Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Leland C. Swenson

Second Advisor

R. Patricia Walsh

Third Advisor

Ricardo A. Machon


This study examines the long-term impact divorce has on children as they enter adulthood and begin to develop their own relationships. Previous studies found young adults from divorced families to have a common difficulty with intimate relationships, trusting others, sexual permissiveness, and viewing marriage negatively. This study found a significant difference between males and females and participants from divorced and intact families in sexual permissiveness. Four dominant theories (Abandonment, Modeling, Conflict, and Socioeconomic) were also examined in an attempt to discover which would best predict sexual permissiveness among the subjects from divorced families. The Conflict Theory proved to be the most significant predictor of sexual permissiveness. A child, from a divorced family, is less likely to suffer from long term effects in dating relationships, such as sexual permissiveness, if their parents undertake divorce thoughtfully; uphold parenting expectations and maintain a good parent-child and parent-parent relationship.