A psychosocial study exploring children’s experience of their parents’ divorce or separation

Stone, J F (2019) A psychosocial study exploring children’s experience of their parents’ divorce or separation. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

According to the Office of National Statistics (2018) an estimated 42% of marriages in England and Wales now end in divorce, with half involving children under the age of 16. Despite growing evidence of the impact of divorce and separation on children’s happiness, self-esteem and behaviour there has been a paucity of research within the UK, which looks at children’s experience of their parents’ divorce or separation. This psychosocial study aimed to explore the experiences of children and young people whose parents have divorced or separated. Four children and young people who had experienced the separation of their parents’ (three males, one female) aged between 8 and 13 years old were interviewed twice about their experience using two psychoanalytically informed, free associative methods; the Grid Elaboration Method (GEM) and the Free-Association Narrative Interview (FANI). Data was analysed using Thematic Analysis. A subsequent psychosocial layer of analysis was then applied, using researcher field notes, to support an exploration of the dynamic, intersubjective and unconscious processes present during the interviews. Five themes emerged from the data and these are discussed alongside existing research and psychological theory. Unconscious processes observed through the interview process are also explored. Implications for Educational Psychologists (EPs), as well as schools and other professionals, when working with similar populations of children and young people are considered. The studies limitations and thoughts about future research are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Families > Parent Child Relations/Parenthood
Human Psychological Processes > Stress
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2075

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