The role of a leisure–based programme on the relationship and attitudes of divorced single–parent families
Divorce can be seen as one of the major causes of single-parent households (Janzen & Harris, 1997:134). Among the obvious difficulties families face as a result of divorce, other difficulties such as lack of time for family bonding and family leisure directly affect the well-being of the entire single-parent family (Arnold et al., 2008:84; Hornberger et al., 2010:158). Families form the foundation of society and the most important relationship in a family is that between the parents. If this relationship is strong, the rest of the relationships in the family will fall into place (Fields & Casper, 2001; Hornberger et al., 2010:143). It is important for the parents to have a strong relationship with each other, since this is a child’s first example of what a healthy relationship should be like. Therefore the relationship between parents could be seen as the base for the relationship between parent and child (Leman, 2000:164). Shaw and Dawson (2001:228) conclude that some parents do not participate in leisure activities for enjoyment, nor is it intrinsically motivated; parents see it as a responsibility and duty while they are feeling frustrated by doing something they wish not to. Therefore the purpose of this study was to firstly review the literature to determine whether it supports the usage of a leisure-based programme to strengthen the relationship between divorced single parents and their children; secondly, to explore and describe the role of a leisure-based programme in developing attitudes as well as in strengthening relationships between single parents and their children. The two-fold research objectives were studied by means of two different strategies. The first was a literature review done to analyse the research problem. Books, journals, dissertations, theses and Internet sources published between 1993 and 2011 were used to give a theoretical exposition of this study. Research concluded that leisure programmes have the potential of developing parent-child relationships. A qualitative research method was applied to research the second purpose of this study. Two divorced single-parent families participated in this ethnographic research study. Data was gathered by means of participant observation, field-notes and a semi-structured interview with each individual family member (De Vos, 2005:296; Veal, 2006:386). The researcher worked through the process of open-coding and then two main themes were identified during content analysis. The first was attitudes which had its own set of categories, namely self-esteem and self-empowerment and motivation. The second theme was relationships consisting of communication, problem solving, respect and trust. It could be concluded that if the elements in the themes are developed it would lead to the enhancement of the main theme. As a result of families participating in the leisure-based programme it was established that the development of self-esteem and self-empowerment as well as motivation led to the improvement of attitudes. Similarly, the enhancement of communication, problem solving, respect and trust contributed to the improvement of relationships.
- Humanities