Date of Conferral





Human Services


Shari Jorissen


Communication styles used during divorce-related conversations may negatively influence the quality of parent-child relationships. Researchers have not examined how communication styles used in divorce-related communications affect parent-offspring relationships in same-sex parented families. The purpose of this generic qualitative study was to examine offspring perceptions of how divorce-related communication styles affected relationships between the children and their same-sex parents. The research question for this study addressed how the perceived communication styles of same-sex parents in divorce-related conversations influence the parent-offspring relationship. Principles from communication privacy management theory provided the conceptual framework. Two 21-year-old females whose same-sex parents dissolved their relationships participated in the study. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and a demographic questionnaire. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that same-sex parent-child relationships were negatively impacted when same-sex parents were ambiguous in their communication or triangulated their children by forcing them to send negative messages between their parents. Findings also indicated that same-sex parent-offspring relationships were positively impacted when same-sex parents effectively communicated with their offspring during divorce-related conversations. Findings may provide information to professionals and same-sex parents regarding the importance of communicating effectively with their offspring during divorce-related conversations.

Included in

Communication Commons