitsky, D. (1996). Correlates of psychological adjustment in adolescents from divorced families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 26, 151-170.Google Scholar
  81. Simons, R., Lorenz, F. O., Chyi, W. N., & Conger, R. D. (1993). Social network and marital support as a mediators and moderators of the impact of stress and depression on parental behavior. Developmental Psychology, 29, 368-381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Smith, C. A., & Wallston, K. A. (1992). Adaptation in patient with chronic rheumatoid arthritis: Application of general model. Health Psychology, 11, 151-162.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. Spanier, G. B., & Thompson, L. (1984). Parenting: The aftermath of separation and divorce. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  84. Strenz, T., & Auerbach, S. M. (1988). Adjustment to the stress of simulated captivity: Effects of emotion focused versus problem focused preparation on hostages differing in locus of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 652-660.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. Strumpfer, D. J. W. (1990). Salutigenesis: A new paradigm. South African Journal of Psychology, 20, 265-276.Google Scholar
  86. Toseland, R., & Rasch, J. (1979-1980). Correlates of life satisfaction: An AID analysis. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 10, 203-211.Google Scholar
  87. Waite, L. J. (1995). Does marriage matter? Demography, 32, 483-507.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. White, J. M. (1992). Marital status and well being in Canada: An analysis of age group variations. Journal of Family Issues, 13, 390-409.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orna Cohen
    • 1
  • Rachel Dekel
    • 2
  1. 1.Bob Shapell School of Social WorkTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.School of Social WorkBar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

Personalised recommendations