An intervention programme to augment resilience in divorced parents
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Divorce has become an ever-increasing phenomenon in our society. Due to the escalating divorce rate, a growing number of children are being raised in single parent- or restructured families. The following consequences of divorce are of particular importance in this context: firstly, the emotional impact on the adults concerned, who are emotionally wounded and vulnerable as a result of the divorce. Secondly, divorced parents often feel unable to cope with their own emotional burden, let alone have the remaining resources with which to guide their children into adulthood. It follows that a divorce does not only wreak havoc on the lives of adults, but also on the children who are secondary victims. This study will attempt an illumination of divorce in terms of firstly, the phenomenon of divorce itself and secondly, its impact on men, women and children. A second objective of the study is the development of an intervention programme to augment resilience within the context of post-divorce. The aim is to assist the divorcee to recover emotionally to such an extent that she or he will be in a better position after the divorce than before it. The aim of the study is therefore to develop a programme with which to augment the resilience of divorced parents in order to enhance 'their parenting skills. With this aim in mind, the risk- as well as protective factors within the context of divorce were identified. The programme was subsequently applied to enhance or increase the protective factors and eliminate the risk factors. Two sub-hypotheses were formulated, tested and an alternative sub hypothesis accepted, namely: An intervention programme, which focuses on the augmentation of resilience in divorced parents will lead to increased resilient functioning and enhanced parenting skills. When the experimental group was compared with the control group, results of the post-tests of the CYRM - A showed an improvement in scores after the intervention programme was done. This meant that the participants who completed the intervention programme, showed better resilience skills than those who did not complete the programme. When the experimental group was compared with the control group, results of the post-tests of the Parenting Questionnaire showed an improvement in scores after the intervention programme was done. This meant that the participants who completed the intervention programme showed better parenting skills and were more democratic in their parenting than the participants of the control group. The finding of this study is therefore that resilience within the context of divorce can be augmented and will in turn, lead to enhanced parenting skills.
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