Parenting Interventions and Divorced Mothers

Amato, P. R. (2010). Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 650-666.

Amato (2010) reviews previous studies on different divorce topics, including the relationship between divorce and state of the parent and children, divorce predictors, and divorce interventions. The author reports the U.S. Census Bureau (2008) data showing that the divorce rate in 2006 was 3.6% per 1000 families nationwide, an increase from 2.2% in 1960 (Amato, 2010). Some of divorce risk factors in the U.S., as cited from articles such as Amato and DeBoer (2001), Bramlett and Mosher (2002) and, DeMaris (2000), are teenage marriages, interracial marriages, and infidelity. Amato (2010) also found in studies including Hango and Houseknecht (2005) and Sun and Li (2002) that children with divorced parents experience adverse outcomes in academics, health, behaviors, and social wellbeing. On the other hand, divorced parents suffer from anxiety, depression, and strain (Amato, 2010). One of the studies, Dunne-Bryant (2006), showed that the events affect mothers more, with chronic pressure affecting their emotions and overall health. Amato (2010) also reports studies, Kelly (2007), Lebow and Rekart (2007), suggesting interventions to reduce the adverse effects, including divorce education, parenting plans, and therapeutic interventions.

Cohen, G. J., Weitzman, C. C., & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2016). Helping children and families deal with divorce and separation. Pediatrics, 138(6), 1-11.

Cohen et al. (2016) presents a clinical report on issues children and parents face after divorce, mostly healthy-related challenges. Infants suffer from feeding and sleep disturbances. The report also shows that toddlers experience developmental regression while preschool children suffer the same conditions and others, such as eating disorders. Children at school age experience self-blame and behavioral problems as adolescents develop delinquent behavior, poor academic performance, and sexual behaviors. The author further reports studies such as Cohen (2002), showing that divorce also leads to depression and humiliation on parents, although the effects prologs in mothers who are likely to seek mental help and use alcohol. Another study in the report, Mrazek et al. (1993), indicates that parental involvement after divorce is a significant mediating factor to the adverse outcomes. According to Cohen et al. (2016), marital counseling with follow-up can ease parents’ and children’s effects after divorce.

Ferraro, A. J., Davis, T. R., Petren, R. E., & Pasley, K. (2016). Postdivorce parenting: A study of recently divorced mothers and fathers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 57(7), 485-503.

Ferraro et al. (2016) investigated parents’ parenting experiences at their early days of the divorce. Researchers found four emerging themes categorizing parenting experiences after divorce, including good divorce, good enough, bad to better and, bad divorce. The themes define parents’ experiences decreasing from stable to unstable, quality of adjustment from good to poor, and challenges children face from minor to major. Parents experiencing good divorce are those who agree on separation to develop good relationships in co-parenting. However, bad divorce has no cooperation between parents to support each other financially and socially. Mothers, 25 were more likely to report bad divorce compared to fathers, 12. Ferraro et al. (2016) found that mothers suffer more due to lack of income source after separation and insecurity when children visit their fathers. Other women indicated missing their children when they leave with the father after breaking up and difficulties maintaining their jobs while taking care of the children.

Tein, J. Y., Sandler, I. N., & Zautra, A. J. (2000). Stressful life events, psychological distress, coping, and parenting of divorced mothers: A longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 14(1), 27-41.

Tein et al. (2000) investigated the relationship between coping, life stress, psychological distress, and parenting behaviors among divorced mothers in their children’s custody. The author argues that divorce is a significant life stressor, similar to job loss and bereavement. Findings indicate that significant and small divorce instances affect psychological distress. However, the small daily events have severe impacts on mothers with psychological distress preventing active coping, causing avoidant coping, and reducing support seeking. Major and small divorce effects reduce mother’s level of accepting, supporting, and disciplining their children. Tein et al. (2000) argue that the cause of such high psychological distress from daily events are unique issues disturbing mothers compared to fathers, including financial constraints, conflicts with husbands, and social isolation. However, the study did not find any significant social support impact on the mother’s psychological wellbeing. Tein et al. (2000) argue that adequate support for mothers to eliminate stressful parenting environments is essential to overcome psychological distress and poor parenting.

References

Amato, P. R. (2010). Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 650-666. Web.

Cohen, G. J., Weitzman, C. C., & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2016). Helping children and families deal with divorce and separation. Pediatrics, 138(6), 1-11. Web.

Ferraro, A. J., Davis, T. R., Petren, R. E., & Pasley, K. (2016). Postdivorce parenting: A study of recently divorced mothers and fathers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 57(7), 485-503. Web.

Tein, J. Y., Sandler, I. N., & Zautra, A. J. (2000). Stressful life events, psychological distress, coping, and parenting of divorced mothers: A longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 14(1), 27-41. Web.