Communication Processes That Mediate Family Communication Patterns and Mental Well-Being: A Mean and Covariance Structures Analysis of Young Adults From Divorced and Nondivorced Families


Paul Schrodt; e-mail:


In this study, demand/withdraw patterns and feeling caught were tested as mediators of family communication patterns and young adults’ mental well-being. Participants included 567 young adults from divorced and nondivorced families. For young adults in nondivorced families, family conversation orientations had both a positive, direct effect on mental well-being and an indirect effect on well-being through witnessing marital demand/withdraw patterns and feeling caught. For young adults in divorced families, however, conversation orientations had only a direct, positive effect on well-being, whereas conformity orientations had a negative, indirect effect through witnessing demand/withdraw patterns. Interestingly, respondents from divorced families reported more feelings of being caught between their parents, yet such feelings predicted diminished well-being only for respondents from nondivorced families.