INTRODUCTIONThis researchstudy is a course requirement for technical writing in Psychology assigned byinstructor Mam Nasreen Sayeed. The topic of the research is Childrenexperiences of parental divorce which mainly encompasses of experiences of the separationprocess and the change in child’s relationships after the parent’s divorce.BACKGROUNDThe number ofdivorce cases in Pakistan is growing, which raised the concerns faced by thechild who experience this sort of change in their lives. The goal of thisresearch study is to explain how parental divorce affects children’s lives,from their positions, including their feelings regarding the changes that takeplace in their lives due to their parent’s separation. Thedivorce rate in Pakistan has increased even though thedivorce rate in Pakistan is relatively lower than the regional and westerncountries due to the fact that most of the marriages are arranged. Even if agirl is not happy and composed with the marriage, she have to compromise andstay because of the prevailing cultural taboos but still, it isn’t as low thatcould be neglected.
Divorce, not only leave a lasting impact on the couple butleave an enduring impact on their children. These children are at risk fordeveloping a myriad of negative outcome from their exposure to divorce. Children exposed to prolonged inter-parentalconflict tend to suffer from variety of emotional, behavioural andphysiological problems that can continue into their later life. Experience ofsuch conflict threatens a child’s emotional security, can increase a child’srisk of internalizing and externalizing disorders and can negatively affect theparent/child relationship.PURPOSEOF THE STUDYThe purpose ofthis research study is to gain insight, from children’s own particularviewpoint, of the effect of parental divorce on their lives and relationships. Additionally,our purpose is to explore uncovered experiences of a child due to parentalseparation.
Parental divorce brings about a series of modifications in achild’s life, such as changes in family arrangements and most importantly, inrelationships with parents that brings worry on both parents and children. Aseverything carries both positive and negative connotation so, in this scenario,Sometimes, The separation of parents brings positive changes to child’s livesas well. Divorce usuallyleads to decline in the quality and frequency of children relationship withtheir parents. Contact with the other parent becomes less and it eventuallyleads to diminish ties with that parent. Children engage into more distantrelationship 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 themforever without explanation.
Some children realized that separation had happenedalready when a parent left home and did not return.RESEARCHQUESTIONHow parentaldivorce affect children?SUBQUESTIONSHow Children’srelationship with their parents changes after parental divorce?What are theChildren’s perspectives of the impact of parental divorce on their relationshipwith their parents?What are thepositive aspects of parental divorce?What are thechildren’s experiences of the divorce process, and those aspects which adds,negatively or positively, to children’s adjustment to the course of divorce?LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose ofthe literature review is to develop a background of information about paststudies regarding the effect of parental divorce on their children. Parentalclashes is one feature that has a substantial effect on children. Parentalclashes creates conduct issues in their children. These unfriendly practicesintensity parent’s dissatisfaction and end up influencing the parent-kidconnections.
The nature of the family relations and the dedication of parentsto alleviate the dangers from divorce are fundamental in helping children adaptand adjust to their new life. Keeping away from Child’ exposure to parentalclashes and keeping up a powerful parental bond ease a child’ adjustment todivorce. (Chavez, 2010) According to the Studies in psychology amid the last 25years, father significance in the life of his child is no less than that of themother. Many studies have featured the absence of the Child’ fulfilment and ofthe lesser visits with their father. The kids who had great Connection withtheir fathers felt seeing their father so little was not tolerable, and usuallychildren develop a feeling of fear that their dad relinquished them. (Motti Haimi, 2016) Another research indicated that divorce is notalways associated with having a negative outcome yet sometimes it has positiveoutcomes as well which makes it a good divorce. He concluded that not allyoungsters with separated guardians encounter long haul issues. (Amato, 2011) Thereare evident reasons why separation might be a positive choice, for example,leaving a distressing and abusive relationship.
(Roper, 2016)Skyler William Roper further concluded that parental separation is a typical event that has both positive andnegative impacts. There are chance and defensive elements related withexperience of parental divorce. (Roper, 2016)METHODOLOGYThe methodologywe used was qualitative to understanding the importance of parental separationfor children, focusing on their subjective experiences. The use of qualitativemethodology is significant to comprehend the lived experiences of children ofdivorce as well as to reveal possible new outcomes that cannot be depicted byfixed quantitative procedures. Fourrespondents from the Divorced sample agreed to participate in one-to-oneinterviews. The interviews were semi-structured, consisting of 8 corequestions. Respondents were informed before the session that their contactinformation will remain confidential and that the interview would beaudio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for quality data analysis purposes.
Designof the StudyThe research was conducted by using the case studymethod which encompasses of one-to-one interviews and observation. Interviewswere designed keeping in a way which focus on the representation of particularcontext in the eyes of interviewee. While coding, Researcher looked at obviousmeaning, remaining close to the participant verbatim.
TargetAudienceThe studyexplores the experience of parental separation for children aged 18-22.Sampling The sampling included 4 participant. Participant, with ages 18-24years, attaining higher education from University of central Punjab, took partin the research study. Datacollection procedureDuring the data collection, the participant engaged in asemi-structured interview session. Each interview was led by a verbal consentto record the session, which lasted for 20 minutes.
During the interview, theparticipant responded to 8 open-ended questions that shed light on theirexperiences of their parent’s divorce. In response to the participant’sreplies, follow up questions were asked to get a proper answer that fulfils theresearch objectives. The data recorded was later transcribed verbatim by theinterviewer. RESULTSThissection 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: PostDivorce Adjustment (Compromise): Divorce is not apleasant experience for anyone obviously but it takes different time foreveryone to get adjusted after it. When we asked this thing to our participantswe found one thing common that all of them has somehow adjusted to the postdivorced setup they compromise somehow because they wanted stability in theirlives when we asked them have you got adjusted to the post divorced setup oneof the participants said:”It is not easy butsomehow we did because there is no other option left but it took long time”It seems likethey have accepted it anyway as there was the only thing they could do. Life isunfair sometimes that is what they elaborated when asked about it when theyalso agree on this point that whenever they see their friends with theirparents happily they feel void, gape and that space in their own family.One of theparticipant said:”Life is unfairsometimes, (sarcastic laugh) everyone has to adjust eventually. I haven’taccepted 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 mymom is full of such compromises and still it is.” Theme No.
2.Blaming father for separation:In our findingsthe most common thing that we encountered was that all the participants were blamingtheir fathers for divorce. Something was wrong with their fathers that thingleaded towards the divorce and they all were very much assured about it.One of theparticipant added that:”I am living with myfather because my mother was not in a position to support us this is the onlyreason otherwise my father is always angry and a strict man that’s why it allhappened.”And maybe it’s auniversal phenomenon that children experience more attachment and love towardstheir mothers rather than fathers and we all see father as a prominent figurewhen it comes to any financial support and in all of the four cases we had theyall had some financial issues as well that’s why they blame their fathers thathe should haven’t done this to us.The one thingwhich we notice in our findings was they were not attach to their fathers as Idiscussed it above, as they used to spend more time with their mothers ratherthan their fathers and they were blaming their fathers for all this.
The one matureanswer I got from one of my participant was “My father isresponsible for all this as he used to live in abroad he lived there for like10-13 years and he is very much conservative and overly religious person and ymother is open minded but when my father came back he forced us to change ourliving style according to him and we couldn’t do that and he used to fight onthis reason daily it was the big reason for that.”And most of themfaced financial crisis as well and for that they blame their fathers as theirfathers could support them but they didn’t.So they allconcluded our fathers is responsible for all of sufferings of our mothers. Theme No.3:Maternal Attachment Our findingsclearly depicts that all of these four participants are closely attach to theirmothers as compare to their fathers as they were clearly saying this that afterand during all these things the that happened to our family the person who hassuffered a lot is our mom .One of thoseparticipant clearly said that:”The most difficultthing I encountered during the separation of our parents was seeing my mothercrying I am closely attach to my mother and I cannot see her crying but I sawher crying like anything and I couldn’t do anything.”They all wereaware of their sufferings and claimed that our mothers had done a lot for usthat’s why we are here otherwise we couldn’t be able to stand on our own feet. One of theparticipant added that:”My mother was the onlyperson who suffered for her children.
We were not financially strong at thattime but my mother didn’t give up she has done everything for us for herchildren and she still is doing that “The main reasonmaybe that they are closely attach to their mother is that they have seen hermother fighting for their livings as in our society it is not easy for a womento raise her children alone and their children recognizes her efforts that’swhy and they have considered their father a strong personality who could evensupport them but they didn’t.One of theparticipant told that they have spent more time with his mother as his fatherused to live in abroad and they were totally dependent upon their mother. Theme No. 4: Thepositive outcomes of Divorce:Adivorce is a ground-breaking experience for children. It turns their worldupside down. Theydon’t comprehend the divorce exceptionally well. All they know is that everythingwill 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 discoveringpositive outcomes in it. Possibly it’s our own coping style with this harsh fixor something to that effect.Justto make us satisfy we may conclude some of the positive aspects out of bignegative event in life. Same is the case was with our participants they pointedout some positive aspects of divorce when they were asked about it that isthere any positive aspects of divorce on them?Oneof the participant said:”Thereare many positive aspects of it, we have got stronger than we were.
Previouslywe used to think how we are going to survive alone.*her voice shivers and sheeven stopped explaining for a while). We have learned many things from ourmother as she has done so many things just to make us happy, in the beginningwe weren’t financially strong after all this even all of my siblings leftschool including me but now we are established enough it is just because thatlife has taught us so many things so as this separation made us stronger.”Sothey are happy somehow as they learned so many things after this separation andthey concluded it as a positive aspect. And who wants to live in such adepressing environment the other aspect we got to listen was this “Themajor thing I consider positive is all those little fights arguments andtensions and those tensed environment that we used to suffer every single dayhas ended and this separation made me mature earlier then my age this is really positive in nature for me atleast.”Asall of them was very much close to their mothers they concluded that our motherhad suffered a lot while having this relationship but now we are at least happythat she is free from it now.
She cries now sometimes but it is a way morebetter then crying daily.Divorceannihilates lives. Even threatening divorce in front of children has enduringeffects however in some cases it gives them life time lesson. Separation isn’ta pleasant ordeal for anybody, but much can be done to intercede the harmingeffects. If parents are dedicated to the prosperity oftheir child and limit negative experiences, children can lead composed andhappy lives. DISCUSSIONThe experiencesindividuals with divorced parents have faced were different from experiences ofan individual who has both parents. Theylive a life where they see one parent fulfilling responsibilities of bothsides, one parent giving them care, love, affection.
Their way of portrayingemotions, solving problems, schemas and seeing life is greatly influenced. The participantswere experiencing mixed emotions at the time of divorce of their parents,initially being shocked over such a change was common, some of them said theycould never think of any such thing others said they were witnessing conflictsbetween their parents from a long time but getting divorced and being separatedfrom one parent was something they could never think of, but after divorce theygot adjusted to the current life they were given ,hardships were there but theyall compromised to the new life some of them happily and others had no choiceso they accepted the fate and learnt to adjust with it. Giving negativeattributes to oneself, life and future in the initial stages of post-divorcephenomenon was observed and noted it could be because when such tragic thinghappens to an individual where one hasto lose one of the two most important people one`s life attributing thesurroundings and people for quite a long time post trauma is obvious becausefor them their whole world has been turned upside down, in most cases with the passage of time and withnew experiences most of them started attributing life as positive but forothers idea of life and future is same but they have learnt how to live withit. All participantshave had trust issues at one point in their lives, either they were havingdifficulty in trusting people overall orin trusting an individual of opposite gender in a romantic way and why not whenthe two people an individual put his/her most trust on is not with them or hasbroken the trust for them once, individuals find it difficult to trust anyonefrom outside of their small world, for some these trust issues were resolvedwhen they grew up and met new people, good social interactions played a role inchanging ones beliefs about humans other than their siblings and mother but forothers the struggle to learn how to trust others is still there.
In terms of parent childrelationships, the present study found that there is a significant relationshipbetween parental divorce and the regard children have for their parents. Thosewho experienced parental divorce were more likely to have lower parentalregard. This finding provides support for previous research. Generally, in theevent of a divorce, the relationship between the child and the parents isadversely affected. It is unknown exactly why this damage to the parent childrelationship occurs; however, one explanation may be that the damagedrelationship is mainly a result of the level of trauma the child experiencesbefore or after the divorce. This lack of parental regard and quality ofrelationship between parent and offspring has additional negative implications (William Roper).
Thestudy showed maternal attachment has highlighted aspect, participants were moreattached to their mothers then fathers, because most of them were living withtheir mothers and they have seen their mothers struggling and suffering more than their fathers, all fourparticipants blamed their father for divorce and not mothers natural biasnesstowards mothers could be reason to explain the phenomenon because generally ifany 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, livingevery moment, sharing every part of their life, seeing that one parent whichhere is mother being there for them every time and getting affection of both parents from themother only, all these factors contribute in maternal attachment. Most importantlyparticipants mentioned some positive aspects of divorce such as their parentsare happier as compared to before, their mothers are suffering less than beforeor 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 lessnoticeable such as, economic success, increased confidence, and learning how tobecome more independent (Amato, 1991).Limitations The limitationswe faced during the study were majorly associated with collection of databecause divorce or separation is an extremely sensitive topic so theparticipants 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 afull-fledged knowledge of experiences people faced.
Another limitation isgeneralizability, the data was collected from students of a single universityand the data was more of subjective in nature and one individual’s experiencesmight not be same as some other individual’s experiences facing same phenomenonas divorce.Recommendations Although themethodology we chose was best to study this phenomenon but another methodology couldbe i.e., Case Study, where focus will be on one individual’s life and thatindividual’s experiences and how the phenomenon has played role in his/herachievements or failures throughout life.
These findings could be useful forindividuals whose parents have been divorced and are having difficultyadjusting with it to learn how to cope up with such situations, for the parentswho are undergoing or thinking to take any step in the same context to considertheir children more and for educationists, counsellors and psychologists inorder to develop intervention strategies.ConclusionExperiences ofindividuals having divorced parents vary from being vulnerable to being strongand stubborn enough to face such a phenomenon, individuals who have hadexperienced such phenomenon of parents separation see life from a completelydifferent perspective. The cliché about divorce is that it holds negativeaspects only but divorce can be seen as positive step too when it becomes hardfor two people to live together and living under the same roof with a personcauses harm to one’s mental health then divorce might be considered positivephenomenon.