After separation or divorce, people generally experience a deterioration of health, not only in terms of physical well-being but also in terms of emotional and social well-being. In addition, when separated, individuals are parents as well and they are concerned with the well-being of their children. The main task for separated parents is to maintain a parental alliance (coparenting) for the sake of their children's well-being. Social support is a critical resource, which helps parents face their new life condition, promoting their psychological well-being. In recent years in Italy, many associations targeting separated and divorced parents have been founded: They support ex-partners during and after separation and are active in defending their rights. These associations are voluntary associations/non-profit organisations and self-help groups, which are constituted by parents themselves who associate to support each other in the tasks connected with separation. The present study investigated, with an explorative aim, the role of these associations for separated parents' well-being and coparenting abilities. In particular, drawing on a sample of 318 Italian separated parents (73.30% fathers; 26.70% mothers) belonging to a formal association targeting separated parents, the study analysed whether and how the perception of being supported by the association was related to psychological and relational well-being and to coparenting. Results showed that the more parents perceived to be supported by the association the less they were depressed, the more they were satisfied with the relationship with children and friends, and the more they displayed coparenting abilities. Our findings suggest that social support from these associations is a resource for separated parents' health.
- Associations for separated parents
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Social support
- Sociology and Political Science