College Students’ Perceptions of Media Portrayals of Divorce

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This study takes an exploratory, qualitative approach to examine college students’ perceptions about divorce in the media. Findings suggest that participants perceived both positive and negative representations of divorced families in the media they consume, highlighting the complex nature of navigating and communicating through a divorce. Specifically, college students reported on aspects of the ex-spousal relationship, how children are affected, and the contrast between life pre- and postdivorce. An inductive theme analysis revealed several positive and negative media representations of divorce. Largely, college students perceive media messages about divorce to be accurate portrayals and impactful representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-587
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018


  • College students’ perceptions
  • divorce
  • inductive theme analysis
  • media portrayals
  • relationships


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