The meaning-making process can be crucial to individuals as they adjust to their divorce. Demonization is a negative coping response (also known as spiritual struggle) that involves appraising someone or something as related to demonic forces. Individuals may cognitively frame a divorce as the work of Satan in order to understand suffering while maintaining beliefs in a just world or benevolent God. In this study, nearly half (48%) of the community sample (N = 100) endorsed some form of demonization related to their recent divorce. Differences were observed in psychological postdivorce adjustment (post-traumatic stress, depression, anger, and positive/negative spiritual emotions) among groups with differing levels of demonization of divorce, demonization of ex-spouse, and demonization of self (none, low, and high). Implications for practitioners and researchers are discussed.
Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J.; Mahoney, Annette; and Pargament, Kenneth I., "Demonization of Divorce: Prevalence Rates and Links to Postdivorce Adjustment" (2011). Pepperdine University, Faculty Open Access Publications. Paper 161.