Communication privacy management: Examining adult sibling relationships and the mid/later-life parental divorce experience



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Divorce is a subject that has been thoroughly researched across numerous fields with the most common focus being the impact on the children who experience divorce during their childhood. Unfortunately, literature has failed to examine the impact of divorce on children during their adulthood. This study focuses on adult children and adult sibling relationships impacted by mid/later-life parental divorce. Specifically, how adult siblings discover private information in accordance with Petronio, Jones, and Morr’s (2003) typology of privacy dilemmas and the overall experience of the adult child of divorce in an effort to better conceptualize this unique and understudied aspect of divorce. Data is comprised of transcripts from fourteen interview participants and examined using thematic analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Results are consistent with the typology of privacy dilemmas and revealed the following themes descriptive of the adult child experience of mid/later-life parental divorce: (1) Parent- Adult Child Communication Technique, (2) Continuity, (3) Comparison, (4) Unique Characteristics of Adult Sibling Relationships, (5) Developmental Aspects of Communication Coping, and (6) Regrets. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also discussed.



Communication, Privacy, Adult sibling, Relationships, Parental divorce