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Title: A study of the psychosocial consequences of divorce and the effectiveness of an intervention designed to mitigate such effects
Author: Edelstein, Joy Audrey
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1998
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The project comprised two Phases. Phase 1 - the Impact study, investigated the adverse effects of divorce on twenty-eight mothers and on their eldest or only adolescent or pre-adolescent child, by means of a semi-structured interviews. Major divorce effects for the mothers included downward economic mobility; anxiety; a sense of bereavement; generalized insecurity; guilt; depression; resentment; anger; heightened stress; diminished self-esteem and lack of confidence. Short- and long-term divorce-effects comparisons suggested that mothers adapted to their circumstances, with time. The children experienced varying degrees of deprivation; painful disruption in their lives, anger; frustration; depression; low self-esteem; and grief and sadness at separation from their fathers. Phase 2- the Intervention study, examined the effects of maternal counselling and lifeskills training on an experimental group of eighteen divorced mothers and their eldest or only adolescent or pre-adolescent child. Mothers and children completed pre- and post-intervention measures, i.e. batteries of psychometric tests. Test results were compared with those of a like waiting list control group (of ten), assessed before and after a time interval equal to the training period of the experimental group. The counselling/lifeskills training programme included twelve sessions conducted at weekly intervals, which embraced divorce-related issues, single-parenting, child-management, lifeskills teaching, discussion periods and homework assignments. Post-intervention measures revealed statistically (and clinically) significant changes for experimental group mothers, but not for untreated controls. These included significant decreases in depression, parenting stress and overindulgence to children and a significant increase in self-esteem. Post-intervention measures for the untreated experimental group children revealed two statistically significant results, namely, increases (from baseline to the end of their mothers intervention) in General self-esteem, and decreases in egocentric, overindulged behaviours. Training effects were maintained or improved at a six-month follow-up.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available