Relationship with extended family following divorce: a closer look at contemporary times


Divorce, extended family, postdivorce relationships


Extended family relationships may serve as either resources or as additional stressors as families negotiate stressful life events such as divorce. As families go through several readjustments and reorganizations following divorce, extended family members both affect and are affected by these changes. Existing literature provides valuable insights regarding post-divorce extended family relationships but they were mostly conducted over 25 years ago. In order to provide up-to-date information on current post-divorce extended family relationships, the current paper examined post-divorce relationships with their extended family members of 369 divorced individuals with children (66% women and 34% men). Participants reported on contact and closeness with their extended family members, as well as perceived influence of extended family members on their daily lives. In addition, the supportive role of extended family following divorce was explored. Results, generally, suggests that divorced individuals tend to have higher levels of contact and emotional closeness with extended family members from their own family rather than former spouse’s family. Relatedly, people reported higher perceived influence and support received from one’s own family. Demographic variables such as gender and years since divorce appeared to influence post-divorce relationships with extended family members in unique ways.

Original Publication Citation

Gürmen, M.S., Anderson, S.R., Brown, E. (published online 7/16/18). Relationship with extended family following divorce: A closer look at contemporary times. Journal of Family Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13229400.2018.1498369

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Family Studies




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor