Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

21 Studying Family Disruptions

Elaine Wethington, Human Development, in a study on social support networks and family conflicts in adulthood, found that the perception of strong social support networks accounted for good physical and mental health among men and women. These men and women reported cheerfulness, satisfaction, and little or no depression in their lives. The study also revealed that childhood family disruptions—such as parental divorce, long-term separation from biological parents, parental abandonment, and foster care—could cause problems in interpersonal relationships later in life, particularly among women. Family disruptions are strongly related to negative moods and feelings in adulthood, along with perceptions of having fewer social supports. The research indicates that measuring and accounting for events subsequent to the family disruption, from childhood to early adulthood, is a useful area for further research.

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© 2002 by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research [OVPR], Cornell University.

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