Coping by kinders uit egskeidingsgesinne / Jacquiline von Wielligh
Von Wielligh, Jacquiline
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This study forms a subsection of an inter-university research project regarding the resilience of children in late middle childhood, in the South African context. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether any differences exist between the coping of children from intact and divorced families. It appears that resilience and coping are important components of psychological wellbeing, which can promote or inhibit psychological well-being. During recent years the effect that divorce has on children has enjoyed considerable interest. Literature on the main components of this study, namely divorce and coping, maintains that divorce is a traumatic process, causing multiple stressors for parents as well as children. It is also clear that children are usually capable of handling the negative aspects related to divorce, provided that they enjoy a support network consisting of family members, peer groups and teachers. Most of the research continues to indicate a basically negative influence of the divorce experience and process. Secondly a review of stress and coping literature was offered, with reference to the manifestations of such phenomena amongst children from divorced families. The important role played by coping in the lives of children and the manner in which it directly relates to their development, adaptation and psychological well-being. Amongst children, coping serves as a protection factor against stressors, such as divorce, for instance, and it contributes to resilience. During the empirical study the study population consisted of children in their late middle childhood (grades 4-7). The children were selected by means of a random availability test out of various schools in the various South Atiican provinces, after which participants were randomly selected by means of class lists. Despite the scope of the research project, only the data pertaining to 653 children was of use in the current study, following the practical problems experienced during the project and the fact that several researches handled the processing of the data. For the purpose of the study under discussion, data pertaining to 73 children from divorced families and 580 children from intact families was used. The study used the "Stress Response Scale" (SRS) as a measuring instrument, as well as biographical questionnaire, in order to determine the number, gender and ages of the children from intact and divorced families respectively. None of the subscales provided any statistically significant results and no practically significant differences were indicated in respect of coping between children from intact and divorced families. Concluding the study, recommendations are made for further research in this field and practical suggestions are given for the implementation of the findings that were anived at.
- ETD@PUK