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CHILDREN & DIVORCE

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Yasemin Gun

on 4 February 2015

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Transcript of CHILDREN & DIVORCE

CHILDREN
&
DIVORCE

'A Child of Divorce'
Open & Closed Families
Conclusion
These experiences lead us to ask what divorce means for children, and how they construct their identity as a part of a family post-divorce.

Retaining quality relationships with family members & understanding what is important to children




An Introduction to Divorce
Outline
An Introduction to Divorce
Theoretical Understandings
Open & Closed Families
Gender & Experience
Age & Experience
Step-Families
Conclusion
ACTIVITY 1.

QUIZ - Match the percentages
1. What percentage of divorced couples had a child under 16 in 2011?

2. What percentage of divorced fathers have no contact with their children?

3. What percentage of women will experience divorce in their own marriages if they experienced divorce as a child?
Activity 2.
Step Families
THE DEPICTION OF DIVORCE VERSUS REALITY
Activity 3.
SITUATE YOUR FAMILY
POLICY MAKING
Theoretical Understandings
We have seen that attention around divorce has increasingly turned towards child welfare.
Divorce is producing new issues for families
Extensive research on the short-term and long-term social and psychological impact divorce has on children
Family Act

1966
- reducing negative impact on post-divorce parenting

Children Act
1989
- incorporating child welfare into parental contact issues, and recognised step-parent responsibility in some cases.

Amendments
- giving children the right to maintain relationships with both parents
POLICY
Collaborative Law

2003
(UK) - reaching an agreement that suits the needs of the whole family


Influenced by pre and post divorce development processes, parent expectation and children’s coping
abilities.
(Neighbors & Wierson, 1991)


Belief that children of divorced parents are differentially affected based on their gender
(Beaty, 1995)
Gender
&

Divorce Experience
Foulkes-Jamison (2001)
25%

of children under the age of 16 will experience living in a household with step parents
11%
of couple families with dependent children were step families in 2011
CHILDREN'S WELL-BEING & STEP-PARENTING
Adolescent's who belong to step-father families have lower levels of emotional well-being than those in single- mother families
Adolescent's who have never lived with biological parent are at particular disadvantage


Looked at how children construct families after divorce
Closed
- tight knit, parent child bond, sense of continuity
Open
- inclusive, extended, no-going back, 'second mum'
Smart (2001):
HOWEVER...
It doesn't explain why children construct families as open or closed...
O'Brian and Morrow:
Quality of relationship was more important for children.
You have 2 minutes to place your family members in the concentric circles... the closer to the center, the closer the relationship. GO!

.
Divorce is often understood to cause social stress
However
McLanahan and Sandefur (1994)
suggest that the central issue is the transformation of the family
Therefore experience of divorce is varied; and any negative impact differs in severity
If you were a policy maker, which of
Moxnes 3 risk factors
would you prioritise to reduce the negative impact of divorce on children?
Boys
exhibit frustration through aggression and 'acting out'.
(external)
Girls
experience more depression and become withdrawn.
(internal)

(Hetherington et al., 1998)
(Moxnes, 2003) -
Divorce affects children's well-being because of:

1. Family Structure Alteration
2. Loss of Social & Economic Capital
3. Social Stress

Children under 8
- fear of abandonment - "emotionally needy".

Children over 8
- more likely to 'take sides' and exhibit anger.

Adolescents
- faced with integrating divorce experience within their own developing identities.
Age
&
Divorce Experience
You have 2 minutes to match the percentages on the handout to the questions on screen.
Sweeney (2007)
Full transcript