Common Characteristics of Adult Children of Divorce
September 16, 2002
Dr. Judith Wallerstein is the author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study. She found that divorce is not only devastating to young children, but the pain continues into adulthood, and can become even more profound.
Dr. Wallerstein's landmark study followed children from the time of their parents' divorce, well into adulthood. Through her study, she discovered these common characteristics:
60% of those studied have trouble with social relationships.
On average, they expect failure in their lives.
Many have a lingering fear of loss due to childhood fears of abandonment.
Some experience a strong fear of change: their parents' divorce showed them change is not always for the best.
Fear of betrayal and of being alone: for many, this leads to self-destructive choices in relationships.
Strongly value love, marriage and parenthood, despite being wary of commitment
Remarkably compassionate and attuned to others' feelings.
Extremely close to, and very supportive of, their siblings.
Above average in work competence.
Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, December 10, 2013