Working with families in particular circumstancesDivorceParents of Children with Special NeedsTeen MothersFamilies when Abuse Occurs
America and DivorceDiscussionWhat are some reasons you personally might consider a divorce? Is falling out of love an appropriate reason for wanting a divorce?What were you taught growing up about the acceptability of divorce?YouTube - Divorce affects children!
Marriage and Divorce (2003)60 million married couples in US 40-50% of all marriages end in divorce
Annually 2,187,000 marriages7.5 marriages per 1000 total population 1.25 million divorces annually 3.8 divorces per 1000 total population
Shift from agricultural to industrial societySocial integrationIndividualistic American culture Demographic factors:Employment statusIncomeEducational levelEthnicityReligion.
Factors Affecting Divorce
(Bohannan) As people divorce, they undergo these divorces simultaneously. EmotionalLegalEconomicCo-parentalCommunityPsychic Stations of Divorce
Life Course Factors:Intergenerational transmission (Amato, 1996)Parental divorce increases chance of childs marriage ending within first five years by as much as 70%.Increased risk of divorce is especially great if both spouses experienced parental divorce.Effects are strongest when parents divorce early in childs life (age 12 or younger)Factors Affecting Divorce
Economic consequences Impoverishment of womenChanged female employment patternsFewer financial resources for family often leading to moves to cramped apartments and less desirable neighborhoodsConsequences of Divorce
Non-economic consequences include:More psychological distress, lower levels of happiness, more social isolation, more health problems.Divorced people are three times as likely to commit suicide. Some divorced people experience higher levels of personal growth and greater autonomy.Consequences of Divorce
Children and DivorceChildren in happy two-parent families are the best adjustedChildren in conflict-ridden two-parent families are the worst adjusted.Children from single-parent families are in the middle.Kids' Turn
Children of divorce suffer: Reduction of incomeWeakening ties with fathersDeterioration in family lifeLoss of residential stabilityProblems in schoolLower self-esteemIncreased likelihood of drug abuseGreater likelihood of becoming teen parentsChildren and Divorce
Three-Stage Process of divorce for children:Initial stageTurmoil is greatest.Transition stageAdjusting to new family.Restabilization stageIntegration of changes. Children and Divorce
Developmental tasks of divorce:Acknowledging parental separationDisengaging from parental conflictsResolving lossResolving anger and self-blameAccepting the finality of divorceAchieving realistic expectations for later relationship successChildren and Divorce
Factors Contributing to Childrens AdjustmentMental health of parentsQuality of parent-child relationshipsDegree of anger vs cooperationAge, temperament, and flexibility of childExtent to which parents are willing to have the same routines for the children in each home
Adjustment to divorce:Open discussion prior to divorceInvolvement with noncustodial parentLack of hostility between divorced parentsGood psychological adjustment to divorce by custodial parentStable living situation and good parenting skills.Continued involvement with the children by both parents
Children and Divorce
Adjustment to divorce: Not all children suffer negative consequences.90% of children with divorced parents achieve same level well-being as children of continuously married parents (Amato, 2003).20-25% children from divorced families have problems (Wallerstein)Children and Divorce
Generally based on one of 2 standards:The best interests of the childThe least detrimental of the available alternatives.The major types of custody are sole, joint, and split.Child Custody
Children and Divorce26% of children under the age of 18 live with a divorced parent.39% of divorced women with children live in povertyCivility among parents and assurance that both still love the children is helpfulSome need brief individual play therapy, others need family counseling
Behavior problems Children in single-parent or remarried families do not do as well as those in non-divorced households25-30% of single-parent and divorced households reported behavior problems, while only 10% of non-divorced households reported behavior problems with children.20% of children in stepfamilies have behavior problems compared to 10% of children in non-divorced families.
Sole custodyAccounts for 85% of all U.S. divorce casesWomen traditionally have been responsible for child rearingMany men do not feel competentChild Custody
Joint custodyAccounts for 10% of cases.Joint legal custodyChildren live primarily with one parentBoth parents share in decisions regarding the children.Joint physical custodyRequires parents to work out practical logisticsas well as feelings about each other.Child Custody
Split custodySplits the children between the parentsUsually girls live with mother, boys with fatherChild Custody
The effects of remarriage on children Income is raised.Another adult is there to help.Behavior problemsBlending two families presents a new set of challenges
Blended family issuesLoyalty is a problemMay feel guilty for bonding with a step parentChildren often act out, wont even try to like a step parent.Family must incorporate new parents style and rules.
The stabilization period The stepparent moves toward the role of intimate outsider, which is somewhere between parent and trusted friend.Stepparent role includesWarmth toward and support of the stepchildren.Little disciplining of the stepchildren.Support for the biological parent.Stepfathers in general tend to be less involved than biological fathers.
Stepmother and stepfather differencesBeing a stepmother can be harder than being a stepfather.In typical remarriage chains today, children live with mother and stepfather.Typical stepmother must establish relationship during visits.Stepfathers compete with non-custodial fathers who may not see children very often.Often fill a vacuum left by departed biological father.May hold to a lower standard than stepmothers.Easier for children to accept two father figures than two mother figures.
How can teachers help?Maintain a structured environmentEncourage expression of feelingsOpen up areas for discussionHelp children release pent-up feelingsEncourage acceptanceDemonstrate respect for family uniquenessBe aware of group reactions
Working with ParentsReassure parentsKeep requests lightBe aware of legal agreementsKnow available community resources
Working with Parents of Children with Special NeedsIndividualized Educational PlansDevelop relationships based on mutual respect Try to understand the increased stress in the lives of parents Be hopefully realisticKnow available community resources
Working with Families when Abuse OccursIndicators of abusePhysicalSexualEmotionalNeglectReporting abuse 1-800-252-5400Create an atmosphere of trust and healingRefer families to support groups
Working with Adoptive FamiliesInclude adoption in the curriculumTalking to familiesTalking to childrenOffer resources