Divorce experience and coping features of depressed people

Gražina Gudaitė, Vaida Kalpokienė


Divorce experience and coping features of depressed people were investigated in this work. 60 participants took part in this research: 30 of them were depressed, 30 were not depressed (healthy). All healthy participants were officially divorced, among those who are depressed – 18 are officially divorced, 12 do not divorce legally. We used several methods in the research: Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Coping Strategy Questionnaire COPE, half-structurised interview and pictograms. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of results was made. The analysis shows, that depressed participants in comparison to healthy participants do not fully integrate divorce experience, they more often use defense strategies and less consciously accept their feelings connected with divorce. Depressed individuals use less effective, less adaptive coping strategies (focusing on and venting of emotion, behavioral disengagement, alcohol – drug disengagement) and strategies directed to emotions (turning to religion and denial). Healthy individuals more often use strategy of positive reinterpretation and growth (directed to emotions). In addition, use of coping strategies differs among participants according to the person who initiates a divorce. Depressed participants get less social support than healthy individuals, the net of their social relationships is smaller, they have fewer close relationships.


Divorce; Depression; Coping; Coping Strategies; Social Support

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789