Factors influencing the process of partner selection for divorced custodial mothers

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Grant, Karen A.
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Factors which have an impact on partner selection for divorced custodial mothers were examined. Twelve white, heterosexual women between the ages of 27 and 45 who had primary physical custody of their children, at least one of whom was under 12 years of age, participated in focus groups and completed the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale (Fisher, 1976; Fisher & Bierhaus, 1994) and the Hassles Scale (Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, & Lazarus, 1981). Advertisements and a snowballing technique were utilized to recruit participants. A content analysis of the focus group data revealed that personal issues, family members, friends, ex-in-laws, ex-partners, and dating partners both positively and negatively influence dating; however, the women's children had the greatest impact. Questionnaire data supported these results. Focus groups provided a supportive environment for the women to discuss these issues, suggesting the value of support groups.