November 18, 2019

Contents their lives. The goal of this research study

Contents
INTRODUCTION.. 1
BACKGROUND.. 1
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. 1
RESEARCH QUESTION/ SUB-QUESTION. 2
METHODOLOGY. 2
Design of the Study. 2
Target Audience. 3
Sampling. 3
Data collection procedure. 3
LITERATURE REVIEW… 3
RESULTS. 3
Theme No.1: Post Divorce Adjustment (Compromise): 3
Theme No.2. Blaming father for separation: 4
Theme No.3: Maternal Attachment. 5
Theme No. 4: The positive outcomes of Divorce: 5
DISCUSSION.. 7
Limitations. 8
Recommendations. 8
Conclusion. 9
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

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This research
study is a course requirement for technical writing in Psychology assigned by
instructor Mam Nasreen Sayeed. The topic of the research is Children
experiences of parental divorce which mainly encompasses of experiences of the separation
process and the change in child’s relationships after the parent’s divorce.

BACKGROUND

The number of
divorce cases in Pakistan is growing, which raised the concerns faced by the
child who experience this sort of change in their lives. The goal of this
research study is to explain how parental divorce affects children’s lives,
from their positions, including their feelings regarding the changes that take
place in their lives due to their parent’s separation.

The
divorce rate in Pakistan has increased even though the
divorce rate in Pakistan is relatively lower than the regional and western
countries due to the fact that most of the marriages are arranged. Even if a
girl is not happy and composed with the marriage, she have to compromise and
stay because of the prevailing cultural taboos but still, it isn’t as low that
could be neglected. Divorce, not only leave a lasting impact on the couple but
leave an enduring impact on their children. These children are at risk for
developing a myriad of negative outcome from their exposure to divorce.  Children exposed to prolonged inter-parental
conflict tend to suffer from variety of emotional, behavioural and
physiological problems that can continue into their later life. Experience of
such conflict threatens a child’s emotional security, can increase a child’s
risk of internalizing and externalizing disorders and can negatively affect the
parent/child relationship.

PURPOSE
OF THE STUDY

The purpose of
this research study is to gain insight, from children’s own particular
viewpoint, of the effect of parental divorce on their lives and relationships. Additionally,
our purpose is to explore uncovered experiences of a child due to parental
separation. Parental divorce brings about a series of modifications in a
child’s life, such as changes in family arrangements and most importantly, in
relationships with parents that brings worry on both parents and children. As
everything carries both positive and negative connotation so, in this scenario,
Sometimes, The separation of parents brings positive changes to child’s lives
as well.  

Divorce usually
leads to decline in the quality and frequency of children relationship with
their parents. Contact with the other parent becomes less and it eventually
leads to diminish ties with that parent. Children engage into more distant
relationship with that parent which leads to a negative change in their bond.
Their relationship with their parents usually get worsen after the divorce,
they demand reassurance as they have already faced one parent leaving them forever
without explanation. Some children realized that separation had happened
already when a parent left home and did not return.

RESEARCH
QUESTION

How parental
divorce affect children?

SUBQUESTIONS

How Children’s
relationship with their parents changes after parental divorce?

What are the
Children’s perspectives of the impact of parental divorce on their relationship
with their parents?

What are the
positive aspects of parental divorce?

What are the
children’s experiences of the divorce process, and those aspects which adds,
negatively or positively, to children’s adjustment to the course of divorce?

METHODOLOGY

The methodology
we used was qualitative and the fundamental accentuation was on understanding
the importance of parental separation for children, drawing on their subjective
experiences. The use of qualitative methodology is important to comprehend the
lived experiences of children of divorce as well as to reveal possible new
outcomes that cannot be measured by fixed quantitative processes.  Four respondents from the Divorced sample
agreed to participate in one-to-one interviews. The interviews were semi-structured,
consisting of 8 core questions. Respondents were informed before the session
that their contact information will remain confidential and that the interview
would be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for quality data analysis
purposes.

Design
of the Study

The
research was conducted by using the case study method which encompasses of
one-to-one interviews and observation. Interviews were designed keeping in a
way which focus on the representation of particular context in the eyes of
interviewee. While coding, Researcher looked at obvious meaning, remaining
close to the participant verbatim.

Target
Audience

The study
explores the experience of parental separation for children aged 18-22.

Sampling 

The
sampling included 4 participant. Participant, with ages 18-24 years, attaining
higher education from University of central Punjab, took part in the research
study.

Data
collection procedure

During
the data collection, the participant engaged in a semi-structured interview
session. Each interview was led by a verbal consent to record the session,
which lasted for 20 minutes. During the interview, the participant responded to
8 open-ended questions that shed light on their experiences of their parent’s
divorce. In response to the participant’s replies, follow up questions were
asked to get a proper answer that fulfils the research objectives. The data
recorded was later transcribed verbatim by the interviewer.

 LITERATURE REVIEW

 

RESULTS

This section narrates the finding of the study. Four themes
emerged from the data. These themes are (a) Post Divorce Adjustment
(Compromise) (b) Blaming father for separation (c) Maternal Attachment (d) Positive outcomes of divorce

 

Theme No.1: Post
Divorce Adjustment (Compromise):

Divorce is not a
pleasant experience for anyone obviously but it takes different time for
everyone to get adjusted after it. When we asked this thing to our participants
we found one thing common that all of them has somehow adjusted to the post
divorced setup they compromise somehow because they wanted stability in their
lives when we asked them have you got adjusted to the post divorced setup one
of the participants said:

“It is not easy but
somehow we did because there is no other option left but it took long time”

It seems like
they have accepted it anyway as there was the only thing they could do. Life is
unfair sometimes that is what they elaborated when asked about it when they
also agree on this point that whenever they see their friends with their
parents happily they feel void, gape and that space in their own family.

One of the
participant said:

“Life is unfair
sometimes, (sarcastic laugh) everyone has to adjust eventually. I haven’t
accepted it yet but I have accepted life. As I live with my grandfather’s home.
I have adjusted with it but obviously it is just a compromise. And life of my
mom is full of such compromises and still it is.”

 

Theme No.2.
Blaming father for separation:

In our findings
the most common thing that we encountered was that all the participants were
blaming their fathers for divorce. Something was wrong with their fathers that
thing leaded towards the divorce and they all were very much assured about it.

One of the
participant added that:

“I am living with my
father because my mother was not in a position to support us this is the only
reason otherwise my father is always angry and a strict man that’s why it all happened.”

And maybe it’s a
universal phenomenon that children experience more attachment and love towards
their mothers rather than fathers and we all see father as a prominent figure
when it comes to any financial support and in all of the four cases we had they
all had some financial issues as well that’s why they blame their fathers that
he should haven’t done this to us.

The one thing
which we notice in our findings was they were not attach to their fathers as I
discussed it above, as they used to spend more time with their mothers rather
than their fathers and they were blaming their fathers for all this.

The one mature
answer I got from one of my participant was

“My father is
responsible for all this as he used to live in abroad he lived there for like
10-13 years and he is very much conservative and overly religious person and y
mother is open minded but when my father came back he forced us to change our
living style according to him and we couldn’t do that and he used to fight on
this reason daily it was the big reason for that.”

And most of them
faced financial crisis as well and for that they blame their fathers as their
fathers could support them but they didn’t.

So they all
concluded our fathers is responsible for all of sufferings of our mothers.

 

Theme No.3:
Maternal Attachment

Our findings
clearly depicts that all of these four participants are closely attach to their
mothers as compare to their fathers as they were clearly saying this that after
and during all these things the that happened to our family the person who has
suffered a lot is our mom .

One of those
participant clearly said that:

“The most difficult
thing I encountered during the separation of our parents was seeing my mother
crying I am closely attach to my mother and I cannot see her crying but I saw
her crying like anything and I couldn’t do anything.”

They all were
aware of their sufferings and claimed that our mothers had done a lot for us
that’s why we are here otherwise we couldn’t be able to stand on our own feet.

One of the
participant added that:

“My mother was the only
person who suffered for her children. We were not financially strong at that
time but my mother didn’t give up she has done everything for us for her
children and she still is doing that ”

The main reason
maybe that they are closely attach to their mother is that they have seen her
mother fighting for their livings as in our society it is not easy for a women
to raise her children alone and their children recognizes her efforts that’s
why and they have considered their father a strong personality who could even
support them but they didn’t.

One of the
participant told that they have spent more time with his mother as his father
used to live in abroad and they were totally dependent upon their mother.

 

Theme No. 4: The
positive outcomes of Divorce:

A
divorce is a ground-breaking experience for children. It turns their world
upside down. They
don’t comprehend the divorce exceptionally well. All they know is that everything
will be entirely different from now. Divorce does abolish a family life.
We all agree on this point yet once in a while by one means or another we begin discovering
positive outcomes in it. Possibly it’s our own coping style with this harsh fix
or something to that effect.

Just
to make us satisfy we may conclude some of the positive aspects out of big
negative event in life. Same is the case was with our participants they pointed
out some positive aspects of divorce when they were asked about it that is
there any positive aspects of divorce on them?

One
of the participant said:

“There
are many positive aspects of it, we have got stronger than we were. Previously
we used to think how we are going to survive alone.*her voice shivers and she
even stopped explaining for a while). We have learned many things from our
mother as she has done so many things just to make us happy, in the beginning
we weren’t financially strong after all this even all of my siblings left
school including me but now we are established enough it is just because that
life has taught us so many things so as this separation made us stronger.”

So
they are happy somehow as they learned so many things after this separation and
they concluded it as a positive aspect. And who wants to live in such a
depressing environment the other aspect we got to listen was this

“The
major thing I consider positive is all those little fights arguments and
tensions and those tensed environment that we used to suffer every single day
has ended and this separation made me mature earlier then my age this  is really positive in nature for me at
least.”

As
all of them was very much close to their mothers they concluded that our mother
had suffered a lot while having this relationship but now we are at least happy
that she is free from it now. She cries now sometimes but it is a way more
better then crying daily.

Divorce annihilates
lives. Even threatening divorce in front of children has enduring effects
however in some cases it gives them life time lesson. Separation isn’t a
pleasant ordeal for anybody, but much can be done to intercede the harming
effects. If parents are dedicated to the prosperity of their child and
limit negative experiences, children can lead composed and happy lives.

 

 

 

DISCUSSION

The experiences
individuals with divorced parents have faced were different from experiences of
an individual who has both parents.  They
live a life where they see one parent fulfilling responsibilities of both
sides, one parent giving them care, love, affection. Their way of portraying
emotions, solving problems, schemas and seeing life is greatly influenced.                                                                                                                                                                            The participants
were experiencing mixed emotions at the time of divorce of their parents, initially
being shocked over such a change was common, some of them said they could never
think of any such thing others said they were witnessing conflicts between
their parents from a long time but getting divorced and being separated from
one parent was something they could never think of, but after divorce they got
adjusted to the current life they were given ,hardships were there but they all
compromised to the new life some of them happily and others had no choice so
they accepted the fate and learnt to adjust with it.

Giving negative
attributes to oneself, life and future in the initial stages of post-divorce
phenomenon was observed and noted it could be because when such tragic thing
happens to an individual where one  has
to lose one of the two most important people 
one`s  life attributing the
surroundings and people for quite a long time post trauma is obvious because
for them their whole world has been turned upside down, in  most cases with the passage of time and with
new experiences most of them started attributing life as positive but for
others idea of life and future is same but they have learnt how to live with
it.                                                                      

All participants
have had trust issues at one point in their lives, either they were having
difficulty in trusting people overall  or
in trusting an individual of opposite gender in a romantic way and why not when
the two people an individual put his/her most trust on is not with them or has
broken the trust for them once, individuals find it difficult to trust anyone
from outside of their small world, for some these trust issues were resolved
when they grew up and met new people, good social interactions played a role in
changing ones beliefs about humans other than their siblings and mother but for
others the struggle to learn how to trust others  is still there. In terms of parent child
relationships, the present study found that there is a significant relationship
between parental divorce and the regard children have for their parents. Those
who experienced parental divorce were more likely to have lower parental
regard. This finding provides support for previous research. Generally, in the
event of a divorce, the relationship between the child and the parents is adversely
affected. It is unknown exactly why this damage to the parent child
relationship occurs; however, one explanation may be that the damaged
relationship is mainly a result of the level of trauma the child experiences
before or after the divorce. This lack of parental regard and quality of
relationship between parent and offspring has additional negative implications (William
Roper).                                                                                           
                                                                                                                  The
study showed maternal attachment has highlighted aspect, participants were more
attached to their mothers then fathers, because most of them were living with
their mothers and they have seen their mothers struggling and suffering  more than their fathers, all four
participants blamed their father for divorce and not mothers natural biasness
towards mothers could be reason to explain the phenomenon because generally if
any such thing happens kids usually take mothers side and blame fathers easily,
but here the parent you live more with, you are more attached with, living
every moment, sharing every part of their life, seeing that one parent which
here is mother being there for them every time and  getting affection of both parents from the
mother only, all these factors contribute in maternal attachment. 

Most importantly
participants mentioned some positive aspects of divorce such as their parents
are happier as compared to before, their mothers are suffering less than before
or not suffering at all and living with a single parent has made them stronger,
more independent and have made them learn how to face difficulties in life.
There are obvious reasons why divorce may be a positive decision, such as,
leaving an abusive relationship, infidelity, and severe addictions. However,
there are also other positive outcomes for some divorced families that are less
noticeable such as, economic success, increased confidence, and learning how to
become more independent (Amato, 1991).

Limitations

The limitations
we faced during the study were majorly associated with collection of data
because divorce or separation is an extremely sensitive topic so the participants
were not able to give deep and complete description of phenomenon. Shortage of
time was also a limitation as it didn’t allow us to have a full-fledged
knowledge of experiences people faced. Another limitation is generalizability,
the data was collected from students of a single university and the data was
more of subjective in nature and one individual’s experiences might not be same
as some other individual’s experiences facing same phenomenon as divorce.

Recommendations

Although the
methodology we chose was best to study this phenomenon but another methodology
could be i.e., Case Study, where focus will be on one individual’s life and
that individual’s experiences and how the phenomenon has played role in his/her
achievements or failures throughout life. These findings could be useful for
individuals whose parents have been divorced and are having difficulty
adjusting with it to learn how to cope up with such situations, for the parents
who are undergoing or thinking to take any step in the same context to consider
their children more and for educationists, counsellors and psychologists in
order to develop intervention strategies.

Conclusion

Experiences of
individuals having divorced parents vary from being vulnerable to being strong
and stubborn enough to face such a phenomenon, individuals who have had
experienced such phenomenon of parents separation see life from a completely
different perspective. The cliché about divorce is that it holds negative
aspects only but divorce can be seen as positive step too when it becomes hard
for two people to live together and living under the same roof with a person
causes harm to one’s mental health then divorce might be considered positive
phenomenon.

 

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