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Adolescent girls' experience of parental divorce Rideout, Betty A. 1989

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ADOLESCENT GIRLS' EXPERIENCE OF PARENTAL DIVORCE  by  BETTY A. RIDEOUT B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a , 1986  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in  THE  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g  We a c c e p t  this  t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g  to the required  THE  standard  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH April, ©  Betty  Psychology  COLUMBIA  1990  A. R i d e o u t , 1989  In  presenting  degree freely  at  the  available  copying  of  department publication  this  of  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  University  of  British  Columbia,  I  agree  for  this or  thesis  reference  thesis by  this  for  his  and  scholarly  or  thesis  study.  her  for  I further  purposes  financial  gain  shall  permission.  Department of C o u n s e l l i n g  Psychology  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6  (2/88)  April  25, 1990  that  agree  may  representatives.  requirements  be  It not  that  the  advanced  Library shall  by  understood be  an  permission for  granted  is  for  allowed  the  make  extensive  head  that  without  it  of  copying my  my or  written  ii  ABSTRACT  This  s t u d y was  designed  t o examine a d o l e s c e n t  girls  experience  of t h e i r  parents'  divorce.  the  literature  on  this  been conducted divorce. of  The  on  subject indicated the  literature  also  c o g n i t i v e changes i n This  study  Specifically, experience  the  study.  girls  from  a phenomenological sought  age  These g i r l s  within a nine  one  s i n c e the  data  analysis  time  process  moving  toward  participants' the  results  and  a home where a d i v o r c e b u t had  interviews.  d e s c r i b e d by topic  areas  The  Giorgi  in  at  experience  the process  in  had  least  participants using  (1975).  This  w h i c h were d e s c r i p t i v e  of d i v o r c e .  to environmental  resolution.  occurred  i n t e r v i e w s were a n a l y z e d  f o u r main c o n t e n t  were t h e  of adapting  growing process,  The  experience  around  These p r o c e s s e s  interpret  range,  of the  revealed twelve  organized  behavioural,  sixteen to nineteen p a r t i c i p a t e d  year  analysis process  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' then  event  methodology.  to e x p l o r e the  came from  were i n t e r v i e w e d t w i c e . the  t h a t the p a i n f u l  relevant theory.  occurred year  had  of p a r e n t a l  a number o f e m o t i o n a l ,  o f p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e and  conjunction with Eight  study  indicated  research  children.  utilized  the  of  that l i t t l e  adolescents' experience  d i v o r c e can p r e c i p i t a t e  and  A review  These t o p i c s areas,  or  the  of r e s t r u c t u r i n g  were  processes.  o f the d i v o r c e , changes,  of  the  learning meaning  and and  iii  The children world the  r e s u l t s were i n t e r p r e t e d f r o m d i v o r c e d homes,  theory.  The p r e s e n t  l i t e r a t u r e on d i v o r c e ,  depression  in this  highly-functioning, showed how was just  related world  study, healthy  the p a r t i c i p a n t s t o the t h e o r i e s theory.  t h e l i t e r a t u r e on  a t t r i b u t i o n theory,  study  shared  and  just  many s i m i l a r i t i e s  with  but d i f f e r e d i n the degree o f  and m a l a d j u s t m e n t  participants  utilizing  seen among t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s . generally,  were s e e n t o  individuals. need  The s t u d y  for control  also  in their  lives  p o s e d by a t t r i b u t i o n t h e o r y  and  The  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  vi  CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION Theoretical Purpose CHAPTER TWO  1  Background  4  o f t h e Study  10  - REVIEW OF LITERATURE  13  The  P r o c e s s and E x p e r i e n c e o f D i v o r c e  13  The  Age o f t h e C h i l d  15  The  Adolescent Experience  ....19  Summary  24  CHAPTER THREE - METHODOLOGY  26  Procedure Criteria  26 for Selection  Selection  26  Procedure  30  Data  Collection  31  Data  Analysis  33  Rigour  i n a Qualitative  Methodology  35  Assumptions  40  Ethical  41  Concerns  Summary  42  CHAPTER FOUR - THE PARTICIPANTS' EXPERIENCE  43  Introduction  43  The  Immediate E x p e r i e n c e o f t h e D i v o r c e  47  The  Process of Adapting  to Environmental  Change  58  V  The  Learning  The  Process  and G r o w i n g  Process  67  o f R e s t r u c t u r i n g Meaning  and Moving  Toward R e s o l u t i o n  78  Summary  88  CHAPTER F I V E - COMPARISON  OF PRESENT STUDY WITH RESEARCH  Introduction  .89 89  The  Immediate E x p e r i e n c e  The  Process  The  Learning  The  Process  o f Adapting and G r o w i n g  of Divorce to Environmental  94 Change  ....100  Process  109  o f R e s t r u c t u r i n g M e a n i n g and Moving  Toward R e s o l u t i o n  118  Summary o f F i n d i n g s  126  Limitations Further  o f t h e S t u d y and S u g g e s t i o n s f o r  Research  128  Summary  129  REFERENCES Appendix A - L e t t e r  131 of Information  Appendix B - P a r t i c i p a n t ' s  Information  Appendix C - I n t e r v i e w Guide - F i r s t Appendix  136  D - I n t e r v i e w G u i d e - Second  and C o n s e n t Form  Interview Interview  ..137 138 139  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would l i k e their  time  husband for  t o thank the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and w i l l i n g n e s s  f o r h i s unceasing  their  tireless ability  t o share support t o hear  their  of this  study f o r  experiences,  and p a t i e n c e , and my my  complaints.  my parents  1  CHAPTER  ONE  Introduction  Divorce  has  industrialized  become an  s o c i e t i e s during  century.  Since  11,  divorce  1968,  1980) . Of  In  these,  children  divorce  found  53%  1986). rate  i n the  rates  income, h i g h  increase  traditional  lives  of  conducted  reaction very  parental My  This  are  found  immigration  the  Columbia  study  The be  1982.  the  large  of  incidence  explained  and  r a t e s has  structure.  i m p a c t and  in part  with  a high  by  the  high  per  level  of  caused a dramatic This  Considerable  (Hetherington, focused  change  change c r e a t e s  consequences of d i v o r c e research  upon a d u l t s  to a l e s s e r degree r e s e a r c h  has  in  dependent  suggests that  rates,  (Ambert,  appears t o have  in provinces  e f f e c t s of divorce  research  granted  July  urbanization.  family  to divorce  little  this  f a m i l i e s with  C o l u m b i a may  those a f f e c t e d .  upon t h e  1981) , and  h a l f of  laws i n Canada on  country.  in divorce  need t o u n d e r s t a n d the  involved  British  e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t and  to the  of d i v o r c e  (1980) r e s e a r c h .  The  latter  were 70,436 d i v o r c e s  in British  divorce  the  phenomenon i n  r a t e s have been i n c r e a s i n g s t e a d i l y  approximately  divorce  capita  reform  Canada t h e r e  highest  highest  the  (Parry,  Ambert's  increasingly pervasive  has  Cox,  has  been  children's  1985).  upon a d o l e s c e n t s '  upon  (Kelly,  examined  & Cox,  a  However,  reaction  to  divorce. clinical  work w i t h  adolescent  girls  from d i v o r c e d  homes  2  suggests effect and  there  exists a pressing  that divorce  Cox  can  have.  (1985) s u p p o r t s my  divorce first  that  upon y o u n g s t e r s .  few  families  years  more a n t i - s o c i a l , aggression  and  depression,  that  observations  impulsive  more d i f f i c u l t i e s in school"  (p.  troubled  a t the  adolescents  clinical  depression  Children  For  lessened  their  i n the  had  and  can  more and more  (1985) children  number  from  of  psychologically  d i a g n o s e d moderate  a third  the  d e c i s i o n t o end  experienced  as  frightening  event,  of  of the  to  original  and  parents'  divorce  as  their  marriage.  parents  the  cushion  to  For  be  some  children  of  and personal  t h a t most c h i l d r e n  e x t r e m e l y p a i n f u l , and parents  may  is generally  (1980) n o t e  their  f o r most  even more  divorce  disruptive, painful,  Kelly  c a s e s would h a v e p r e f e r r e d  divorce  t h e y were i n v o l v e d ,  i s without  W a l l e r s t e i n and  adjustment  trauma o f t h e  their  a powerfully  traumatic  experience  knowledge t h a t  separation  their  the  f a m i l i e s show  Wallerstein  "a s i g n i f i c a n t  i n over  some a d u l t s  however t h e  found  518).  We  is a difficult  traumatic.  choice.  "In  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and  were c o n s i d e r e d  5 - y e a r mark.  t o make.  extent,  of  547).  A divorce  by  Cox,  divorced  r e s u l t s f r o m a l o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d y on  and  adults  that,  disorders,  in social  children  (p.  children in  a c t i n g out  f a m i l i e s suggest that  sample"  noted  effect  to c h i l d r e n i n nondivorced  divorced  severe  Hetherington,  o f the  These a u t h o r s  the  n o n c o m p l i a n c e , more d e p e n d e n c y , a n x i e t y ,  problem behavior reports  R e s e a r c h by  following divorce,  i n comparison  need t o u n d e r s t a n d  to remain  i n most together,  3 regardless instances did  not  o f how  where t h e  initiate  experience  primary  o r want t o d i v o r c e ,  powerful  factor in their  parents'  divorce  and  When t h e  primary  caregiver  create,  or her In that of  and  amidst  their  i s present  divorce  mother,  family  may  i s also battling  a l l the  other  pain  of  perpetuate  their  of  which  this  a  control.  a sense  difficulties  unwittingly  in  i s , I believe,  sense of p e r s o n a l  summary, l i t e r a t u r e  on  the  divorce  sense  event of divorce  i s a p a i n f u l event which impediments  development.  W a l l e r s t e i n and continue  for  many y e a r s .  the  pervasive  children,  i t seems i m p o r t a n t  threat.  experience  Given  their  i t , and  some l i g h t  t o be  In p a r t i c u l a r , parents' how on  can  in his  an  their  (1985) b e l i e v e  to a f f e c t effect  how  these  of d i v o r c e  to i d e n t i f y  and that  children upon  the  they i n t e r p r e t  i t e f f e c t s them, may  behaviour.  number  emotional  u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how  divorce,  they b e l i e v e  Kelly  able  suggests  precipitate a  i n children's cognitve,  can  shed  remaining  t o weather the  r e s u l t s of divorce  explain  the  children.  negative  the  the  abandonment  that  the  of  the  parents'  ability  regain  h e / s h e may  divorce  social  generally  In  1981).  r e a c t i o n to t h e i r  helplessness,  m a r r i a g e was.  caregiver,  component o f h e l p l e s s n e s s  children's  can  the  f e e l i n g s of helplesness  (Schwartzberg, The  dysfunctional  nature children  and help  to  4  Theoretical  Humankind h a s d e v o t e d intellectual  energy  toward  a great  i t s power t h e a b i l i t y  events  of l i f e .  traumas.  Through t h i s  attempted  t o make t h e i r  philosophy  or r e l i g i o n  which b e f a l l  could  i t has  t o c o n t r o l t h e random,  struggle, lives  negative  history, life's  I b e l i e v e , i n d i v i d u a l s have  less  random b y s u b s c r i b i n g t o a  which seeks t o g i v e  life  meaning, and  Homer, one o f humankind's  writes  and  of the s e r i e s of  earliest  misfortunes  Odysseus because P o s e i d o n b e a r s him a grudge.  Homer s u g g e s t s t h a t he  that  to. e x p l a i n o r r a t i o n a l i z e  t h r o u g h meaning, c o n t r o l . storytellers,  o f emotional  the i n c e p t i o n of recorded  humankind has s t r u g g l e d  recorded  deal  c r e a t i n g the b e l i e f  within  Since  Background  c o n t r o l was w i t h i n  Odysseus'  reach,  i f only  appease t h e gods.  My word, how m o r t a l s t a k e t h e gods t o t a s k ! A l l t h e i r a f f l i c t i o n s come f r o m u s , we h e a r . (Homer, 1963, p . 2) The they  Greeks developed  ascribed responsibility  regain good  a s o p h i s t i c a t e d p a n t h e o n o f gods, f o r events  i n their  c o n t r o l , one h a d t o work t o p l a c e  favour.  explained events. providing  The s y s t e m was an e l e g a n t  f u l l y how l i f e I t could  contain  lives.  oneself  unexpected  one as i t and a r b i t r a r y  minds a t e a s e b y  some s e n s e o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r systems  Greeks have continued  To  i n t h e gods'  and a s t u t e  also set individuals'  them w i t h  Philosophical  could  t o whom  lives.  s u c h as t h e one d e v e l o p e d b y t h e  t o seek t o e x p l a i n  life's  arbitrary  5  nature, and  and  Peplau  s u g g e s t how  of  be  the B i b l e .  system  explained  solely  religious  systems  life  also  that  through s a l v a t i o n  I t would  philosophical  s u c h as t h e  religions  promote the b e l i e f  attained  present  be b r o u g h t under  (1975) s u g g e s t t h a t  Christianity may  i t may  by  be  superior  to  gain  be  i t s own  has  Calvin  o v e r one's  salvation, reward  itself,  (Smart,  t o the reward  around  lives.  Camus, i n The  acknowledging settled  that  among men"  ourselves.  1976).  attempts  (1955,  p . 91) we  Consequently l i f e ' s  not  sufficient  n a t u r e and  should culture  t o work i s work life. their  view  the n o b i l i t y Job,  of  over events i n t h e i r  argues that  assign  unjust  and  (p. 9 0 ) .  i t seems  by  [ i s ] a human m a t t e r , w h i c h must  advanced  i s well"  by  i n control  Camus c o n c l u d e s t h a t  all  ethics,  meaning o f t h e  t o frame  Myth o f S y s y p h u s ,  "fate  dogmas,  In f a c t ,  work was  o f work i s a good  to feel  Other  one's  Much o f c o n t e m p o r a r y  acceptable. age  good  be  themselves a sense of  from - the reward  t h e need  on.  the o r i g i n a l  that  Of c o u r s e , n o t e v e r y o n e reality  may  o r s t r o n g work  b u t t h a t work i s good  skewed t h i s b e l i e f  complex  religion  life.  i n order to give argued  world  power, b u t a s p e c t s o f  later  thinking"  t h a t many p e o p l e h a v e d i s t o r t e d  John  a  a r g u a b l y be means o f o r d e r i n g  "power o f p o s i t i v e  P r o t e s t a n t work e t h i c ,  o v e r one's  and  and by a d h e r i n g t o t h e works  a search for personal  o f f e r hope o f c o n t r o l  control.  control  naive to suggest that  f o r something  Rubin  s u c h as J u d a i s m  s u c h as t h e C h r i s t i a n  could  control.  control  be  to  n a t u r e becomes more  " D e s p i t e so many o r d e a l s ,  o f my  s o u l makes me  i n the B i b l e ,  conclude  argues t h a t  my that  the world  6  is  not a  this an  just,  predictable  argument by  i n n o c e n t man,  Peplau, that  1975,  "though  p.  stating  place.  "Behold  neither w i l l 65).  I be  Job  their  world.  defined  by  One  he  i n n o c e n t , He  individuals'  need  such  L e r n e r and  . . . God uphold  shall  theories t o be  will  not  prove  me  attempt  just  cast  away  (Rubin  argument by  (p. 65).  to understand and  &  stating  perverse"  able to predict  theory, the Miller  o f Job d i s p u t e s  evildoers"  counters t h i s  Several psychological explain  A neighbour  and  control  world hypothesis, i s  (1978) a s :  I n d i v i d u a l s h a v e a need t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e y l i v e i n a w o r l d where p e o p l e g e n e r a l l y g e t what t h e y d e s e r v e . The b e l i e f t h a t the world i s j u s t enables the i n d i v i d u a l t o c o n f r o n t h i s p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t as t h o u g h t h e y were s t a b l e and o r d e r l y , ( p . 1030) When t r a u m a t i c e v e n t s h a p p e n t o i n d i v i d u a l s , individuals'  faith  place  c a n be  so s h a t t e r i n g  faith  i n the  l a r g e r human m a t r i x s u p p o r t i n g each  life,  and  of  in their  therefore a loss  existence'" (Lifton, Children  a  just  emphasize and  bad  argue as  fair  place.  the l e s s o n  suggest  or  t h i n g s from bad  'trust  i n the  p.  1031). just  t e a c h our  the  world  children  behaviour.  Rubin  shape t h e i r  that  myths and  good t h i n g s a r i s e  Hard  structure  the  " t h e s e t e a c h i n g s may  relationships:  fair  individual's  fairy  from good  and  Peplau  foster  tales behaviour  (1975)  children's belief  i n o r d e r t o promote a c c e p t a b l e b e h a v i o u r . that  and  these  vulnerable to u t i l i z i n g  Television,  that  of  "a v a s t b r e a k d o w n o f  i n Lerner & M i l l e r ,  that parents often  such  causal  and  of f a i t h  often  loss  as a p r e d i c t a b l e  they encounter  are e s p e c i a l l y  w o r l d h y p o t h e s i s as we is  world  the  The  system authors  accurate perceptions of  work a t s c h o o l may  w e l l be  rewarded  7  by  a good  report  card.  But i n other  p r e s c r i p t i o n s may d i s t o r t Lerner  (1974,  developmental  reality"  i n Rubin  analysis  then  "reality  gratification prolonged child  which  effort,  later.  move o n t o a  g r e a t e r and  requires  that the  make a p e r s o n a l c o n t r a c t w i t h h i m o r h e r s e l f  to delay  In o r d e r t o b e l i e v e  worth w a i t i n g f o r .  something  self-denial  that h i s or her world contract  c a n be c o m p l e t e d .  they deserve.  i n this  and i n c r e a s e d e f f o r t s The c h i l d  "After  Logically,  I deserve,  possibility  Attribution understand  all,  that lives  is likely  and e x p l a i n  individuals  that  t h e causes  attempt  i f other  I may n o t e i t h e r  -  t h r e a t e n i n g " (p.  people  and e v e n t s  1986).  t o understand  74).  attempt t o  of behaviour  This theory  w h e t h e r outcomes i n  behaviours.  theory research suggests  they can exert c o n t r o l  that  g e t what  may r e a s o n ,  t o be h i g h l y  a r e c o n t i n g e n t upon t h e i r  feel  then  1978; Young & Marks,  summary o f a t t r i b u t i o n individuals  lead  needs t o b e l i e v e  s/he must b e l i e v e  the i n d i v i d u a l  theory suggests  (Wortman & D i n t z e r ,  the c h i l d  will  o t h e r s must a l s o  do n o t g e t what t h e y d e s e r v e ,  this  contract,  i s s u c h a p l a c e where h i s o r h e r p e r s o n a l  o r d e r t o a c h i e v e what  their  environment  This t r a n s i t i o n  to  argues  children  i s the a c t of delaying present  that  and  that  world  i n t h e " p l e a s u r e p r i n c i p l e " , and  must b e l i e v e  people  acquire a just  i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e more, t h r o u g h  gratification.  in  describes a  Lerner suggests  encouragement v i a t h e i r  principle",  73).  1975),  o f how c h i l d r e n  begin with a b e l i e f  through  (p.  & Peplau,  understanding of the world. initially  instances the  A brief  t h a t when  over events  i n their  8  lives  they  limited  respond  control  feelings  1978).  world  world.  belief  i n their  lives  In p s y c h o l o g i c a l  individuals  utilize  (Hammen,  Attributions just  events  feel  they  t h e y may  literature,  have  experience Seligman  attribution  i s commonly a c c e p t e d as one way t o d e s c r i b e t h e i n t e r n a l  dialogue their  over  and when t h e y  o f h e l p l e s s n e s s and o r d e p r e s s i o n (Abramson,  & Teasdale, theory  positively,  and p r e d i c t  1987).  are also  Rubin  i n order to explain  linked  and P e p l a u  i n a just world over  t o one's e x p e c t a t i o n s o f a  (1975) a r g u e  may be l i n k e d  internal  control  findings  (Rubin & Peplau,  that  "a s t r o n g  t o a sense  one's outcomes"  o f p e r s o n a l or  (p. 74).  1975) show t h a t  Previous  the expectation that  o n e ' s r e w a r d s o r p u n i s h m e n t s a r e c o n t i n g e n t upon one's behaviour The world  i s correlated  argument t h a t p e o p l e  and a t t e m p t  to find  some p h i l o s o p h i c a l c a n be a r g u e d  in  order t o understand  or  attributional  has a l s o  philosophy challenge  disruptive  control  through  i n control  individuals  utilize  and p r e d i c t  their  indicated  that  world.  from  of their  which world.  personal  event, the  t h r e a t e n i n g one.  d i v o r c e d homes e x p e r i e n c e a p o w e r f u l l y  and n e g a t i v e e v e n t ,  question their  dialogue  framework  i n control  Also,  This dialogue,  i f individuals'  i s e x p e r i e n c e d as a h i g h l y  of their  one.  an i n t e r n a l  process, i s a psychological i n order to feel  scale.  a subscription to  i s c h a l l e n g e d by a c o n t r a d i c t o r y  Children  to  that  may u t i l i z e  Research  need t o f e e l  p e r s p e c t i v e i s a well-documented  it  people  w i t h m e a s u r e s on a j u s t w o r l d  own  existing  and one w h i c h may c a u s e  belief  i n their  world  as a  children  9  predictable  and g e n e r a l l y  fair  children  have l i m i t e d  divorce,  the event o f d i v o r c e  helplessness and  control  i n the c h i l d r e n .  depression  place. over  These  (Wallerstein  suggests  these  feelings  (Nolen-Hoeksema, G i r g u s , a b o u t how c h i l d r e n divorce  could  feelings  1985).  homes.  children  ones  1 9 8 6 ) , u n d e r s t a n d i n g more their  parents'  i n a l l e v i a t i n g some o f t h e p r o b l e m s  e n c o u n t e r e d by t h e g r o w i n g number o f c h i l d r e n divorced  among  As t h e l i t e r a t u r e  e x p e r i e n c e and i n t e r p r e t  be h e l p f u l  to  of helplessness  c a n be d e s t r u c t i v e  & Seligman,  decision  a sense o f  seem t o be a common e x p e r i e n c e homes  because  t h e i r parents'  may c r e a t e  from d i v o r c e d that  As w e l l ,  who come  from  10  Purpose  Research factor homes  (Forehand,  their  d i v o r c e c a n be t h e p r e c i p i t a t i n g  Siegel,  M i d d l e t o n & Long,  t h a t how c h i l d r e n  lives  their  that  b e h i n d many p r o b l e m s e x h i b i t e d  suggests  for  suggests  o f the Study  i s linked  1988).  How  to their  children  divorce  C h i l d r e n have  causes  i n their  1987).  understand  Research  and e x p l a i n  resulting  from d i v o r c e d  events i n  behaviour  (Brown &  then  little  lives.  seem t o be an i m p o r t a n t control  over  t h e changes  Experiencing a loss  c a n be a t h r e a t e n i n g e v e n t w h i c h r e s e a r c h s u g g e s t s a sense  of helplessness, or a d i s t o r t i o n  control  they a c t u a l l y  notes to  that  blame t h e m s e l v e s  parents' that off over  divorce.  this  exert.  young c h i l d r e n  their  o f the degree o f  t h e cause  by Janoff-Bulman  type o f s e l f - b l a m e i s u t i l i z e d  t h e more t e r r i f y i n g  feeling  that  (1979)  are l i k e l y  of their  (1979)  suggests  by i n d i v i d u a l s  they have l i t t l e  t o ward  control  world.  According  to Santrock  review o f the l i t e r a t u r e ,  (1987), little  and t h e p r e s e n t  conducted  suggests  that  reactions  to their  p a r e n t s d i v o r c e such  out behaviours,  Research  (Wallerstein,  as d e p r e s s i o n ,  future  1985).  on  t h a t h a s been  a d o l e s c e n t s e x p e r i e n c e some common  a n x i e t y over t h e i r  regression  author's  r e s e a r c h has been c o n d u c t e d  the adolescent's experience o f d i v o r c e .  social  that  of control  F o r example, H e t h e r i n g t o n  when t h e y i n t e r p r e t  topic  can lead t o  from d i v o r c e d homes o f t e n  Research  also  e x p e r i e n c e and g i v e meaning t o  p a r e n t s ' d i v o r c e would  study.  by c h i l d r e n  acting  and e m o t i o n a l and  Adolescence i s  11  typically  a stressful  period  burden of p a r e n t a l  divorce,  (1974,  1974)  i n Anthony,  overburdening  the  time-appointed teenagers' important The  who  are  subject  not  based  The first  events the  in  the  will  divorce  Secondly,  rather  separation  the  t h a n upon t h e  i n order  Once t h i s  time i n t e r v a l  Also, can that  as  this  a divorce  by  has  custody  study would or  research  or  separated  and  thought the  in this  which  occurred,  include  separation  had  to  for similar examine interval  involvement  time  interval  c h i l d ' s experience crisis  stage.  events  i t seemed  a c t u a l d i v o r c e had involved,  disputes.  leads  adolescents' This  way  suggests  t h a t a time  appropriate.  homes  psychological  study hopes t o  t o make s e n s e o f t h e  t o whether the  delayed  the  population  the  initial  o f t e n when c h i l d r e n a r e  be  limit  literature  as  an  fully.  the  s t u d y upon t h e  need t i m e  irrelevant  seems t o be  development o f t e n  i t was  s t u d y w o u l d be  to focus  exploring  divorce  from d i v o r c e d  limit  severely  maturational,  s o c i a l l y - a c c e p t a b l e behaviours  of d i v o r c e ,  present  help  girls  and  "potential for  parents'  upon s o c i a l i z a t i o n  intial  Kelly  engaged i n p s y c h i a t r i c o r  1981).  experience  t o W a l l e r s t e i n and  Consequently,  female g e n d e r - r o l e  (Rice,  added  in i t s  chosen to  d e c i s i o n to  types of  between the  ego  their  s t u d y has  the  c a r r y the  t o u n d e r s t a n d more  actively  t h a t male and different  of  to adolescent  treatment. was  may  (p. 483).  experience  population  according  adolescent  tasks"  present  f o r many t e e n a g e r s ,  the  Most  in their  the  people lives.  somewhat occurred.  divorce  Therefore  of  i t was  proceedings decided  c h i l d r e n f r o m homes where e i t h e r  occurred.  Last,  i t was  thought  12  that  limiting  reduce  the p o p u l a t i o n t o a n o n - c l i n i c a l  other v a r i a b l e s  understanding drug  that  examination  o f how  experience"  phenomenological to  the  study  In  investigation  "discipline  o f the  that  child's  as t h e e f f e c t s  of  event,  deKoning,  experience  summary, t h e p u r p o s e s  event.  devotes  & Ashworth,  m e t h o d o l o g y t h e n would  of the  help  e x p e r i e n c e o f the d i v o r c e would  t h i n g s appear t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s (Giorgi,  a  o f d i v o r c e i s a complex l i f e  of a c h i l d ' s  seem t o demand a b r o a d  study  affecting  would  illness.  the event  Phenomenology i s t h e  be  p a r e n t s ' d i v o r c e , such  therapy or somatic Given  an  of her  t h a t may  one  itself  to  the  or are g i v e n i n 1986,  p.  seem t o be  6).  A  well-suited  of d i v o r c e . of the p r e s e n t study are  as  follows: 1.  To  their how 2.  d e s c r i b e how  adolescent g i r l s  parents' divorce.  the g i r l s  interpreted  view t h e i r  Part of t h i s and  e x p e r i e n c e may  understood  To  analyze the  shared  order  to i d e n t i f y  common themes and  experience  of  include  the d i v o r c e .  e x p e r i e n c e s of the a d o l e s c e n t g i r l s or  issues.  in  13  CHAPTER  REVIEW OF  Need  Little  research  upon c h i l d r e n . that who  the are  little t o be  aptly described  subject  studied an  there  divorce that  on  girls  still  breakdown of  As  (p.  has  striking  (Watson,  1969)  parents  have  516).  well,  conducted  Santrock studies  feminist  on  girls'  which  responsible  the  e f f e c t s of  from b o y s . identities  when f a c e d  the  (1987) o b s e r v e s  in this  suggests  appears  upon  literature  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and  adolescent  There  so  case  the  Gilligan are  that  with  suggests  "inwardly  t h e y may  feel  parental  13).  The  The  (p.  relationships, differently  and  divorce  " i t is  Armageddon  research  empirical  interpersonally defined",  divorce  For  of  of d i v o r c e .  experience  more v u l n e r a b l e  effect  b a t t l e of t h e i r  served"  paucity  few  (1982) s u g g e s t s t h a t and  intense  adolescents. may  upon t h e  (1985) comments  so p o o r l y  experience  are  Study  so much p u b l i c c o n c e r n y e t h a v e b e e n  even g r e a t e r  adolescent's that  and  for  C h i l d r e n of  i n the of  LITERATURE  focused  Wallerstein  c a u g h t up  been the  has  TWO  Process  experience  children,  and  Experience of  of divorce  Anthony  Divorce  i s unique t o each  (1974) d e s c r i b e s  the  individual.  reactions  as  being  14  dependent early  upon age,  environment,  stage  amount o f s t r e s s  ability  o f the p a r e n t s  family  disharmony p r i o r  relationship. Hetherington the  The  Hetherington, of both  to provide  security,  Cox,  comments t h a t a l m o s t  and  and  Cox  (1985) n o t e  stressful  exhibit  (p. 518).  that  research l i t e r a t u r e experience  disruptions,  event  and  emotional  distress,  G u i d u b a l d i and  Perry  their  and  (p.  f a m i l y system i s a l t e r e d  the process  o f d i v o r c e as b e i n g a stage  Attachment t h e o r y over  time  which  worked t h r o u g h .  a reaction  detachment  a  "the  t h a t i t i s the (DSM  most  III) for  child's  but  not  divisible  o f s e p a r a t i o n , and  involves specific  Bowlby  (1960) has  to s e p a r a t i o n : d e n i a l ,  be  divorce process  one  terminated.  He  by  three  1981).  the p o s t d i v o r c e  p a r e n t s ' ages,  process  loss-related  protest, despair, The  stages :  tasks  d e s c r i b e d f o u r phases  reactions to  "temporary or p r o l o n g e d and  as  d e s c r i b e s d i v o r c e a l s o as a  ( i n Schwartzberg,  s e p a r a t i o n may upon t h e  which  developmental  psychological stressors  (1981) d e s c r i b e s t h e  a p r e d i v o r c e stage,  as  body  531).  Schwartzberg  t o be  find  d i v o r c e as  (1985) b e l i e v e t h a t  children"  extending  by  behavior disorders"  of the  "severe"  accumulated  short-term  pervasive  stage.  parents'  one.  parents'  incidence of divorce i l l u s t r a t e s  sees  and  of  "a s u b s t a n t i a l  has  increased  i n which the  extent  a l l children  a very p a i n f u l  shows t h a t most c h i l d r e n life  the  the  most c o n s i s t e n t o b s e r v a t i o n i s summarized  o f d i v o r c e t o be  clinical  of  p r e v i o u s l y experienced,  to divorce, p e r s o n a l i t y ,  (1979) who  transition  o f development, gender, q u a l i t y  coping  and  are  and the  dependent  capacity,  support  15  systems, degree o f s t r e s s previous  l o s s e s have been mastered  (Schwartzberg,  1981,  Hetherington the process children such  as  experienced,  p.  loss  of a parent,  changes i n p a r e n t - c h i l d  the  uncertainty, distress  as b e i n g loss,  (1979) s e e s  discord  with  specific  goals  t o be  age  Age  populations"  sought  of the  seems t o be  experience  of the  f o r " (p.  child's (p. 515).  and  and  18).  factor  when  a child's perspective.  reached is a  child  developmentally.  "critical  developmental  i n i t i a l response The  be  a d a p t a t i o n of the  c h i l d has  age  be  Child  o f d i v o r c e from  child's  with,  a prevailing  t h a t the  Divorce  tasks to  dealt  (1985) a s s e r t s t h a t t h e r e  the  conflict,  can  (1979) n o t e s  significance  stages  model.  d e p e n d s upon w h i c h p o i n t t h e Wallerstein  separation  crisis  The  governing  of the d i v o r c e .  r e c o g n i z a b l e s t r e s s e s t o be  Hetherington  by  divorce  "a n o r m a l p r o c e s s  the  caused  (1980) sums t h e  as  examining  be  Ambert  treated  A child's  situation  uncertainty.  u s i n g Wiseman's 1975  and  t h a t may  s t r e s s e s a s s o c i a t e d with  up  satisfactions  that  family unorganization  relationships  and  notes  changes i n t h e i r  disharmony,  process  mastered,  through"  She  t h e p r e d i v o r c e and  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  c h a n g e , and  t o which  model i n d e s c r i b i n g  short-term.  t o immediate  and  Hetherington  worked  (1979) employs a c r i s i s  must r e s p o n d  the extent  125).  o f d i v o r c e f o r the  the  and  and  i n white,  v e r y young c h i l d  stage  in  middle-class  relies  greatly  16  upon h i s  or her  Consequently, will  differ  parents  the  i n d e p e n d e n c e , and  adolescent's,  greater  of d i f f e r i n g  but  the  relatively children  stable  understand  the  notes  "thus,  self-blaming distort and  total  lack  of  ability  young c h i l d  well  trauma i s over,  the  the  is better  the  The  and  between  responses,  loss i s f o r young evaluate  parents.  Hetherington  is likely  t o be  parents' of  (1979)  to needs,  r e c o n c i l i a t i o n or  to deal  (Hetherington,  and  emotions,  adolescent,  assign  and  more  cause of d i v o r c e ,  equipped  understand  of  in  to accurately  prospects  (p. 853).  divorce  competencies.  difference  changes i n e c o n o m i c s t a t u s ,  more a c c u r a t e l y cause of  as  of  responses  greater  cognitive  A key  i n i n t e r p r e t i n g the  as  enjoys  home.  experience of divorce  between t h e i r  the  abandonment"  loyalties,  the  ages.  grossly perceptions  behavior,  and  s t r a t e g i e s and  p a i n f u l experience  across  rift  who  more t o t h e  ages v a r i e s q u a l i t a t i v e l y  trauma and  is their  that  social  emphasizes t h a t  children that  is restricted  young c h i l d ' s c o p i n g  from the  Hetherington  and  a f t e r the  initial  with c o n f l i c t s  over  f e a r o f abandonment, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for  1979;  Wallerstein  and  the  & Kelly,  1974) . Anthony  (1974) a s s e r t s  to a c h i l d ' s developmental dealing the  with  older  the  children the  across  divorce.  the  stage.  p r o b l e m o f how  c h i l d how  Wallerstein  that  to grieve  to  issue  "In  adequately  groups.  Wallerstein  Initially  loss i s central  younger c h i l d  substitute  (1985) n o t e s s e v e r a l age  the  of  one  f o r l o s s , and  f o r the  loss"  (p.  u n i v e r s a l responses there  i s a wish to  a l s o comments t h a t b o t h  children  is in 475).  among undo and  17  adolescents both  suffer  parents,  guilt" ages,  rising  (p. 546). the  the  While  deeply  differences authors tend  and  into  these  the  child's  i n developmental  comment t h a t  to experience  a sense of  sense of t h e i r  a sense of  security  suddenly  predictable, needs and  and  appeared  and  less  experience  fear  different  differently  d i v o r c e does i m p a c t One  themes p e r s i s t interpreted a  result  continue  authors  parent  noted  such  worry over  as  their  domestic  question For  to adolescence?  conflicted  sense of v u l n e r a b i l i t y  loss a  less for  their  question of  how  young these  this  child  unreliable  as  cognitive  O t h e r common themes from the  departed  become p r e o c c u p i e d l o y a l t i e s , anger, and  of  world  instance, i f a  d i v o r c e , may  can  a  experience  i s whether  were a s e n s e o f r e j e c t i o n  changes.  reliable,  shared the  the  from t h e i r  as u n p r e d i c t a b l e and  parents'  loneliness,  from  upon o l d e r v e r s u s  childhood.  world  through  This  p a r t i c u l a r l y because parents  concerns  and  throughout  h i s or her  and  and  universally  view to p r o v i d e  groups r a i s e s  interesting  of h i s or her  appraisal the  other  age  be  divorce  "They c o n f r o n t e d  in their  between the  and  across  study  also  which a r i s e s  t o h a v e become l e s s  (p. 45).  on  of divorce  adolescents  vulnerability  likely  study  From t h i s  continuity.  expectations"  children.  extensive  and  consistent  or  stage.  stages.  children  heightened  which  1980  are  one  conflicts,  u n d e r l y i n g them w i l l  developmental  Kelly's  worry over  loyalty  responses  perceptions  child's  Wallerstein  "anxiety, depression,  anger a t p a r e n t s ,  e m o t i o n s and  g o v e r n e d by  delves  from  impending  with and  economic  18  In  Surviving  describe  their  experience  Kelly studied  interviews, initially after  interviewed  Wallerstein literature  consistent explored  children's Wallerstein  using  assessments.  The s t u d y  and were r e - e x a m i n e d  soon  again  a t 18  and K e l l y a r e u n i q u e among a u t h o r s o f d i v o r c e they  design  & Perry,  consistent  responses  found  also  that  t h e r e s p o n s e s and homes t e n d e d  ten year  useful  have  a  some  fairly  W a l l e r s t e i n and  t h o u g h as i t e x a m i n e s t h e  to the adolescent. l o n g i t u d i n a l study  a n o n c l i n i c a l population  into  Cox, & Cox, 1985;  1 9 8 5 ) , and h a v e n o t e d among t h e c h i l d r e n .  to f a l l  Other a u t h o r s  upon c h i l d r e n u s i n g  (Hetherington,  i s particularly  experience peculiar  using  study,  years.  the e f f e c t of divorce  began t h e i r  and K e l l y ' s  i n exploring  age and d e v e l o p m e n t a l g r o u p s .  study  a t e n year  t h e c h i l d r e n and f a m i l y members  and 10  Guidubaldi  Kelly's  and s o c i a l  o f c h i l d r e n from d i v o r c e d  longitudinal  and K e l l y -  i n a n o n c l i n i c a l population.  separation,  i n that  experiences  Wallerstein  was i n t e r e s t e d  psychological  5 years,  utilizing  131 c h i l d r e n and a d o l e s c e n t s  the m a r i t a l  months,  Wallerstein  divorce,  design.  study,  of divorce  (1980),  investigation of children's  parents'  research  the present  experience and  systematic  of their  longitudinal like  the Breakup  Wallerstein  and K e l l y  i n 1971 i n C a l i f o r n i a  of sixty families.  19  The  A central the  preparing  c o n f u s i o n over  process.  process.  independence, d i v o r c e  tests him/herself  typically  physical  disengagement  and  ventures  independence.  process  as a t y p e o f  t o w a r d p s y c h o l o g i c a l and  from h i s o r h e r f a m i l y , r i s k s  behaviour,  and t h e n  more  r e v e r t s back t o  r e t u r n i n g and u s i n g  t h e home as a s a f e  s t a b l e base. After  often  d i v o r c e , t h e c h i l d ' s home i s d i s r u p t e d , c h a n g e d and  unpredictable.  become t h e f o c u s begin and  similar  i s a p e r i o d where t h e c h i l d  m a t u r e and i n d e p e n d e n t b e h a v i o u r s , more c h i l d i s h  undergoes a  (1980) d e s c r i b e t h i s  pendulum, where t h e c h i l d  w o u l d be  creates  a g a i n s t h i s o r h e r impending  and K e l l y  seems t o be  of the  the teenager  where one o r more p a r e n t  Adolescence  Wallerstein  experience  the r e v e r s a l  Where n o r m a l l y  f o r eventual  circumstances  Experience  theme i n t h e a d o l e s c e n t  adolescent's  leave-taking  Adolescent  a r e making, sexual  such  Consequently,  as an i n c r e a s e d f o c u s The r e s u l t s  and K e l l y ,  of these  particularly  s e x u a l p a r t n e r s , c a n make t h e i r competition especially  with  sexual,  their  painful  parents.  social,  parents  t h a t sometimes p a r a l l e l  liaisons.  Wallerstein  own e x i s t i n g  identities.  lifestyles  the parents'  needs  now  o f a t t e n t i o n as t h e a d u l t s change r o l e s and  to question their  personal  their  In many f a m i l i e s ,  those  make c h a n g e s t o their  on i n s t i g a t i n g changes,  children new  according to  t h e a d u l t s ' changes i n  children  feel  as i f t h e y  This competition  f o r the c h i l d r e n  vocational  are i n  was  as t h e y h a d a l l ,  a t some  20  conscious or unconscious provide haven  level,  f o r them d u r i n g t h e r i s k y year  o l d youngster  thrown o u t i n t o  the world  traditional  their  parents  children  o f t e n found  note,  some p a r e n t s some new  adolescents  their  is  similar  t o those  were f a r more  chose.  o f t e n reduced  l o v e r s were p a i n f u l l y further sense  close  adding  that  them t o new  r e d u c t i o n the The  youngsters  by t h e y o u t h f u l  and K e l l y  (1980)  i n age t o t h e  t o the c h i l d r e n ' s  they  now were i n  p a r e n t s , and t h e i r  parents'  lovers.  p o s t d i v o r c e home, a c c o r d i n g t o W a l l e r s t e i n i s o f t e n one t h a t Parents  discipline  and  Kelly  c o n t a i n s t u r m o i l w h i l e members  shift  must work t h r o u g h  i n t h e home.  B e c a u s e t h e new may  who  own  emotional  family  be l o o s e r  This loosening of d i s c i p l i n e to teenagers  their  t r y t o m a i n t a i n a sense  o f t e n a shaky one, d i s c i p l i n e  detrimental  people.  t h e g e n e r a t i o n gap  and t h i s  As W a l l e r s t e i n  comfortable  predictable  and d i s t r e s s e d  i n the study,  roles.  altered.  identities  stodgy,  being  to represent  threatened  p r o b l e m s and a t t h e same t i m e and  (p. 8 3 ) .  threatening.  competition with t h e i r  (1980),  readyl"  parents  children,  As one  I was  tremendously  conscious or unconscious  The  that  a safe  "I f e l t  i n the a d u l t s though pushed  and t h e i r  reported feeling  lovers  on t h e i r  and t y p i c a l l y  and l i f e s t y l e s  between themselves  I was  as n o n s e x u a l ,  t u r m o i l and c r i s i s  behaviours  commented,  values, to maintain  t h e y h a d grown up w i t h ,  also  parents to  years of adolescence.  before  They a l s o h a d c o u n t e d  seeing  on t h e i r  them w i t h a s e c u r e , d e p e n d a b l e home t h a t was  thirteen  The  counted  of order  structure  and r o u t i n e s  i n t h e home c a n be  o f t e n do n o t y e t command  internal  21  controls harmful  necessary  to order their  behaviour.  Wallerstein  lives  and m o n i t o r  and K e l l y  potentially  (1980) comment:  some o f t h e y o u n g s t e r s l a c k e d i n n e r c o n t r o l s , t h e c o n s o l i d a t e d c o n s c i e n c e and i n d e p e n d e n t c a p a c i t y t o make j u d g e m e n t s t h a t t h e y needed t o m a i n t a i n t h e m s e l v e s w i t h o u t s t r o n g p a r e n t a l s u p p o r t and g u i d a n c e . The d i v o r c e l e f t them f e e l i n g v u l n e r a b l e t o t h e i r own newly s t r e n g t h e n e d s e x u a l and a g g r e s s i v e i m p u l s e s , and s u r r o u n d e d b y t h e temptations of the adolescent world without the supports t h a t would h o l d them t o a s t r a i g h t c o u r s e , ( p . 83) Part includes fact,  o f the developmental  process  a new a w a r e n e s s o f t h e m s e l v e s  relationships  and s e x u a l i t y  parents the  and i s e x a c e r b a t e d  as s e x u a l l y  teenagers  marriage and  active  was t h e i r  foreshadowed  marriage.  Sadly,  some e l e m e n t o f t r u t h  their this  resolve  differences,  friend's  One y o u n g s t e r  parents  Wallerstein children,  such sense  a tendency  that  This  one f o r some  their  parents'  own f u t u r e s u c c e s s sense  skills  theme among failed  i n relationships  o f foreshadowment may c o n t a i n  necessary  o f some o f t h e i r  marital  witnessed  an  u n t i l he was once a b l e t o watch a  and K e l l y  as l o y a l t y of loss,  to effectively  commented he h a d n e v e r  resolve their  which o f t e n caused  today.  A consistent  hence the r e s u l t  argument r e s o l v e d f a i r l y  had  lives  i n i t as many o f t h e p a r e n t s d i d n o t  the r e c o n c i l i a t o r y  problems.  In  by a new p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e i r  as w e l l .  fear  possess  profound  as s e x u a l c r e a t u r e s .  c a n be a c o n f u s i n g and i n t i m i d a t i n g  teenagers,  typically  seems o f t e n t o be an  a l l - c o n s u m i n g p a r t o f many t e e n a g e r s ' process  f o r teenagers  differences.  noted  other  conflicts  increased anxiety. problems,  among t h e  between t h e i r  and an e x p o s e d  t o magnify  concerns  parents, a  and v u l n e r a b l e  feeling  This increased anxiety  such  as t h e o r d i n a r y ,  22  predictable by  concerns  of adolescence,  t h e d i v o r c e , such  as f i n a n c i a l  moving homes and c h a n g e d According to  precipitate  the such  as t h e i r  question to  emotional  their  causes that  that  of their  as they attempted  the d i v o r c e .  their  their  worked h a r d parents  could  be s e e n  perceptions models,  as a h e r o  caused  and many l o o k e d  their  fluctuate  parents' roles i n t o suddenly  One day a p a r e n t  a villain.  These  t o search elsewhere  t o themselves  to redefine their  moral  code t h e y h a d p r e v i o u s l y a s c r i b e d t o and t a u g h t they o f t e n f e l t  shattered.  Consequently,  these youngsters  in  standards  about  own  n o t a b i d e by a  own m o r a l and K e l l y  to define their  t h e p r e s e n t and t h e f u t u r e "  studied,  their  " T h e i r purpose  to determine  parents  Wallerstein  struggling  personal morality. sought  that  their  changing  for role  code.  they  witnessed  could  for children parents.  T h i s meant  moral  children,  Having  at understanding the  parents  and t h e n e x t  the c h i l d r e n  Many d e s p e r a t e l y wanted  i n the d i v o r c e .  to analyze  perceptions of their  the youngsters t o  p a r e n t s h a d made.  I t was n o t uncommon  alter  seemed  g r o w t h among some o f  caused  children's perceptions of their  greatly  conflicts,  some a s p e c t s o f t h e d i v o r c e ,  v a l u e systems.  the c h i l d r e n  and r o l e s  loyalty  the d i v o r c e a l s o  and i n t e l l e c t u a l  infidelity,  existing  avoid the mistakes  Consequently,  and K e l l y  I t seemed t h a t parents'  concerns,  roles.  to Wallerstein  teenagers.  and t h e p r o b l e m s c r e a t e d  to their  code h a d b e e n found  many o f  own s e n s e o f  was s e r i o u s and m a t u r e as t o guide  (p. 8 9 ) .  their  own  behavior  Of t h e a d o l e s c e n t s  o n e - t h i r d showed an i n c r e a s e d m a t u r i t y  after  23  their be  parents' divorce.  t r a c e d i n p a r t to the emotional  arose and  from  challenging their  defining  their  these youngsters role  own.  unquestioned  growth  parental value  that  system  A l s o , t h e d i v o r c e c r e a t e d a need f o r  t o assume a more r e s p o n s i b l e and s u p p o r t i v e  m a j o r i t y o f the remaining  Wallerstein  and K e l l y  some e m o t i o n a l divorce.  their  (1980) s t u d y ,  favourably.  loosened  discipline  may h a v e  l e d to the loss  children,  thievery,  study,  of familiar  p r o m i s c u i t y , poor  i n about  Wallerstein  found  that  one-quarter  itself  and K e l l y  at a greatly  grinding halt" The  review  showed  parents'  understanding  not a l l r e d e f i n e d  that  the combination of  controls such  compulsive  were s e e n .  and wrong  and d i r e c t i o n f o r as p e t t y sadness,  o v e r e a t i n g , and  I n an e i g h t e e n month  follow-up  c h i l d h o o d d e p r e s s i o n was of the c h i l d r e n  and a d o l e s c e n t s ,  i n many o f t h e b e h a v i o u r s (1980) n o t e d  of divorce i s either  forward  their  self-esteem, pervasive  below normal,  the authors  manifested  impact  It i s possible  noted,  and c o n f u s i o n o v e r what i s r i g h t  irritability  pervasive  issue,  and as a r e s u l t b e h a v i o u r s  school p o t e n t i a l chronic  the authors  f o r many o f t h e t e e n a g e r s ,  m o r a l i t y was an i m p o r t a n t  roles  adolescents i n the  and b e h a v i o u r a l p r o b l e m s a f t e r  Although  personal  and  and i n t e l l e c t u a l  i n the family. The  the  T h i s growth i n m a t u r i t y can p r o b a b l y  that  to drive  listed  "one p o t e n t i a l  above. major  a d o l e s c e n t development  a c c e l e r a t e d tempo, o r b r i n g  i t to a  (p. 83). of the l i t e r a t u r e  p e r c e i v e d by c h i l d r e n  illustrates  that  divorce i s  and a d o l e s c e n t s t o be a p a i n f u l  event.  24  Research one  suggests  which  children then  seems t o p r o v o k e and  t o be  upon t h e  Consequently, divorce more  an  of parental divorce i s  some d i s t u r b i n g emotional  area of concern  (1987) n o t e s  conducted  experience  also precipitate  appears  Santrock  t h a t the  t h a t t h e r e has  seems t o be  i n psychology. been  little  i n order  Divorce Also,  research  of d i v o r c e .  adolescents' experience  warranted  in  maladjustment.  adolescent experience  r e s e a r c h on  behaviours  of p a r e n t a l  t o document t h i s  event  completely.  Summary  It  i s apparent  parental  from  divorce affects  this the  review  emotional,  behavioural well-being of c h i l d r e n children's unique  ages.  d e s c r i b e d by  noted  find  Wallerstein  ages,  this  the  and  experience  Kelly  w o r r y and  their  For a d o l e s c e n t s  and The  f o r the b r e a d t h  However, r e s e a r c h  a c r o s s and  peculiar  of  has to  (1979) commented t h a t a l l  (1980) n o t e d d i v o r c e , and  a painful  t h a t most c h i l d r e n experienced  feelings  W a l l e r s t e i n and  Kelly  a r e more d e p e n d e n t upon  strategies  that  divorce i s naturally  o f d i v o r c e t o be  depression.  coping  cognitive,  accounts  literature.  t h a t as y o u n g e r c h i l d r e n  parents,  parents'  Hetherington  a d e s i r e t o undo t h e anxiety,  the  and  literature  i n a number o f ways.  some c o n s i s t e n t r e s p o n s e s  Across  children  noted  of t h e i r  t o each i n d i v i d u a l ,  responses also  experience  of the  differed  the d i v o r c e caused  a rift  from  one.  described of also their  adolescents.  in their  normal  25  developmental  process.  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  development  i n the  growth,  intellectual  world only and  and  areas  were  affected.  remain  static,  or  be  reverted  of  sexuality,  the  adolescent's  emotional  and  moral  understanding  I t was  noted  that  but  can  be  backwards.  impelled  and of  development forward  social h i s or may  i n some  her  not areas  26 CHAPTER THREE  METHODOLOGY  The  present  experience  study  i s interested  of divorce f o radolescent  to describe the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' m e t h o d o l o g y was u t i l i z e d . procedure  followed,  i n describing the girls.  experience,  This chapter  As t h e s t u d y  seeks  a phenomenological  will  describe the  and how r i g o u r was a t t a i n e d .  Procedure  Participants Criteria An First,  for selection.  adolescent-aged based  (1985),  upon f i n d i n g s b y S a n t r o c k  t h e r e has been  adolescent's clinical  experience  setting  parents'  divorce.  children  can f e e l  their  (1987) and W a l l e r s t e i n  Secondly,  that this  difficulty  age g r o u p seemed t o be  i n adapting  to their  (1979) comments t h a t  v u l n e r a b l e as a r e s u l t  are s t i l l  of their  young  parents'  t h e degree t o which they a r e  e m o t i o n a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y  i t i s to a lesser  teenagers  upon t h e  my own work i n a  and e m o t i o n a l l y d e p e n d e n t upon t h e i r  parents,  addition,  of divorce.  recognize  f o r two r e a s o n s .  r e s e a r c h conducted  Hetherington  d i v o r c e because they  teenagers  little  suggested  experiencing particular  physically  p o p u l a t i o n was c h o s e n  degree than  more commonly t e n d  parents.  While  dependent children.  t o experiment  upon In  with  27  d a n g e r o u s methods o f m i t i g a t i n g result,  suicide,  substance  among t h e a d o l e s c e n t - a g e d worked w i t h .  B e f o r e one  youngsters  though,  experience  and  only  a t how  guess  divorce  and  The girls was  a difficult  that  gender  (Rice,  families result  may  socially may ally  rather  the  differ  make s e n s e  children  of t h e i r  on  only  based  i n the  suggests  female  children  roles,  between m a l e s and  females.  i t was  more m e a n i n g f u l  a relatively third  thought and  p a r t i c i p a n t s between age  such  a  as  confusion  Therefore, i n order  to  Sandelowski's  themes drawn f r o m  the  data  group.  entailed 16  As  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i f i t were drawn  homogeneous  criterion  that  in  Consequently,  the methodology o f the p r e s e n t study with  The  which  o f male c h i l d r e n .  family.  This  upon p e r s o n a l  a c c e p t a b l e ways o f e x p r e s s i n g one's p a i n and  differ  w o u l d be  parents'  females.  f o r m a l e s and  assume d i f f e r e n t  responsibilities,  can  adolescent-aged  socialization  those h e l d  may  their  upon them.  e x p e c t a t i o n s o f female  from  a  I  As o u t s i d e r s we  t h a n b o t h m a l e s and  literature  As  troubled  to understand  of the event.  c h o i c e t o make, b u t was  (1986) c r i t e r i a ,  from  first  made t o u t i l i z e  As w e l l ,  female  caregiving  i s able to h e l p these  i t has  confusion.  p r o m i s c u i t y were common  r o l e development d i f f e r s  1981).  p a i n and  from d i v o r c e d homes w h i c h  the youngsters  study,  and  girls  understanding  d e c i s i o n was  experience  abuse and  i t i s important  the impact  i n the  their  and  setting  19.  As  l a r g e movements i n m a t u r i t y d u r i n g t h i s  t h e age  there are  limits  of  the  generally  developmental  time,  an  28  a t t e m p t was made t o k e e p t h e age g r o u p r e l a t i v e l y Also,  as t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l p r o c e s s  forward  and b a c k w a r d  teenagers helped  homogeneous.  i s one o f moving  both  ( W a l l e r s t e i n & K e l l y , 1985), u s i n g  keep t h e p o p u l a t i o n  within  older  the boundaries o f  adolescence. Fourth,  t h e d e c i s i o n was made t o i n c l u d e y o u n g s t e r s  home where e i t h e r a d i v o r c e  or a separation  criterion  separation  of divorce  versus  differently  from t h e i r  parents'  seems p o s s i b l e t h a t  i n homes where o n l y  occurred,  may c l i n g  could  the c h i l d  still  occur.  interpretation process  c a n be a l e n g t h y  should  help  Consequently  by o n l y  occurred  reconciliation  the c h i l d ' s  i t was d e c i d e d  t o use  home o r a home where a that  the i n i t i a l  concern  c h i l d r e n f r o m homes where t h e  over a year  earlier.  the children's  and h e l p  Establishing  I believe using  to diminish  reconciliation  c h i l d r e n a r e common and c a n  from e i t h e r a d i v o r c e d  be l e s s e n e d  separation  t o t h e hope t h a t  over  It  a separation has  when c h i l d r e n a r e  to resolve.  can  separation.  one, p a r t i c u l a r l y  take years  had o c c u r r e d .  legal  hand, t h e d i v o r c e  Custody d i s p u t e s  separation  The  On t h e o t h e r  involved.  participants  parents'  initial  T h i s hope may a l t e r  of the event.  had o c c u r r e d .  i s an i m p o r t a n t  d i s t i n c t i o n b e c a u s e c h i l d r e n may v i e w t h e i r divorce  from a  This  initial  time  frame  f e r v e n t hope f o r  t o make t h e g r o u p more homogeneous.  this  t i m e frame a l s o h e l p e d  t o meet  other  criteria.  As t h e e m p h a s i s on t h e s t u d y was t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e  experience  of divorce,  i t was t h o u g h t  t h a t b y t h e t i m e one y e a r  29  had  elapsed  initial the  the  crisis  divorce  predivorce stage.  process stage,  The  time  event. as b e i n g  a stage  was  frame t h i s  are w e l l  actual  from age  separation  more t h a n n i n e  of  t h o u g h t , would g i v e event,  while  still  have maintained Fifth,  This  understanding  o r was  treatment  understanding f a m i l i e s had process,  or  older.  add  the  who  will  postdivorce ensure that and  This  the  the  many a l s o  f o r whom t h e  occurred, time  at  frame,  event occur  divorce  the i t  the  most,  no  was the  r e c e n t l y enough  was  the p r o v i s o shock of b a s e d on  girls  that  the  indepth  event.  to  had  a  could  assumption  that  experience  of divorce  was  Including  the  f o l l o w i n g the sought h e l p  an best  a child  who  psychological  v a r i a b l e s to the other  had  be  the  p s y c h i a t r i c or  On  from  families that  divorce  homogeneous g r o u p .  sought h e l p girls  the  T h i s would r e q u i r e t h a t  had  numerous o t h e r  of the  describes  ample t i m e t o have c o n s i d e r e d  of teenage g i r l s '  could  some  stages : a  stage,  to include only  with  criterion  undergoing  through  c l e a r memory o f i t .  after  drawn f r o m a r e l a t i v e l y had  had  the  stage.  parents  decided  population,  utilizes  include g i r l s  girls  a fairly  gone f o r t r e a t m e n t included.  the  and  separation  previously.  having  i t was  nonclinical  their  years  three  by  separation,  and  come t o  divisible  postdivorce  ten  and  (1981) a l s o  study  to  shock,  (1979),  Schwartzberg  i n t o the  also decided  occurred  of  h a v e moved p a s t  Hetherington  o f d e n i a l and  have reached the It  had  d e s c r i b e d by  of the  participants will  stage  g r i e v i n g process  understanding the  y o u n g s t e r s would p r o b a b l y  child's  hand, g i r l s  divorce  to  from s c h o o l  whose  facilitate  the  counsellors,  30  were i n c l u d e d i n t h e s t u d y . appropriate include as  this  'normal' The  and  responses group. became  sixth  willing  their and  criterion  custodial  Selection  by  comfortable  nature.  were  The  comfortable to describing  Last, both  were w i l l i n g  participation  the g i r l s  to give  i n the study.  were c o n t a c t e d e i t h e r b y word o f mouth o r  a t community c e n t e r s s u c h  purpose  from  of the study,  a teenager's A letter  f o r m was  ensured  that  as t h e W h i t e  p e r s p e c t i v e , was the study  given t o the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  The c o n s e n t requested  to understand  outlining  understood  p o r t i o n was a l s o  Rock  requested permission  was  the experience of  explained to the and i n c l u d i n g t h e The r e s e a r c h e r  the content of the  reviewed.  s i g n a t u r e s from b o t h  p a r e n t w i t h whom t h e c h i l d form  were  procedure.  consent  portion  themselves  Center.  participants.  letter.  who  and f e e l i n g s .  parent or guardian  participants  The divorce  who  and who were a c c u s t o m e d  t o the g i r l s '  signs posted  Womens'  described  participants.  necessitated girls  experiences  consent  The  who  required g i r l s  themselves  thoughts,  written  the t a r g e t e d  t o be  and i t seemed r e a s o n a b l e t o  Therefore, g i r l s  process  about  their  to a c r i s i s ,  were t h o u g h t  t o be i n v o l v e d i n a s t u d y o f t h i s  interviewing talking  These r e s p o n s e s  consent  the p a r t i c i p a n t  currently  f o r the c h i l d  The  residing.  The  to participate  and t h e consent i n the  31  study  and t o be a u d i o t a p e d  researcher's  home phone number  f o r m , and t h e r e s e a r c h e r parent  to contact  consent  each  Data  included  encouraged both  form had been s i g n e d ,  The  was  the i n t e r v i e w .  interviews  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t and Once t h e  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t was  and an i n t e r v i e w  were c o n d u c t e d  asked t o  t i m e was s e t .  i n t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' homes,  i n t e r v i e w was b e t w e e n one t o two h o u r s  data  interviews  were c o l l e c t e d  conducted  were i n t e r v i e w e d approximately  by t h e u s e o f  i n length.  audiotaped  i n t h e r e s p o n d e n t s ' homes.  twice.  two weeks  The f i r s t  and s e c o n d  initial Giorgi  interviews  Eight  subjects  interviews  were  apart.  A w r i t t e n i n t e r v i e w g u i d e was d e v e l o p e d (see Appendix C ) .  This  f o r use i n t h e  g u i d e was b a s e d  upon  (1975) An A p p l i c a t i o n o f P h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l Method i n  Psychology,  and upon t h e r e v i e w o f l i t e r a t u r e .  base p r o v i d e d interviews.  the researcher As w e l l ,  t o be c o v e r e d .  r e s p o n d e n t s were a b l e  with  i t provided  a place  to identify  T h i s knowledge  to begin  a check-list  From t h i s b a s e ,  were r e l e v a n t t o t h e r e s p o n d e n t s .  the researcher  and e x p l o r e  new  and  themes  The i n t e r v i e w g u i d e  useful to help  draw o u t some o f t h e  respondents,  and t o p r o v i d e  some i n i t i a l  develop rapport.  i n the  for significant  particularly  to  information  Collection  The  areas  The  i n the  her f o r further information.  phone t h e r e s e a r c h e r ,  and  during  was  shyer  s t r u c t u r e which  F o r t h e more g r e g a r i o u s  that  helped  respondents, the  32  i n t e r v i e w g u i d e was The  researcher t r i e d  encourage The  states  to phrase  that  perspective.  say,  and  "why  do  judgemental  process.  phrased  1979,  t o encourage  experience,  rather  A second of  84).  suggestion  An  attempt  to attain  and  that,"  the  was  from  were d i s c u s s e d w i t h t h e  interviewing the  d i s c o v e r e d from  understanding  that  informants" be  of  the  the r e s e a r c h e r ' s understanding. designed  f o r the  made t o f o l l o w  r i g o u r by  f i ttheir  as  contain  which suggests  upon i n f o r m a t i o n l e a r n e d f r o m  t h e themes i d e n t i f i e d relevant  mean by  Therefore, questions should  i n t e r v i e w g u i d e was  i n t e r v i e w s based  interviews.  o f an e v e n t ,  the respondent's  than  rather  a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s such  not a s s i s t  a n s w e r s must be  p.  Spradley  purpose,  r e s e a r c h hopes t o d e l i n e a t e  understanding  q u e s t i o n s and  (Spradley,  questions.  "what do you  t o them t h a t do  Qualitative  respondent's "both  tone  and  in  exploration  a s k i n g f o r usage  S p r a d l e y comments t h a t that"  (1979),  interview process i s greatly  than meaning.  a  the  repeated e x p l a n a t i o n s of your  what r e s p o n d e n t s  w o u l d you  questions to  Spradley  using descriptive  the q u a l i t a t i v e  by making  restating  open-ended  I n t e r v i e w , d e s c r i b e s how  i s enhanced by  improved  useful.  the respondents'  Ethnographic  process  n o t as  the  a s k i n g the first  experience. respondents.  second the  set  initial  Sandelowski's respondents  whether  s e t o f i n t e r v i e w s seemed As w e l l ,  atypical  elements  33  Data  Analysis  After the  each  i n t e r v i e w was  researcher.  followed through  Giorgi  respondents'  researcher  raw  topics  parents'  After  t h e theme t h a t  divorce?  these data or  the respondent Does t h i s  understood  theme d e s c r i b e how  the  suggested  viewed  theme e x p l a i n  her  specifics involves  t h i s be  and  unit.  respondent  felt  of the a c t u a l  t o be  Does  for  how  this  the r e s e a r c h e r statement  1975,  p.  describing  situated  research situation  a s p e c t s which appear that:  The  by  themes o r  the d i v o r c e a f f e c t e d  (Giorgi,  accomplished  the  to  account  her parents' d i v o r c e ?  "general" l e v e l .  (1975) comments  the  experience of her  n o n - r e d u n d a n t themes"  the  that  study wished  essential,  and  i n the  dominates each  to " t i e together into a descriptive  level  the  these u n i t s ,  then t r i e s  that  of  paragraphs  Once t h e s e themes h a v e been d e l i n e a t e d ,  suggests  be  t h e r e s e a r c h e r examine t h e themes and  F o r example, do  by  reads  a sense  defining  t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f what t h e  the respondent  her?  which are n a t u r a l  to state  d e s c r i b e how  one  l o o k f o r "meaning u n i t s "  another.  suggests  from  explore.  one  tries  then  data  Next,  transcribed  steps to  First,  interview to attain  discussion,  around  i t was four  i n the data a n a l y s i s p r o c e s s .  whole i n t e r v i e w .  Giorgi  (1975) s u g g e s t s  the t r a n s c r i b e d  revolve  completed,  the  level  and  88).  the Giorgi  "situated"  includes  the  the g e n e r a l  transsituational.  Giorgi  34  the s i t u a t e d d e s c r i p t i o n s g e n e r a l l y have v a l u e i n t r y i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e w o r l d o f t h e s u b j e c t , o r i n more f a m i l i a r terms, they have i d i o g r a p h i c v a l u e . The g e n e r a l d e s c r i p t i o n s , on t h e o t h e r hand, h a v e a n o m o t h e t i c v a l u e . One w o u l d t r y t o r e l a t e them t o o t h e r f i n d i n g s . . . and w i t h o t h e r phenomena i n a more t h e o r e t i c a l c o n t e x t , ( p . 97) Based upon t h i s themes p e c u l i a r all  respondents,  analysis,  t h e r e s e a r c h e r was  t o each respondent, and themes s i m i l a r  themes s h a r e d t o those  able  to identify  by some and o r  r e p o r t e d by  research.  35  Rigour  i n a Q u a l i t a t i v e Methodology  Q u a l i t a t i v e methods o f  r e s e a r c h h a v e been c r i t i c i z e d  failing  t o conform t o r e c o g n i z e d  inquiry  and  measurement.  been d i r e c t e d a t the follow  of v a l i d i t y  proposes  t o use  necessary  tendency of q u a l i t a t i v e  and  standards  reliability.  some o f t h e s e  (1986) b r o a d l y  scientific criticism research  i n order As  understand question  social  constructs  o f a r e we  especially  sciences  is crucial  r e s e a r c h has  requirements,  representativeness by  variables  to e s t a b l i s h  construct  validity  variable the  comparing  by  without  t h i n k we  the  validity  t o measure. t o measure  and  the  are measuring i s  through  instruments with  comparison able  phenomenon b e i n g  research  existence of v a l i d i t y  other  criterion-related  distorting  a  in a  various  s u c h as e s t a b l i s h i n g  results  h o p e s t o be  as  Traditionally, quantitative  i n measuring  validity,  the  study  p h y s i c a l phenomenon,  Consequently,  sought t o e s t a b l i s h  methodological  a researcher  g e n e r a l l y attempts  to determine.  to achieve  criticisms.  m e a s u r i n g what we  germane.  not  i n q u i r y , i t seems  describes v a l i d i t y  r a t h e r than  has  to  the p r e s e n t  t h a t a c t u a l l y m e a s u r e s what i t p r o p o s e s  Because the  alter  of  of the  a q u a l i t a t i v e method o f  t o examine  Kerlinger  study  majority  established scientific  criteria  design  The  standards  for  to assure  related  external  validity,  to r e l a t e d  and  theory.  to e l u c i d a t e the  content  establish  In  general,  a c t u a l nature  i t through a research  design  that  of  a  may  studied, through m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of  36  the or  v a r i a b l e by statistical Another  rigour  using  distortions,  central  i s the  inappropriate theory, s u c h as  requirement  existence  r e g r e s s i o n to the  f o r the  of r e l i a b i l i t y  Kerlinger  (1986) d e f i n e s  reliability  stability  of a measuring  instrument.  are  obviously  Predictive  important  ability,  t o an  cynosure of psychology. discovering  i n a research  as  the  accuracy  Accuracy  and  laws can  laws t h e p r e d i c t i o n o f human t h o u g h t and  1970;  Mishler,  1979).  Therefore,  valid  research  design,  there  the  c o n c l u s i o n s made f r o m a In t h e  existing  reliability.  methods subjects renders there  fail of the  qualitative  schools of  s t u d i e s out results  criteria  of t h e i r  artificial.  (Bruyn, and  a  placed  demands o f  in  research  i n the  social  not  traditional remove This  the removal that  q u a n t i t a t i v e and  sciences.  Quantitative  encouraged  qualitative  conducive  However, G i o r g i s u g g e s t s t o meet t h e  validity  G i o r g i (1975) s u g g e s t s  f o r both  methodology i s able  from  traditional quantitative  normal c o n t e x t .  G i o r g i comments, h a v e n o t  rigour.  on  controversy  because they  a need  are  been a  necessary  and  because they  and  confidence  (1979) a r g u e s t h a t  t o meet t h e s e  i s a place  schools,  t h e r e has  t o meet t h e  Mishler  the  study.  sciences  adequate  is  focuses  action  a reliable  little  f o r some t i m e a b o u t w h e t h e r  measures are and  social  stability  derived,  these  be  design.  would a r g u e ,  be  without  of  predictive ability.  scientists  can  mean.  and  Much p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h  ' t r u t h s ' from which  sampling  establishment  instrument's  some s o c i a l  or through  to t r a d i t i o n a l  that a  requirements  measures  qualitative of r i g o u r  by  37  focusing  on  n a t u r a l human e x p e r i e n c e .  becomes b o t h v a l i d  and  In d o i n g  so t h e  design  reliable.  My e x p r e s s i o n i n t e n d s t o communicate t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o h a v e a human s c i e n c e o f p s y c h o l o g y and t h a t s i t u a t e d w i t h i n t h i s c o n t e x t p s y c h o l o g y c a n s t i l l be p r a c t i c e d w i t h r i g o r and d i s c i p l i n e , and y e t do j u s t i c e t o a l l human p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomena. In o r d e r t o a c c o m p l i s h t h i s t a s k , however, t h e k e y n o t i o n s o f s c i e n c e ( e . g . , o b j e c t i v i t y , r i g o r , r e s e a r c h , e t c ) and even t h e n o t i o n o f s c i e n c e i t s e l f w i l l h a v e t o be e x p a n d e d . (Giorgi, 1975, p. 82) Sandelowski be  valid  because  investigation phenomena o r subjects,  "the  experiences  of those  as  i n the  they  experiences"  1986)  rigour of q u a l i t a t i v e suggest,  gauge v a l i d i t y  in a qualitative  a c c u r a t e l y and  Credibility  subjects  others  and  t h a t which  is  and  o f human  perceived  of a  Guba and  criteria  a r e more a p p r o p r i a t e  be  a g r e e t o and  identify  to and  measures  Credibility  j u d g e d by  Lincoln  Credibility  represents  by  priori  different  study.  can  e x i s t s when  a particular  the  degree t o  with  the  to  human  which  accuracy  of  portrayed.  Applicability findings  can  and  30).  research.  faithfully  experience.  discovery  lived  (p.  suggest using  they  study  are  research  qualitative  verification  applicability,  a  of a  g e n e r a l l y r e s i d e s i n the  Sandelowski,  judge the  that q u a l i t a t i v e  t r u t h value  rather than  conceptions (in  (1986) s u g g e s t s  the  i s r e l a t e d to the  representativeness  generalizability of  subjects  S a n d e l o w s k i comments t h a t g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y phenomenon i n any  type  of  i s an  and  of  measures.  illusive  research.  From t h e q u a l i t a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e , g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i s b a s e d on t h e r e i f i c a t i o n o f a c o n t e x t - f r e e s t r u c t u r e t h a t d o e s n o t e x i s t and t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e m u l t i p l e r e a l i t i e s i n any g i v e n s i t u a t i o n c a n be c o n t r o l l e d t o i l l u m i n a t e t h e e f f e c t s o f a few v a r i a b l e s . (Sandelowski, 1986, p. 31)  38  Still, sizes  qualitative which,  research  cannot  in quantitative of  of  i s generated  data that  sample their  sizes  in qualitative  sample s i z e s  Sandelowski, then  to  (p.  well  and  support  the  Because o f  the  volume  subjects,  r e s e a r c h p r a c t i c a l l y must  keep  Guba and  Lincoln  (in  f i t t i n g n e s s be  u s e d as  a  can  a  study.  ' f i t ' into  gauge  Fittingness  contexts  outside  i n terms o f  t h e i r own  as  experiences"  32).  a test,  exist  the  consistency,  i s b e s t m e a s u r e d by  (Sandelowski,  1986).  when a s t u d y  consistent  can  findings  be  with  environments,  and  generalizability argues,  i s the  "decision  using  study.  the  left  data,  Sandelowski increase  i n the  same s e n s e .  by  arrive  perspectives  and  and  individuals  and  Sandelowski  i t exists be  clearly  similar  when  the  followed  conclusions  situations.  (1986) s u g g e s t s a number o f  credibility  have  emphasize  can  at  to  Qualitative  Auditability,  a researcher  could  believed  shown t o  uniqueness of  c o n s e q u e n t l y does n o t  researcher  similar  and  o r i g i n a l study. the  dependability auditability  i s generally  replicated the  and  c r i t e r i o n of  more a p p r o p r i a t e measure as  trail"  another  stability  the  Reliability  r e s e a r c h however e m p h a s i z e s  and  sample  when i t s a u d i e n c e v i e w s i t s f i n d i n g s  applicable  Reliability, of  and  large  interviews with  a p p l i c a b i l i t y of  "findings  situation  meaningful  through  to  h e l p to  a degree.  suggest that  determine the  study  to  r e l a t i v e l y small.  1986)  d e s c r i b e s how the  study  claim  research,  generalizability the  a  lay  a p p l i c a b i l i t y of  strategies a  to  qualitative  39 1. A v o i d  the " e l i t e  most a r t i c u l a t e , 2. E s t a b l i s h responses  To  accessible  of events,  behaviours  and  lives.  the " h o l i s t i c  these,  to u t i l i z e the  o r h i g h - s t a t u s members i n a g r o u p .  fallacy"  t o be more s y s t e m a t i c  achieve  the tendency  the t y p i c a l i t y  of the s u b j e c t s  3. A v o i d appear  bias,"  Sandelowski  than  which tends  t o make d a t a  t h e y may b e .  (1986) s u g g e s t s  the r e s e a r c h e r  include : 1) C h e c k i n g f o r t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s o f t h e d a t a as a w h o l e and o f c o d i n g c a t e g o r i e s and examples u s e d t o r e d u c e and p r e s e n t t h e d a t a ; 2) t r i a n g u l a t i n g a c r o s s d a t a s o u r c e s and d a t a c o l l e c t i o n p r o c e d u r e s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e c o n g r u e n c e o f f i n d i n g s among them; 3) c h e c k i n g t h a t d e s c r i p t i o n s , e x p l a n a t i o n s , o r t h e o r i e s about the d a t a c o n t a i n t h e t y p i c a l and a t y p i c a l e l e m e n t s o f t h e d a t a ; 4) d e l i b e r a t e l y t r y i n g to discount or disprove a conclusion drawn a b o u t t h e d a t a ; and 5 ) o b t a i n i n g v a l i d a t i o n from t h e s u b j e c t s themselves (p. 35). Sandelowski  also  suggests  describing,  e x p l a i n i n g , or  that a u d i t a b i l i t y  c a n be a c h i e v e d  by  justifying:  1) How t h e r e s e a r c h e r became i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r o f t h e s t u d y , 2) how t h e r e s e a r c h e r v i e w s t h e t h i n g s t u d i e d , 3) t h e s p e c i f i c p u r p o s e ( s ) o f t h e s t u d y , 4) how s u b j e c t s o r p i e c e s o f e v i d e n c e came t o be i n c l u d e d i n t h e s t u d y and how t h e y were a p p r o a c h e d , 5) t h e i m p a c t t h e s u b j e c t s o r e v i d e n c e and t h e r e s e a r c h e r s h a d on e a c h o t h e r , 6) how t h e d a t a were c o l l e c t e d , 7) how l o n g d a t a c o l l e c t i o n l a s t e d , 8) t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s e t t i n g ( s ) i n w h i c h d a t a were c o l l e c t e d , 9) how t h e d a t a were r e d u c e d o r t r a n s f o r m e d f o r a n a l y s i s , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and p r e s e n t a t i o n , 10) how v a r i o u s e l e m e n t s o f t h e d a t a were w e i g h t e d , 11) t h e i n c l u s i v e n e s s and e x c l u s i v e n e s s o f t h e c a t e g o r i e s d e v e l o p e d t o c o n t a i n t h e d a t a , and 12) t h e s p e c i f i c t e c h n i q u e s u s e d t o d e t e r m i n e t h e t r u t h v a l u e and a p p l i c a b i l i t y of the data (p. 35). The rigour  present  identified  study has attempted by S a n d e l o w s k i  a) f o l l o w i n g t h e c r i t e r i a b) c l e a r l y view,  identifying  t o meet t h e c r i t e r i a f o r  by:  outlined,  the researcher's i n t e r e s t ,  and p u r p o s e o f t h e s t u d y .  personal  40  Assumptions  In  a qualitative  study which  seeks  to explore  experience,  i t i s o f t e n wise t o a r t i c u l a t e  assumptions  upon t h e t o p i c .  potential clearly  identifying validity,  divorce. lives,  study with  conducted.  the b e l i e f  that j u s t world  s y s t e m s as t h e y  that divorce  This b e l i e f  age.  t h e o r y and a t t r i b u t i o n make s e n s e  was  born  their  i n c h i l d h o o d can For myself,  I  theory help to  o f an u n p r e d i c t a b l e and  world.  c h o i c e o f m e t h o d o l o g y was i n f l u e n c e d b y G i o r g i ' s  (1975) r e s e a r c h on c o n d u c t i n g Consequently,  the data  influenced  my p o s i t i o n  of this  nature.  phenomenological  collection  was s h a p e d b y G i o r g i ' s  a study  o f d i v o r c e and, b)  and t h a t e x p e r i e n c i n g trauma  sometimes f r i g h t e n i n g  study  the experience  w i t h i n two  I a l s o b e l i e v e t h a t d i v o r c e i s a trauma i n  e x p l a i n how i n d i v i d u a l s  The  t h a t by  my own s t e p c h i l d r e n s t r u g g l e w i t h  children's belief  believe  seem t o f a l l  as t r a u m a t i c b y c h i l d r e n .  o f watching  effect  around  I began t h i s  experienced  are not  a u d i t a b i l i t y , or  a r o u n d how t h e r e s e a r c h s h o u l d be  Clearly,  children's  when t h e y  maintained.  a) my b e l i e f s  parents'  assumptions have the  (1986) s u g g e s t s  r e s e a r c h e r ' s assumptions  my b e l i e f s  out  Sandelowski  the r e s e a r c h e r ' s assumptions,  c a n be  This  is  the researcher's  t o i n f l u e n c e the data, p a r t i c u l a r l y  elucidated.  groups:  Researcher's  individual  research.  and a n a l y s i s p r o c e s s  research.  on a t t a i n i n g  Sandelowski  validity  i n this  (1986) h a s  and r e l i a b i l i t y i n  41 Ethical  An i n i t i a l respondent's their  c o n c e r n was  introduction  was  first  custodial  of both  parent.  the  respondent  the  purpose The  recorded The  was  and t a p e  after  were a l s o  a letter  of  d e s c r i b i n g the  was  also  asked,  and t h e p a r t i c i p a n t ' s t o ensure  that  parent c l e a r l y  both  understood  assured of  features  i n the t h e s i s .  As w e l l , a l l  recordings of the interviews w i l l  completion of both based  the the t h e s i s  involvement  The  tape  by t h e r e s e a r c h e r .  were i n f o r m e d t h a t  for participating  be  and any  upon t h e i n t e r v i e w s .  i n t e r v i e w s were t r a n s c r i b e d respondents  confidentiality.  a c h i e v e d by n o t u s i n g t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s '  s c h o l a r l y papers  end t h e i r  wished.  i n the  and n a t u r e o f t h e s t u d y .  renumerations could  Consent  The r e s e a r c h e r w i s h e d  names o r any i d e n t i f y i n g  further  in this,  of the study.  and t h e r e s p o n d e n t ' s  Confidentiality  destroyed  To a s s i s t  the p a r t i c i p a n t  participants  transcripts  and t h e  g i v e n to the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and r e q u i r e m e n t s  writing,  the respondent  i n t h e s t u d y i n a n o n - t h r e a t e n i n g way  absence o f the r e s e a r c h e r .  in  that  p a r e n t w o u l d be g i v e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o c o n s i d e r  involvement  nature  Concerns  t h e r e were no  financial  i n t h e s t u d y , and t h a t  i n t h e s t u d y a t any t i m e  they  i f they  42  Summary  This  chapter has i d e n t i f i e d the s e l e c t i o n  utilized  i n the present  and  analysis.  data  criticisms has  commonly  attempted  qualitative suggested then  study,  t h e methods o f d a t a  collection,  T h i s c h a p t e r h a s d e s c r i b e d some o f t h e levelled  to outline  at qualitative  criteria  t o meet  by S a n d e l o w s k i  methdologies.  It  rigour i n a  r e s e a r c h d e s i g n by i d e n t i f y i n g  addressed  procedure  (1986) and G i o r g i  some e t h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .  research  methods  (1975).  The c h a p t e r  43  CHAPTER FOUR  THE  PARTICIPANTS'  EXPERIENCE  Introduction  This of  chapter w i l l  the divorce  descriptions discussion story  process.  on d a t a  similarities  This  t h e I n t e r v i e w Guide  divorce,  process.  to discuss the f i r s t  i n experience.  These  into  and e x p l o r e  four  This  process  utilizing  seem t o d o m i n a t e e a c h  that  Giorgi's  experience.  (1975) "meaning  appear r e l a t e d t o  are then defined  i n terms o f  unit. transcipts,  12 main themes o r  seemed t o emerge as t h e most c o m p r e h e n s i v e  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  a  experience.  entails identifying  paragraphs  the i n i t i a l  revealed  of the divorce  themes t h a t  examining  t h e i r experience o f  set of interviews  These meaning u n i t s  of  into  ( s e e A p p e n d i x C) t o e n c o u r a g e  each o t h e r .  topics  accounts  12 common s t a g e s , o r  were t h e n g r o u p e d  description  which a r e n a t u r a l  After  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' These  e x p e r i e n c e was t h e n a n a l y z e d  units",  (1975)  was e x a m i n e d .  These t o p i c s  comprehensive  analysis  Giorgi's  processes.  participants  fairly  divorce  description  of the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  Initially,  were t h e n g r o u p e d  comprehensive  parental  after  forsimilarities  headings.  Using  The a n a l y s i s  analysis.  of t h e i r parents'  topical  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  has been m o d e l l e d  were e x a m i n e d  the  present  These t o p i c s  description  are: the  44  experience  of d i v o r c e , changing  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between c h i l d altered,  ways o f c o p i n g ,  threatened, maturity  and  The these  v i e w s on  explained  participant her  and  the  twelve  then  experience,  D).  confirmed  their  experiences.  topics  i n Appendix the process  participants "this  and  the  [the d i v o r c e ] with  remarked  never  this  also helped  first  time  participant's  about i t . "  "I t h i n k t h a t ' s r e a l l y  t o expand on  ever  of  by  d i s c u s s i o n confirmed  Another  good  Each  more d i s c u s s i o n  both  the  each p o i n t .  f o r the  commented  really  anybody as much, o r w e l l ,  talked  I  Progressing step  participant I've  whether  were i l l u s t r a t i v e  quite validating One  gained  identifying  to generate  Often  for myself.  i s probably  b e c a u s e we  t o be  world  i n A p p e n d i x D.  differed.  around  and  on  whether t h e s e  they  siblings  of family,  o f each  outlined  each t o p i c h e l p e d  I found  and  With each p a r t i c i p a n t  step through  D,  child  learned.  focused  descriptive  topics  o r how  and  sense  lessons  i n t e r v i e w then  (see A p p e n d i x the  parent  finances,  f a m i l y breakdown, v i e w o f  t o p i c s were r e a l l y  experience  and  relationships,  insight,  second  homes, a l t e r e d  that:  talked  anybody  about  really,  participant  t h a t you  figured  this  outi " I found the  12  topic  t h a t on  t h e whole t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  areas.  I also  v e r y keen t o c l e a r l y felt not  t h a t a word quite right,  point  out  this  articulate  I had such  found  the  their  discrepancy.  term  with  t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s experience,  chosen to d e s c r i b e t h e i r as  agreed  and  were  i f they  experience  j e a l o u s y , t h e y were q u i c k  As w e l l ,  some o f t h e  topics  was to  45  simply  d i d not describe  Most o f t e n  a l l o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  t h i s was due t o d i f f e r e n c e s  environment o f the c h i l d . the  topic  neither  "stresses  experience.  i n the p h y s i c a l  As an example,  f o r one p a r t i c i p a n t  e v o k e d by s t e p p a r e n t s "  d i d n o t a p p l y as  o f her parents had dated other people.  participant,  her father  and s t e p m o t h e r  lived  For another  i n a distant  city. Under e a c h t o p i c which D). as  summarized  a l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  Because o f t h e i r descriptive  h e a d i n g was i n c l u d e d  specificity,  of the experience  However, as t h e 12 t o p i c s parental  divorce  they  a list  o f themes  stories  (see Appendix  many o f t h e s e themes were n o t f o r a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  described  the general  experience of  seemed t o be more r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  of the  experience of a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s . In  t h e second  interview  my p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e i r s t o r y . hypotheses  from t h e f i r s t  new p e r s p e c t i v e centered  world  theory  perception divorce, having for  to the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  the p a r t i c i p a n t s several  First,  experience. I believed  I felt  (Rubin & Peplau,  1975).  that the by j u s t  The p a r t i c i p a n t s '  o f a j u s t w o r l d h a d b e e n t h r e a t e n e d by t h e i r  t r u s t i n g others,  over t h e i r  lives.  how many p a r t i c i p a n t s  resulted  I felt  families.  seemed t o h a v e g r e a t e r  parents'  i n the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and i n an i n c r e a s e d  Second,  how t h e y came t o s e e t h e i r  added a  These h u n c h e s  e x p e r i e n c e was s i m i l a r t o one d e s c r i b e d  difficulty  affected  I had d e v e l o p e d  and t h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f t e n  control  shared with  s e t o f i n t e r v i e w s which  on two main a r e a s .  participants'  I also  that  desire  the divorce  I was i n t r i g u e d b y trouble  accepting  46  the  addition  they  of stepparents  d i d to the In  confirm  s t e p c h i l d r e n to t h e i r  loss  o f one  parent  summary, t h e  second  set of i n t e r v i e w s served  the  interviews, topics,  and  1 2 topic t o add  areas  t o or a l t e r  t o e x p l o r e my  experience,  and  I had  from  home,  t h e i r home.  identified  from  to  the  t h e meaning b e h i n d  first  some o f  h u n c h e s a b o u t t h e meaning b e h i n d  to r e l a t e  than  some o f t h e s e  findings  set of these  the  to relevant  literature. The  participants'  experience  to  follow a progression.  12  topics  divorce, to  The  is  the progession  around  content  one  immediate  of The  of and  and  t o the next  Using  of these  once  t o the e x p e r i e n c e i t s completion  process.  This  i t seems t o be  the  term  process  of  seemed  I t was,  f o r the  journey  process  environment  rather  than there  i s s u g g e s t i v e o f movement.  1 2 topics  i s such The  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  t h a t they first  seem t o f i t  topic,  the alone  movement t h r o u g h  intense feelings  and  the  shock  t h e news o f t e n p r o v o k e d .  i n c l u d e d t o p i c s which d e s c r i b e d changes i n the such  stepparents, altered siblings,  then  organized  o f t h e d i v o r c e , seemed t o s t a n d  the  the  f o u r c a t e g o r i e s , or  and  four processes.  experience  t h e d i v o r c e , and second  a process  of the  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  child's  d i v o r c e seems  seems more p r e c i s e however as w i t h i n e a c h c a t e g o r y  The  was  i n response  I witnessed,  a l s o movement, and  within  into  of p s y c h o l o g i c a l journey.  four categories.  category is  a type  content  each p r o c e s s ,  p r e c i p i t a t e movement on  participants,  their  participants,  moved t h r o u g h  parents'  T h i s p r o g r e s s i o n becomes c l e a r  a r e o r g a n i z e d by  processes.  of t h e i r  a s : s t r e s s e s e v o k e d by  the  introduction  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e c h i l d  moving homes, a l t e r e d  f i n a n c e s , and  their  and  parent  ways  47  of  coping  with  participant process  these  world.  w i t h how  b r e a k d o w n , and  another  relationships.  process  i n c l u d e d the  gained  e v e n t u a l l y moving t o w a r d topics  m a t u r i t y and  h a v e moved t h r o u g h :  This processes  process  of  changes,  and  t o r e s o l v e and describe this  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  t o be  experience  sense  similarities  experienced  experienced  this  the  accept  i t .  of  This learned,  beginning their  end  experience  plot  change d u r i n g e i t h e r  lives.  Each o f the from  the  The  four inter-  first  of the d i v o r c e .  enjoys  participant's its  own  However, t h e and  context.  stories Each  parents' marriage, late  reframe  Divorce  story  meaning.  of her  new  par-  cognito  each p r o c e s s .  of the d i v o r c e i s the  and  ways seem t o  about t h e i r  u s i n g examples  o f the  i n terms of t h e i r  participant  with  experience  unique  progression.  N a t u r a l l y , each  of n a r r a t i v e  own  finally  immediate  Immediate E x p e r i e n c e  of the d i v o r c e .  dealt  divorce entailed,  to i l l u s t r a t e  d i s c u s s e d i s the  immediate  of  learning  changes t h e  discussed in detail,  individual share  feelings  will  be  process the  changed  family  family, lessons  in their  will  The  The  i n order  last  reframing  of  chapter  views with  story  raw  a d j u s t i n g to these  experience  which  insights.  d i v o r c e , the p h y s i c a l  tively the  the  adjustment  threatened,  resolution  o f , sense  In summary, t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  ents'  The  t h a t d e s c r i b e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s and  this  came t o p e r c e i v e t h e i r  i n c l u d e d : view of world  v i e w s on  divorce  and  the  group o f t o p i c a l headings  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  These t o p i c s  topics  These changes r e q u i r e d  t o make a c o g n i t i v e a d j u s t m e n t  i s d e s c r i b e d by  h a v e t o do  and  changes.  childhood or  and early  48 adolescence. experience  As t h e g i r l s  i n many s i m i l a r  Although also  t h e r e a r e many s i m i l a r i t i e s  o f the experience  the p a r t i c i p a n t s divorce prior  process,  structure  f o r each p a r t i c i p a n t .  interpretation  T h e s e were  and meaning a s s i g n e d  to the  t h e d e g r e e o f trauma i n v o l v e d i n t h e f a m i l y  f a m i l y , t h e age o f t h e c h i l d ,  These v a r i a b l e s  experience,  throughout To  experiences  effects  share  at the beginning.  more s i m i l a r i t i e s  learned of their  shock, d e n i a l , pragmatism.  sadness,  One g i r l  another  wanted  worried  As t h e g i r l s  situation  than  girls  to separate.  " w e l l how a r e we g o i n g  recounted  their  practical  story,  they  concerns  these household  who i n i t i a l l y  expressed  t o have  expressed  a b o u t how  their  For a l l o f the g i r l s  who d i d n o t e x p r e s s  f a t h e r would no l o n g e r be l i v i n g The  intention  t h e r e a c t i o n was one o f  w o u l d be a l t e r e d .  concerns,  when t h e  t o know who would do Dad's  about  t h e one p a r t i c i p a n t  practical  experience of  and a c u r i o u s and sometimes humourous  some e m b a r r a s s m e n t a t t h e i r  except  be e v i d e n t  Nowhere d i d t h e  parents'  a l l b u t one o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  household  will  the s t o r y o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  participants'  money?"  by  a r e a fundamental p a r t o f each  and so t h e i r  I must s t a r t  dishes,  the family  the f o l l o w i n g d i c u s s i o n .  tell  divorce  their  there  that i n t e n s i f i e d the  and d y n a m i c s and t h e c o p i n g mechanisms u t i l i z e d  child.  child's  or  i n experience,  t o t h e d i v o r c e , d u r i n g t h e d i v o r c e p e r i o d , and i n t h e  post-divorce  For  1  of their  ways.  a p p e a r t o be s e v e r a l v a r i a b l e s  uniqueness  the  grew, t h e y made s e n s e  shock,  denial,  c h a n g e s meant t h a t with  them.  practical  concerns  were  49 also  the  close,  girls  emotional  appeared These time of  bond w i t h  roles often  their  The  understanding  o f how  girls  who  these  girls  their One  had  any  of  loss  the  that  while  These g i r l s  looked  nurturance.  her  p l e a s e d by h e r  the  to both  their  fear  were  of  like  initial  around  the  those role  their  the  girls  reaction  of  immediate  mother's d e c i s i o n  home p r i o r t o h e r  mother.  She  parents'  would  parent  moving  family to  reflected  the p r o v i d e r  Again,  Her  was  meant she  parents' father  changes  divorce. was  feel  toward  the  apprehensive  leave  was  violent father,  fear behind  unlike and  and  this g i r l ,  l o s s o f one  had  the  her,  parent  unknown.  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s were t o l d discussion,  was  For  leaving  to  divorce  a f r a i d of her  f o r the other p a r t i c i p a n t s , the  have a  one  primary  then  or d e n i a l ,  assumed more t h a n  other p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Most o f  girls  was Her  one  entailed  r o l e was  the  r o l e s , and  the  roles.  reflected t h e i r fears  to her  of  much o f  Their  p r a c t i c a l concerns  p r a c t i c a l concerns,  girl  father.  hoped  i n t h e i r homes.  t h e i r w i v e s assumed  f e e l i n g shock,  and  a  household.  her  abusive  roles  enjoy fathers  were a b s e n t  t h e i r parents'  described  f o r guidance  expressed  t h e men  These  demanding c a r e e r s .  girls'  their children.  parents  in traditional  a f f e c t these  whose f a t h e r s  divorce,  their fathers.  while  of  change would  Girls  with  provider,  role.  p r i o r to the  meant t h a t  f r o m home p u r s u i n g  parenting  in  d i d not,  t o h a v e engaged  material  who  who  and as  t h i s event family  they  were g o i n g  usually  discussions  caused  to the  were r a r e  or  nonexistent news.  and  A l l but  learning  of  were n o t one  the  of  perceived  the  t o be  a forum f o r  p a r t i c i p a n t s have a v i v i d  news, and  were a b l e  to describe  t h e y were t o l d ,  who  For  p a r t i c i p a n t s , knowledge o f  most o f  the  t h e y were w i t h and  divorce  made a d i f f e r e n c e as  Several  of  parents, so  the  and  girls  the  had  issue  that  the  shock o f  r:  was  the  they  witnessed  of  the  news a  t o how  how  memory  where and  they the  news was  had  of when  reacted. possibility  reacted  to the  f i g h t i n g between  separation  good  of  news.  their  been r a i s e d  before,  lessened,  shock?  p : y e a h i t was s o m e t h i n g I s o r t o f e x p e c t e d , c a u s e t h e r e was a l o t o f f i g h t i n g g o i n g on and I d o n ' t know. I d i d n ' t a t t h e moment t h e y t o l d us, i t was a b i g s h o c k b e c a u s e I h a d n ' t e x p e c t e d i t , b u t t h e b a c k g r o u n d was s o r t o f p o i n t i n g to i t , I s o r t of expected i t . The  one  p a r t i c i p a n t whose home had  been a c t i v e l y p l e a d i n g leave.  The  violence  where i f h e r  with her  i n her  mother had  not  mother  home had left,  been v i o l e n t for several  pushed her  she  felt  that  had  years  to  the  she  to  point  would  have. p : I t ' s n o t l i k e I d i d n ' t want my p a r e n t s t o b r e a k up b e c a u s e when I was e l e v e n I s a i d , i f you d o n ' t l e a v e , b e c a u s e she was a l w a y s w a n t i n g t o l e a v e , I s a i d i f you d o n ' t l e a v e , I d o n ' t want t o l i v e h e r e anymore. This  participant perceived  than a l o s s . differs her  adjustment  This  a result,  dramatically  progression  by  As  to her  that  the  from the parents' other  entailed adjusting  the  divorce,  to accept  the  her  divorce  as  experience of other  the  participants.  divorce  appears to  environmental  coming t o terms w i t h h e r  However, follow  had  experienced.  as  changes  l o s s , and  rather  divorce  p a r t i c i p a n t s experienced  to the  c h a n g e s she  a solution  the  well.  incurred  learning  51  For  the other p a r t i c i p a n t s  differed  more by a m a t t e r o f d e g r e e .  anticipating initial  their  shock.  parents' their  the e x p e r i e n c e of the  A l t h o u g h some g i r l s  intention  own  parents' divorce  intense  to divorce, reaction  For  example,  seemed t o h e l p had  divorce  lessen  anticipated  t h e y were s t i l l  the  their  surprised  by  t o t h e news.  p : I t h i n k i t was S who s a i d , I t h i n k Mum and Dad a r e g o i n g t o g e t s e p a r a t e d , and I s a i d y e a h , I t h i n k t h e y a r e t o o , and you know i t d i d n ' t u p s e t me. I j u s t t h o u g h t i t would h a p p e n , and when i t d i d h a p p e n i t was d i f f e r e n t , l i k e oh my God t h i s i s h a p p e n i n g t o me. Those the  who  seemed t o h a v e t h e most d i f f i c u l t y  news t h o u g h were t h o s e who  news o r who their  had  ignored  p a r e n t s may  had  the s i g n s  either  coping with  not a n t i c i p a t e d  i n t h e home t h a t  the  suggested  split.  p : F o r s u c h a l o n g t i m e you k i n d o f r e a l l y d o n ' t r e a l i z e what's g o i n g on y o u know. T h e r e wasn't v i o l e n t f i g h t s and t h e y w e r e n ' t t h r o w i n g t h i n g s a t e a c h o t h e r , i t wasn't l i k e that. I t was a l l o f a sudden t h i s s a d n e s s i n t h e f a m i l y and y o u d o n ' t r e a l l y know where i t comes f r o m b e c a u s e you a l w a y s had f a m i l y , t h e r e ' s b e e n bad and good t i m e s t o o i n o u r l i f e but we've a l w a y s b e e n a f a m i l y t h r o u g h i t . For learning had  two  sisters,  one  of t h e i r  o f t h e d i v o r c e was  broken h i s promise  most p o i g n a n t memories o f  the knowledge t h a t  t o never  their  father  divorce.  p : I remember t h a t I was j u s t h e a r t - b r o k e n when t h e y s e p a r a t e d b e c a u s e i t ' s l i k e he b r o k e a p r o m i s e , t h a t was t h e most d e v a s t a t i n g t h i n g .  p : So I guess t h a t ' s why i t s o r t o f s u r p r i s e d me a t f i r s t , i t ' s l i k e b u t you p r o m i s e d y o u know, b u t t h a t ' s j u s t b e i n g a k i d I g u e s s t h a t you s o r t o f k e e p t h a t i n y o u r h e a d but i t ' s a l w a y s s t u c k w i t h me, i t ' s a l w a y s s t u c k w i t h me, just t h a t one p r o m i s e he made. The of  metaphor o f t h e b r o k e n p r o m i s e  much o f t h e g i r l s '  experience during  i s an a p t  description  this period  of  their  52  lives.  F e e l i n g s o f abandonment,  s a d n e s s were p e r v a s i v e . stem n o t so much from although parents  The f e e l i n g  having  that d i d occur, who became  n e g l e c t , l o n e l i n e s s , and o f abandonment  one p a r e n t  b u t more from  seemed t o  l e a v e t h e home, t h e l o s s o f one o r b o t h  o v e r w h e l m e d e m o t i o n a l l y by t h e e x p e r i e n c e .  p : W e l l i t was d i f f i c u l t f o r t h e f i r s t two y e a r s . We l i v e d w i t h my Mum and s h e went i n t o a r e a l l y deep d e p r e s s i o n a f t e r and t h e f a c t t h a t my Dad h a d h a d an a f f a i r d i d n ' t h e l p anything. F o r t h e f i r s t two y e a r s s h e h a d t o l o o k a f t e r h e r s e l f s o r t o f t h i n g , i n a way I g u e s s we were n e g l e c t e d . She h a d t o l o o k o u t f o r number one b e c a u s e I t h i n k i t was so d i f f i c u l t f o r h e r t o even g e t up and f a c e t h e d a y . For  some o f t h e g i r l s ,  them f r o m  a sense  their  parents  were a b l e t o p r o t e c t  o f n e g l e c t and abandonment.  p : Yeah, I d i d n ' t f e e l as much o f an abandonment o r a l o n e f e e l i n g b e c a u s e my p a r e n t s were so o v e r c a r e f u l t o make s u r e t h a t e v e r y b o d y was o k a y . T h e r e was n e v e r a f e e l i n g t h a t t h e y h a v e l e f t and d o n ' t c a r e , y o u know i t was more l i k e t h e y ' v e l e f t and t h e y ' r e c a r i n g t o o much o r t h e y ' r e t r y i n g t o o hard. Other  participants  abandonment achieving  by a t t e m p t i n g  some t i m e  p: again.  after  I never  Many o f t h e g i r l s  world.  felt  a sense  One way o f  f o r the parent  b e l i e v e d t h a t they had one o f t h e i r  o f abandonment  abandoned.  side with her father a f t e r  with with  their  the d i v o r c e "parented"  felt  Another g i r l to  to control  r : Did you f e e l a sense l i v e d with withdrew?  you  t o avoid the f e e l i n g o f  t h i s was b y t a k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  who h a d w i t h d r a w n . at  sought  I just  parents.  as t h e p a r e n t  took  o f abandonment  responsibility when s h e c h o s e  the d i v o r c e .  p : I f e l t l i k e t h e odd one b e c a u s e I h a d c h o s e n t o be Dad, I f e l t l i k e I was p u n i s h e d , l i k e I wasn't i n c l u d e d t h e i r [mother and s i b l i n g ] own l i t t l e j o k e s and t h a t . Another p a r t i c i p a n t  felt  as i f s h e h a d abandoned h e r  53  father. p : I g u e s s t h e r e a r e t i m e s when, I mean when t h e y f i r s t g o t d i v o r c e d I t h i n k I c o m p l e t e l y abandoned my Dad, e s p e c i a l l y when he p r o b a b l y needed i t most. It  i s easy t o see from t h e s e a c c o u n t s  that  the f e e l i n g o f  abandonment was i n t e r w o v e n  into a l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  reaction  to t h e i r parents'  divorce.  affected  by t h e d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s  The f e e l i n g s  event,  and a l s o  fear the  participants  their of  influence  learning The  i s e s p e c i a l l y apparent  feelings  of loss  experience,  and c o n f u s i o n and t h e s e  f o r some t i m e a f t e r  these  feelings  so  A l l of  f e e l i n g s , and the stages  describe  feelings  the divorce.  however,  generally F o r two s i s t e r s  stable  loss  the  a f t e r the For the  and c o n f u s i o n  were  f o r them, and f o r a few p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  remain  o f s a d n e s s and a n g e r were p e r v a s i v e ,  and i n  still. The  part  issues  also  were n o t a s d e s c r i p t i v e .  remainder o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s prominent  these  throughout  who came f r o m a home w h i c h was m a r k e d l y divorce,  individuals  of their being.  study experienced  my  and a c c e p t a n c e .  participants' persisted  i n this  of the  Through  I h a v e come t o know t h a t  abandonment a t a v e r y deep l e v e l  and  interpretation  by t h e d y n a m i c s o f t h e i r home.  own work i n c o u n s e l l i n g  were  of the g i r l s ,  c o n s e q u e n t l y were s h a p e d b y t h e g i r l s '  early  feelings  c a n be t r a c e d  sense o f l o s s . description  used  to the p a r t i c i p a n t s  1  response t o t h e i r  A f e e l i n g o f s h o c k was a l s o to describe  a common  t h e i r experience.  One  54  participant  who was s l i g h t l y  when t h e d i v o r c e in  shock  first  older  occurred  f o r the f i r s t  than the other  described  of  their  protect  divorce,  h e r s e l f as f e e l i n g  s i x months, and d i d n o t b e g i n t o  e x p e r i e n c e h e r a n g e r and s a d n e s s u n t i l f a m i l y had t r i e d  participants  to protect  time.  Her  t h e c h i l d r e n f r o m much o f t h e p a i n  b u t as t h i s  seemed t o e x t e n d  after this  girl  noted,  the process  the tendency t o  of separation  for her.  p : The h a r d e s t e i g h t months p r o b a b l y happened a b o u t h a l f a y e a r a f t e r t h e s e p a r a t i o n , when t h i n g s were s t a r t e d t o be d e a l t w i t h , we were i n shock up ' t i l t h e n , and t h e n we g o t to deal with the a c t u a l i s s u e s . The girls. the  divorce Probably  process  created  the greatest  many p h y s i c a l  l o s s was l o s i n g one p a r e n t  How d i d y o u f e e l  during  this  from  time?  p : K i n d o f t o r n , b e c a u s e I wanted them, and y e a h , i t ' s u p s e t t i n g . The  t h e home t h a t  girls.  the g i r l s  quite  were a c c u s t o m e d  Financial difficulties  Both o f t h e s e  familiarity  to.  often  created  The r e s u l t i n g f o r the  t h e need t o  move sometimes r e s u l t e d i n c h a n g i n g losses  f o r the g i r l s ,  threatening.  a l t e r e d t h e dynamics  entailed additional losses  c h a n g e homes, and t h i s schools.  t o be w i t h b o t h o f  l o s s o f one p a r e n t d r a m a t i c a l l y  home a t m o s p h e r e o f t e n  as  f o r the  home. r:  of  losses  created  and t h e s e  a l o s s o f s t a b i l i t y and  l o s s e s were  experienced  I n t e r e s t i n g l y , t h e f a m i l y home was  s o m e t i m e s s e e n as r e p r e s e n t i n g  s u c h unhappy t i m e s t h a t t h e  move f r o m i t was welcomed. p : When t h e h o u s e was f i n a l l y s o l d we were k i n d o f g l a d t o be r i d o f t h a t . We needed t o k i n d o f g e t r i d o f t h e o l d h o u s e , s o I d o n ' t r e a l l y m i s s t h a t b e c a u s e by t h e end i t r e p r e s e n t e d more n e g a t i v e t h i n g s t h a n p o s i t i v e o n e s .  55  Another t y p i c a l the  loss described  loss of tradition  traditions cherished. especially  i n their  b y t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s was  family.  t h a t were s p e c i a l t o e a c h  Many f a m i l i e s h a d  family  and t h a t  In p a r t i c u l a r the t r a d i t i o n s around felt  t o have been d e s t r o y e d  the g i r l s  Christmas  were  by t h e d i v o r c e .  p : T h a t was t h e h a r d e s t , C h r i s t m a s , I grew t o h a t e Christmas. I a l w a y s u s e d t o l o v e i t , i t would be my f a v o u r i t e time o f y e a r . T r a d i t i o n , I was a v e r y t r a d i t i o n a l p e r s o n , e v e r y t h i n g h a d t o be t h e same way, and i t wasn't r i g h t b e c a u s e l i k e y o u ' d wake up f o r C h r i s t m a s m o r n i n g , and y o u know w i t h Mum and Dad, and h a v e y o u r s t o c k i n g s and e v e r y t h i n g , and y o u ' d h a v e t h e December f i r s t d i n n e r , and e v e r y t h i n g was t r a d i t i o n . So t h a t b l e w t r a d i t i o n f o r me and when t r a d i t i o n was gone, I d i d n ' t h a v e a n y t h i n g e l s e b e c a u s e t h a t was C h r i s t m a s f o r me, i t was f a m i l y , and i t was t r a d i t i o n . The family;  divorce their  a l s o a f f e c t e d how t h e g i r l s  v i e w o f what a f a m i l y  One p a r t i c i p a n t  describes  how she f e a r e d  happiness  i n h e r new home, t h a t h e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what a  family  that  was.  came t o s e e t h e i r  she may n o t be a b l e  was d i d n o t match h e r p r e s e n t  to find  reality.  p : I t was a h a p p y , s e c u r e f a m i l y w i t h two p a r e n t s and t h r e e k i d s and t h e n t h a t wasn't t h e r e anymore. . . I saw i t as one u n i t and w i t h o u t i t b e i n g one u n i t I d i d n ' t know i f i t c o u l d be t r u e , i f we c o u l d be h a p p y . Some o f t h e g i r l s resulting that  family  their  new f a m i l y  to that feelings  their  time t o accept the  i n , and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e new home  p a r e n t made, e s p e c i a l l y i f t h e r e  and o r s t e p c h i l d r e n  participants,  to  lived  the non-custodial  stepparent of  they  took a long  involved.  was s l o w t o d e v e l o p present  of a divorced  their  seems t o be  My h u n c h h a d b e e n t h a t split  compare t h e i r homes t o t h e i r  acceptance  f o r many o f t h e  sense o f f a m i l y  home.  o f l o s s around  Although  was a  allied  the g i r l s '  homes may h a v e c a u s e d  friends  from  non-divorced  them  56  homes.  This  feelings  comparison,  o f envy and a d e e p e r  participant  participants' hand,  unstable  could  sense o f l o s s .  seemed t o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d  was p a r t i c u l a r l y  one  I had thought,  this,  and t r a u m a t i c .  The  have  created  O n l y one and h e r  childhood  other  e x p e r i e n c e was an i n t e r e s t i n g d i c h o t o m y . On t h e  their  lives  i n the post-divorce  n o r m a l , w h i l e on t h e o t h e r  homes were s e e n a s  hand none wanted t h i s  t y p e o f home  for h e r s e l f . r : So y o u r p i c t u r e t h e n o f a n o r m a l n e c e s s a r i l y t h a t o f a w h o l e one?  family  isn't  p : Oh a n o r m a l f a m i l y - w e l l s u r e l i k e w i t h a Mum and t h e whole b i t l i k e "Leave i t t o B e a v e r " . I t ' s j u s t t h a t , I guess I d i d n ' t r e a l l y know t o o many p e o p l e l i k e t h a t . r : So l e t ' s s a y t h e n a d i v o r c e d f a m i l y s u c h as t h e one t h a t y o u grew up i n , y o u c o u l d d e s c r i b e t h a t as y o u r n o r m a l p i c t u r e o f a f a m i l y g r o w i n g up. p:  No I w o u l d n ' t d e s c r i b e  r:  I'm w o n d e r i n g  i t as a n o r m a l p i c t u r e .  t h e n what d i d y o u compare i t t o ?  p : I d o n ' t know i f I even compared i t . My Mum was j u s t my f a m i l y and she was j u s t , y o u know, i t was my f a m i l y , i t was my Mum. Whenever anyone would a s k who my p a r e n t s were I would say my Mum b e c a u s e I l i v e w i t h h e r and i t wasn't u n t i l t h i s y e a r where I c o n s i d e r e d t h i s (Dad's f a m i l y ) a s my f a m i l y t o o . W h i l e most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s may h a v e come t o s e e t h e divorced  home as t h e norm f o r t h e i r  view o f family,  wanted t h i s  t y p e o f home  for their  them r e a l l y  want t o f i l l  of the r o l e of  none  c h i l d r e n , n o r d i d any o f stepparent.  p : E v e n t u a l l y I'm g o i n g t o g e t m a r r i e d and t h a t w i l l be f i n e , b u t I won't e v e r h a v e , I won't h a v e k i d s u n t i l I'm s u r e o f i t , I w o u l d n ' t e v e r want t o p u t my k i d s t h r o u g h t h a t . But d i v o r c e h a p p e n s , t h a t ' s f i n e . But I s t i l l , i f I don't h a v e t o I d o n ' t want t o p u t somebody e l s e t h r o u g h i t . All  o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s e v e n t u a l l y  came t o a c c e p t t h e  57  d u a l homes t h a t a r e t y p i c a l some g i r l s t h i s  acceptance  of divorced families, took  most o f t h e i r  though f o r  adolescent  years. About h a l f associated and  with  of the g i r l s s t i l l  feel  that their  t h e d i v o r c e has not been  fully  pain  healed.  p : W e l l I s t i l l h a v e a l o t o f p a i n from t h e d i v o r c e I f e e l there i s a l o tof very t e r r i b l e situations. One g i r l  p o i g n a n t l y d e s c r i b e d how  p r o c e s s had never  really  f o r her the d i v o r c e  ended.  p: A l o t o f people t h i n k t h a t d i v o r c e , w e l l t h a t ' s i t , b u t i t c a r r i e s on, l i k e t h e f i g h t s a r e s t i l l g o i n g on, and it's difficult. Well, they hate each o t h e r . I t ' s h a r d . For dual  the rest  family typical  Visiting parent and  o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s however,  o f d i v o r c e d homes h a s become t h e norm.  one p a r e n t  on weekends, h a v i n g  t o l i v e with,  sharing their  new b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s ,  between t h e i r  the option o f  parents  s t e p c h i l d r e n , becoming accustomed  having  l i v i n g with the  with  another  stepparents  t o s t e p p a r e n t s and  l i v i n g with  the tensions  p a r e n t s , h a v e a l l become p a r t o f t h e i r  normal  lives. All  o f t h e g i r l s b e l i e v e now,  parents'  to this  participants.  still  life  belief,  While  however, v a r i e s  a l l may a g r e e  t o l i v e a p a r t h a p p i l y than  wish  that their  together happily. lives  after  d i v o r c e , t h a t t h e d i v o r c e was f o r t h e b e s t .  commitment  parents  s e v e r a l years  their The  i n d e g r e e among t h e  that i t i s better f o r their together  unhappily,  p a r e n t s had t r i e d h a r d e r  some  to l i v e  Three o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s p r e f e r  their  now, and b e l i e v e t h a t t h e d i v o r c e gave them a b e t t e r than  t h e y would h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d  without i t .  53 p: I t h i n k i t ' s f o r the b e s t . I l i k e t h e way o u r l i v e s s o r t o f t u r n e d o u t , how I've grown up now. I d o n ' t know how d i f f e r e n t i t would h a v e b e e n i f t h e y ' d b e e n t o g e t h e r . I mean t h e y w o u l d n ' t h a v e b e e n c o m m u n i c a t i n g , t h e y would h a v e b e e n fighting. My Mum p r o b a b l y w o u l d n ' t h a v e b e e n as h a p p y and t h a t would have a f f e c t e d me. This  difference  illustrated  i n meaning a r o u n d  b e s t v i a the process  p a r t i c i p a n t s h a v e moved t h r o u g h  the d i v o r c e i s  of r e s o l u t i o n . the t h r e e  Some  initial  processes  and  h a v e managed t o r e s o l v e t h e d i v o r c e e x p e r i e n c e .  are  still  w o r k i n g on  While  parents  feelings  some o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  adolescent years exception  resolving  loss  a p e r v a s i v e and  comment i s t y p i c a l  of  and  experience.  their  ones,  d e s c r i b e d the d i v o r c e of lasting  injustice  h a v e come t o see  i n a d i v o r c e d home as p o s i t i v e  a l l participants  as  of  Others  without  their  This  girl's  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' p e r s p e c t i v e .  p : T h e r e ' s no p l a c e where i t h a s n ' t a f f e c t e d . I think e v e r y t h i n g has been. I t h i n k i t a f f e c t e d e v e r y t h i n g i n the end.  The  Process  Environmental all  were b a s e d  environment. parent their  from lives,  generally  of Adapting  These c o n c r e t e  changes,  f a m i l y home, i n c l u s i o n  f o l l o w e d by  f o l l o w e d by  changes i n the  moving homes, and  participant.  Loss an  Change  c h a n g e s encompass a number o f t o p i c s  upon p h y s i c a l  the  to Environmental  child's as t h e  loss  of stepparents  financial  of  one  into  s t a n d i n g were  p s y c h o l o g i c a l change f o r t h e  o f one  altered  such  that  parent  i n t h e home was  relationship  with  one  often  or both  parents.  59  The a  addition  shift  o f s t e p p a r e n t s and  i n the c h i l d ' s  decrease  sense  stepchildren  of f a m i l y .  i n f a m i l y income c a l l e d  generally created  C h a n g i n g homes and  a  f o r more a d a p t a t i o n f o r t h e  child. The  environmental  c h a n g e s g e n e r a l l y seemed t o  changes a t a c o g n i t i v e will  be  level  e x p l o r e d i n g r e a t e r depth  the p r o c e s s  of l e a r n i n g  and  examine  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  and  they  how  similarity The  coped  later two  participants  they  with  a p p e a r t o be  initial  initial  in this  of environmental  c h a n g e d w i t h one  about  relationship  after  their  parents  depend upon how  the  family.  w i t h one  child  change w h i c h  or both  personalities,  and  how  tend  to  We event.  the  i n c l u d e d how  of t h e i r  Which p a r e n t the  of  a d a p t a t i o n to the  their  parents,  agreed  that  and  warmer  t h a t was  seemed  f a m i l y dynamics,  responsibility  was  chose  participant,  t o end  whose f a t h e r was  a l l emotional  ties  a b u s i v e and  w i t h him  to  the  assigned for  the d i v o r c e . One  and  and  A l l participants  viewed  process.  lives.  p a r e n t became c l o s e r  divorced.  striking  Most p e o p l e  the a d d i t i o n of s t e p p a r e n t s  to t h e i r  change  t o change i n o u r  change i n t h e i r and  is a  more a m a t t e r  responses  topics  will  of environmental There  changes  process,  This portion  among p a r t i c i p a n t s  interpretation  their  parents'  experience  following  spoke a t g r e a t e s t l e n g t h a b o u t  felt  stepchildren  growing.  i n our  r e l a t i o n s h i p had how  i n the  i s a s h a r e d human r e a c t i o n .  uncomfortable  The  the  These c o g n i t i v e  these changes.  seen h e r e  Possibly  environment  differ  with  of response  differences  degree.  be  as w e l l .  produce  violent,  and s e v e r e l y  60 restricted was a l s o  a l l other  the only p a r t i c i p a n t  consequently quite  these  different  outstanding  from  caused  t o h e r mother  f o r support.  familial  resented the i n t r u s i o n  girl's  strife,  adjustment  still her  since her parents' feels  participant,  As a r e s u l t ,  o f h e r m o t h e r ' s male  to her stepparent  she h a d e v e r  felt  young  she was  w i t h h e r mother, and companions.  was marked  with  t o p r o t e c t t h e one f a m i l y  comfortable  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r mother a l o n e . passed  One o f t h e most  For t h i s  figure.  a n g e r and h u r t as she s o u g h t  relationship  child  t o be  was t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h t h i s  very p r o t e c t i v e of her r e l a t i o n s h i p  This  her experience  the other p a r t i c i p a n t s .  m o t h e r was h e r o n l y  deeply  This p a r t i c u l a r  who h a d no s i b l i n g s , and  two f a c t o r s  differences  woman t u r n e d her  c o n t a c t with him.  with, her  Over e i g h t y e a r s  have  d i v o r c e , and a s she r e m a r k s s h e  a g r e a t d e a l o f p a i n around h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p  with  mother.  p : My Dad n e v e r u p s e t me t o make me c r y , e x c e p t when we f i r s t l e f t h i m b e c a u s e I was s c a r e d . E u t he d o e s n ' t make me c r y , o r a n y t h i n g e m o t i o n a l , I mean, i t ' s o n l y , w e l l , my Mum does. I c o u l d j u s t b a w l my e y e s o u t when I t h i n k o f t h i n g s t h a t h a v e b o t h e r e d me. The spurred  m a j o r i t y of the g i r l s them t o become c l o s e r  described their  relationships  mother as t h e i r  distant, children. children  important  prior  primary  person  felt  to their  their  Many o f them  c a r e t a k e r , and t h e i r  t o o b u s y t o spend  t o spend more t i m e to v i s i t  fathers.  t o the divorce that portrayed  The d i v o r c e a c t u a l l y  were e x p e c t e d  t h a t the d i v o r c e had  time  f a t h e r as a  with h i s  f o r c e d t h e f a t h e r s and t h e i r  together,  as most  participants  f a t h e r s on t h e weekends.  Some o f  61  the  participants  was  too  fought  great a s a c r i f i c e of  participants closer,  initially  persisted  t h i s arrangement,  t h e i r time.  however and  much warmer r e l a t i o n s h i p  A l l of  now  feel  with  their  saying i t  these  they have g a i n e d  a  fathers.  p : I t h i n k i t ( t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p ) h a s b e e n a l t e r e d and I t h i n k i t ' s b r o u g h t me c l o s e r t o my Dad. . . C l o s e r t o my Dad b e c a u s e l i k e I c o u l d n ' t e v e n remember him b e f o r e . A r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Dad t h e n , I d o n ' t t h i n k I r e a l l y had one, you know f i v e o r t e n m i n u t e s o f t a l k i n g t h e n wasn't bad. But I d o n ' t remember h a v i n g a r e a l l y good r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i m and now t h a t I see him i t ' s l i k e I t e l l him e v e r y t h i n g I h a v e to t e l l . Another feeling their This  as  reaction  i f t h e y had  parents, loss  described  or  as  seemed t o  lost  by  their relationship  i f t h e y had stem  and  become an  hurting  a n g r y and  unspecified  feelings  the  lost  parent  other parent,  b i t t e r person, of  blame and  or  was  w i t h one  of  i t temporarily.  f r o m a number o f  p r o m i n e n t ones b e i n g b l a m i n g one divorce  some p a r t i c i p a n t s  causes,  the  for causing  f e e l i n g one  most the  parent  f r o m a number  had  of  anger.  p : I t o o k a l o t o f h e r s a d n e s s , she v e h i c l e d h e r s a d n e s s a t me a l o t and t h a t r e a l l y a f f e c t e d o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p . I ended up l e a v i n g and g o i n g t o my Dad's b e c a u s e i t j u s t became v e r y u n r e a s o n a b l e , and t h a t was t h e sad p a r t , and the most t r a u m a t i c p a r t o f t h i s whole s e p a r a t i o n f o r me.  p : A f t e r t h e d i v o r c e I g o t t o be r e a l l y c l o s e t o my mother. I n e v e r r e a l l y saw h e r as a p e r s o n b e f o r e t h a t . It was my Dad and he was God and my Mum was just this l i t t l e w e a k l i n g who c o u l d n ' t s u r v i v e w i t h o u t him. . . I f e l t not t h a t c l o s e w i t h my Dad f o r a w h i l e , I g u e s s I had a l o t o f a n g e r against him. Another r e l a t i o n s h i p felt By  was  far  altered the  was  the  majority  of  their relationship  most common e x p e r i e n c e was  the  participants  with t h e i r s i b l i n g s .  one  of  growing c l o s e r  to  62  their  siblings.  acted  a s an i n t e r i m  when t h e i r  felt  that their  f a m i l y f o r them f o r a t i m e ,  siblings  particularly  p a r e n t s had withdrawn w i t h i n themselves.  participants their  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s  said  siblings'  they  would h a v e  felt  terribly  Most  lost  without  support.  p : F o r my s i s t e r s and me we were v e r y c l o s e . We almost walked around t h e house i n groups. We used e a c h o t h e r a l o t i n t h a t way and t h a t s t r e n g t h was r e a l l y what we needed, and we depended on and r e a l l y h e l p e d us o u t . Another camps. and  reaction  i s what I d e s c r i b e a s f o r m i n g  In s i t u a t i o n s  the other  evolved  Where one s i b l i n g  siblings  feelings  sided with  of h o s t i l i t y  sided with  enemy one p a r e n t ,  the other parent,  there  and m i s t r u s t amongst t h e  siblings. p : She (Mum) c o u l d t a l k t o me and I wanted h e r t o be a b l e t o t a l k t o me, where she c o u l d n ' t t a l k t o my s i s t e r . My s i s t e r and h e r h a v e a l o t o f p r o b l e m s and she r e a l l y g o t h u r t . And so I h a v e a l o t o f p r o b l e m s w i t h t h a t , a l o t o f f e e l i n g s t o w a r d s my s i s t e r t o o f o r t h e way she t r e a t e d my mum, b u t i t was my Dad's i n f l u e n c e on h e r . The families All  introduction  created a l o tof additional  t o the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s t r e s s e s f o r the g i r l s .  b u t one p a r t i c i p a n t h a d numerous s t o r i e s  ignominious their  conduct  stepparents  surrounding  the a d d i t i o n  children  companions.  of stepparents  feelings  being  to t e l l  had  rationalized  Their  one  parent  leaving.  feelings of loss  They u n d e r s t o o d  n o t them, b u t t h e i r  feelings  and s t e p c h i l d r e n  o f j e a l o u s y , on t h e p a r t o f b o t h  upon two r e a c t i o n s .  their  o f some  committed by  and t h e s t e p p a r e n t s . The f e e l i n g  seemed t o be b a s e d  leaving  they had witnessed  or parents'  seemed t o stem f r o m the  of stepparents  spouse.  First,  of jealousy the c h i l d r e n  and abandonment  that the parent  from  was  However once one p a r e n t  63  b e g a n t o d e v o t e t i m e and  e n e r g y t o a new  t o have been i n t e r p r e t e d  as  reality, the  the  parents'  parents' time,  of  the  time t h e i r  As  one  child  final  this  abandonment.  companions d i d  and new  the  companion,  require  In  much more  i t seems t h e y were a l s o o f t e n l o v e r was  devoting  seems  to t h e i r  of  jealous  children.  commented,  p : She p r o b a b l y n e v e r would a d m i t t o i t b u t she was j e a l o u s o f us b e c a u s e she c o u l d n ' t c r e a t e a s e c l u d e d little f o u r s o m e , h e r two k i d s and my dad and h e r . It's s t i l l there, I remember my l i t t l e s i s t e r , i t r e a l l y h u r t s h e r when t h e y p l a n h o l i d a y s j u s t t h e f o u r o f them t o g e t h e r . Another g i r l sided  with her  describes  lover  how  instead  hurt  she  of with  felt  when h e r  mother  her.  p : So we a l l s a t a r o u n d t h e t a b l e , (and he s a i d ) i f a n y o n e ' s l e a v i n g t h i s h o u s e i t ' s g o i n g t o be you, and my Mum d i d n ' t say a n y t h i n g , she j u s t s a t t h e r e and she n e v e r s a i d anything. Her and I u s e d t o be c l o s e , r e a l l y c l o s e , and i t ' s k i n d o f r e a l l y p u t a wedge i n t h e r e , i t w i l l p r o b a b l y t a k e a while to get over. Another g i r l the  biggest  to adapt  felt  that  change i n t h e  the  a d d i t i o n of  whole d i v o r c e  stepparents  process  that  was  she  had  to.  p : The d i v o r c e was a change b u t I t h i n k t h e b i g g e s t change f o r me wasn't t h e d i v o r c e i t was t h e two y e a r s l a t e r when t h e r e was t h e s t e p p a r e n t s , t h a t was t h e most d i f f i c u l t part. The jealousy their  other  factor behind  seems t o be  family.  Part  based of  the  children's  upon t h e i r  this picture  b o u n d a r i e s a r o u n d what c o n s t i t u t e s S t e p p a r e n t s and boundary. decision different  The to  stepchildren  an  p a r t i c i p a n t s seem t o  l e t a parent  one  are  to allow  leave  people  psychological  includes their  feel  idea of  The  that  their  of  family.  this  i t was  family,  girls  picture  placing  intrusion into  from t h e i r in.  f e e l i n g of  one  but  naturally  a  very felt  64  that  they  family. as  should  They f e l t ,  i f their  intrusion affront give  h a v e some s a y i n who  personal  up t h i s  parents'  This,  a  reluctance  r e a l l y helped  i n allowing  final  and t h e y were n o t w i l l i n g  to  fight.  addition of stepchildren  half-sisters  v i o l a t e d by t h e  t o them, seemed t o be t h e  sense o f f a m i l y ,  sense w i t h o u t  of their  companions moved i n ,  b o u n d a r i e s were b e i n g  of strangers.  to their  The  when t h e i r  would be p a r t  and h a l f - b r o t h e r s  to i l l u s t r a t e  and  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  new members i n t o t h e i r  families.  r : Can y o u d e s c r i b e y o u r a d j u s t m e n t t o a c c e p t s t e p b r o t h e r s and s t e p s i s t e r s , h a l f - b r o t h e r s and h a l f - s i s t e r s ? p : Yeah, t h a t was r e a l l y h a r d , a t f i r s t I r e f u s e d t o c a l l - my s i s t e r . . . I f o u n d i t d i f f i c u l t , b u t y o u know, w i t h a - y e a r o l d she was so e x c i t e d . How do you e x p l a i n ( t o p e o p l e ) , b e c a u s e she n e v e r s a i d s t e p s i s t e r s . L i k e , i t i s my Dad's w i f e ' s d a u g h t e r . I c o u l d n ' t a c c e p t t h a t she was a c t u a l l y r e l a t e d t o me. Another p a r t i c i p a n t d e s c r i b e s boundaries assigns r:  a r o u n d h e r own  family  how  she k e e p s t h e  through  the t i t l e s  she  t o people. I t ' s important  t o you t o keep t h o s e  boundaries?  p : Yeah, I t h i n k s o . I do, b u t l i k e w e l l I n e v e r t e l l anybody a c t u a l l y . I n e v e r r e f e r t o them as my stepbrothers o r s i s t e r s , t h e y ' r e my Dad's g i r l f r i e n d ' s k i d s , and I d o n ' t mind h a v i n g my Dad's g i r l f r i e n d ' s k i d s . Once t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s g r a d u a l l y reality  of stepparents  sanguine t o the idea family willing  to include to include  especially participant  became  and s t e p c h i l d r e n , o f expanding  a few more. their  new  their  accustomed  t h e y became  more  picture of their  Most p a r t i c i p a n t s were stepbrothers  their half-brothers  to the  and s t e p s i s t e r s , and  and h a l f - s i s t e r s .  who h a d no s i b l i n g s g e n u i n e l y  more  The one  loved her  65  half-brother  and  readily  accepted  k e e n on  the  half-sister. the  addition  The  addition  lone p a r t i c i p a n t  of a stepmother a l s o  who was  of stepchildren.  M o v i n g homes i s a b i g change f o r most p e o p l e . participants  who  participants,  d i d move, and  i t was  very  one  this  For  d e s c r i b e d about  more s t r e s s  i n an  already  those  75% o f  the  strained  adolescence. r : You unsettling?  changed homes a c o u p l e  of times,  was  that  very  p : V e r y u n s e t t l i n g , i t ' s a m a z i n g how much a h o u s e r e p r e s e n t s t o you, you know h a v i n g y o u r own p l a c e . The  split  participants While  this  of t h e i r  now  had  doesn't  some p a r t i c i p a n t s type  parents  the  This  option of l i v i n g  described this  new  home.  real  When t e n s i o n s r o s e  power a l t e r e d  Some g i r l s  felt  them t o s t a y by b u y i n g for  the  was  experienced  other  parents  them t h i n g s . to c a l l  The  the  some as h u r t f u l ,  parent.  experiences,  i n one  tried other  girl's by  home,  alternative  bluff,  real  encourage  and  this  expected.  bargaining  p : You mean t h a t you can d e c i d e where you l i v e and i t o f t e n comes up and i t d o e s , i t ' s l i k e w e l l i f you d o n ' t do t h i s f o r me I ' l l go l i v e w i t h Dad. r:  Right.  p:  (laughing)  The  girls  I t happens a l l the  a l s o d e s c r i b e d a type  the  custodial  to  o t h e r s as  r : The c h i l d f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e h a s power, do you know what I mean by t h a t ?  them a  p a r e n t s ' home.  the dynamics of t h e i r  that their  custodial parent by  either  o p t i o n as g i v i n g  knew t h e y were welcome a t t h e i r very  with  the  d e s c r i b e a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  o f b a r g a i n i n g power.  girls  o f t e n meant t h a t  really  time. o f h o l i d a y phenomenon  was  66  that  o c c u r r e d when v i s i t i n g  used  t h e somewhat ambiguous p h r a s e  describe  this  understood  experience,  the non-custodial parent.  o f h o l i d a y phenomenon t o  the g i r l s  what I meant by i t  When I  f o r whom t h i s  phrase f i t  immediately.  p : I was k i n d o f r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t my Dad and I t h o u g h t , o h , i t w i l l p r o b a b l y be b e t t e r a t Mum's b e c a u s e , i t ' s a l o t d i f f e r e n t when y o u v i s i t t h a n when y o u l i v e w i t h them, i t ' s s o d i f f e r e n t when y o u s t a r t t o l i v e w i t h them. Differences  i n financial  status affected  the holiday  phenomenon.  L i f e was more p l e a s a n t a t t h e p a r e n t ' s  could  the f i n e r  afford  things i n l i f e .  f a t h e r ' s home, and w h i l e difference  i n financial  lived  one p a r e n t  The  with  more t y p i c a l  toward their  their  the g i r l s  reluctant  r e a c t i o n was p r o b a b l y  fathers f o r not having  not very deeply  to describe their  themselves  standard  t o ensure  d e p e n d e n t as t h e i r having their  rooted, feelings  felt  that their  deeply  and t h e g i r l s  committed  were  as r e s e n t m e n t .  feeling  a more  frugal  around  this  seemed t o be a commitment  t h a t t h e y would n o t be as f i n a n c i a l l y  mothers, o r a d m i r a t i o n  mothers had been o u t s t a n d i n g t o provide  supported  r e s e n t m e n t was  described l i v i n g  of living  alone.  one o f r e s e n t m e n t  But t h i s  c o p e d as w e l l as t h e y h a d .  ability  inequity  financially  since the divorce, but t h e i r  change i n t h e i r to  were aware o f t h i s  on t h e b a s i s o f t h i s  Most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s existence  T h i s g e n e r a l l y was t h e  s t a t u s , none would have c h o s e n t o have  m o t h e r s more r e s p o n s i b l y .  surprisingly  home who  financially  mothers f o r  Many o f t h e g i r l s role  from  own f i n a n c i a l  felt  that  models i n t h e i r  for a family.  mothers had s u f f e r e d to their  of their  The g i r l s  who  b e i n g dependent  independence.  were  67  p : I g u e s s I t r y "hard and my g o a l s a r e I w i l l h a v e a good j o b b e c a u s e I d o n ' t e v e r want t o end up l i k e my Mum, s t r u g g l i n g f o r money and h a v i n g t o beg my Dad f o r money sometimes. I t h i n k t h a t ' s so d i s g u s t i n g , I won't e v e r h a v e go t h r o u g h t h a t . C h a n g i n g homes sometimes r e q u i r e d c h a n g i n g this  was  homes. to  experienced  as e v e n more t h r e a t e n i n g t h a n  F o r t u n a t e l y o n l y two  o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s  change s c h o o l s b e c a u s e o f t h e d i v o r c e .  however had grades  One  t o change s c h o o l s many t i m e s ,  were p o o r  schools,  and  she  never  completed  and  and  changing  were r e q u i r e d  of  these  as a r e s u l t  Grade  to  her  12.  p : I wanted t o h a v e a g r e a t t h i n g l i k e t h a t ( s c h o o l ) , b u t i t n e v e r , i t j u s t seemed t o o h a r d o n c e i t a l l h a p p e n e d t o j u s t k e e p i t g o i n g , l i k e t o k e e p g o i n g a t i t . I t was j u s t t o o h a r d t o g e t b a c k on t r a c k . In they  summary, t h e  endured  stresses lives, is  an  with  a r o s e d u r i n g an  adolescence,  them, b u t  as one  The  states  that  participant  you  of the  forward has  achievement"  times  range  Growing  knowledge o f l i f e ,  but  forward these  The  in  their  remarkable.  change and  There  we  change  "there are  only  time."  Process  of consciousness,  340).  these  " t h e g r o w t h o f t h e mind i s  b e e n a most p a i n f u l  s t u d y made many s t e p s  time  commented,  can make a t one  L e a r n i n g and  (1928, p .  That  already s t r e s s f u l  J u n g once commented t h a t  the widening  t o t h e many c h a n g e s  makes i t p a r t i c u l a r l y  old saying that  Carl  adaptability  as a d o l e s c e n t s i s r e m a r k a b l e .  so many a d j u s t m e n t s  step  girls  and  . . . each  and l a b o r i o u s  participants  i n m a t u r i t y and s t e p s were,  in in  this their  f o r most o f  the  68  girls, type  a struggle.  of  l o s s of innocence  undergo t h i s originally was  no  this  loss  was  cognitive  process  A few  and  losing  topics  The  stability. parents'  t h e y had  girl  Her  and  m o t h e r and  lost  herself,  later  adolescence.  she  this  felt  Understandably, issues.  and  and  suddenness  of  Their life  Kafkaesque  of the  She  their lived  that  few  view  and  s i n c e she has  known  whose w o r l d i t was  toward her  followed her  homes and  making  childhood  and  a stable world  in  however,  intruded  o f chaos  into  for her.  struggling  begun t o l i v e  been  father's  short-lived,  is still  had  following  a hellish  world  and  moving  father  c a r s and  of  adolescence.  because of her  was  terms  t h e y made s e n s e  years  Her  growing  coming t o  m o t h e r ' s male companions  participant  and  t h e y had  o n l y began t o f i n d  c r e a t e d another  this  learning  leaving  This s t a b i l i t y  and  Recently,  almost  a participant  wrecking  that her  stability,  had  changed  to resolve.  intensified  a c h a o t i c one  t h r e a t e n i n g phone c a l l s .  as  an  unpredictable behaviour.  adolescence,  which  q u e s t i o n a b l e , and  known, how  a world  experiences  early  The  a  children  considerable emotional  unstable that  d i v o r c e was and  childhood.  d e s c r i b e the  e x c e p t i o n was  frightening  t h a n most  suddenly  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s :  the world  one  endured  resolve.  went on  but  trusted.  violent  to  coming t o t e r m s w i t h  All  safe,  reality  view took  they  T h e i r world  s t r u g g l e d w i t h an  this  central  that  and  earlier  f o r some t h e most d i f f i c u l t  energy  Three  so  of t h e i r  became c o n f u s i n g , t h e i r  the world  it,  a t an age  b e e n f o r most, h a p p y and  unpredictable.  with  a struggle i n that  transforming experience.  longer the world  worlds  of  I t was  on h e r  w i t h many own  she  69  feels that  that  she i s now b e g i n n i n g t o make t h e home f o r h e r s e l f  she n e v e r  resolution  h a d as a c h i l d ,  participants,  This participant  and  toward  experience  was u n l i k e  any o f t h e o t h e r  and h e r c h a o t i c c h i l d h o o d p r o v i d e s an e x c e l l e n t  o f comparison  probably  slowly  and g r o w t h .  This participant's  basis  and i s moving  easier  predictable  of the other p a r t i c i p a n t s '  experience.  commented t h a t h e r own e x p e r i e n c e t o r e s o l v e than  was  someone who h a d l o s t  a stable  world.  p : I would be t o t a l l y s h o c k e d i f I h a d a r e a l l y h a p p y l i f e and t h e n a l l o f a sudden boom, y o u r p a r e n t s a r e d i v o r c e d . L i k e y o u d i d n ' t know a n y t h i n g , t h a t would p r o b a b l y even be harder. W e l l , i t w o u l d p r o b a b l y be h a r d e r , i f y o u t h i n k t h a t you h a v e t h e n i c e l i f e and i t j u s t g e t s p u l l e d away and y o u d o n ' t know why. This without losing  girl  stability,  as w e l l .  had  came t o e x p e r i e n c e  was r e l a t i v e l y  remained  of their who b o t h  stable felt  after  world  that Their  t h e d i v o r c e t h a n he  them, and o t h e r w i s e  their  world  a b o u t t h e same.  The  rest  of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  t h e y h a d known i n s i m i l a r  helpless world.  with  of the  u n a f f e c t e d by the d i v o r c e .  was o n l y somewhat more a b s e n t  b e e n when he l i v e d  world  the l o s s  i s like  the e f f e c t o f  A l l b u t two o f t h e r e s t  The e x c e p t i o n was two s i s t e r s  world  father  k n o w l e d g e o f what l i f e  and i s a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d  one's s t a b i l i t y .  participants  their  has a profound  and as i f t h e y Others  situation  denied  created.  suddenly  interpreted  ways.  the loss  Many d e s c r i b e d  h a d no c o n t r o l  or repressed the feelings  over their  of the feeling  their  70  p : I g u e s s t h a t ' s what I d i d w i t h t h e d i v o r c e , i s t h a t I s h u t m y s e l f o u t and I d i d n ' t want t o h e a r a b o u t i t , and I d i d n ' t want t o b e l i e v e t h a t i t was r e a l . Many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s h a v e v i v i d realization  that  the world  memories o f t h e i r  t h e y h a d known was gone f o r them.  p : Our f a m i l y was warm, c a r i n g , we h a d a r e a l l y good t i m e , i t was f u n b e i n g a k i d , h a v i n g t h a t warmth, t h a t ' s what f a m i l y i s . T h a t warmth comes f r o m a f a m i l y and i t ' s p a r t l y undescribable, i t ' s l i k e a warm r u s h o v e r y o u , y o u know, and t h e n when t h a t i s a l l o f a sudden ended, y o u d o n ' t r e a l i z e t h a t i t ' s ended. . .So i t ' s s c a r y when i t b r e a k s a p a r t and it's threatening. P a r e n t s who h a d h a d an a f f a i r , children  considered  questionable,  o r whose b e h a v i o u r t h e  was a l s o  s e e n as h i g h l y  threatening. p : I c o u l d n ' t h a n d l e i t , l i k e Dad s h o u l d n ' t be w i t h h e r ( s t e p m o t h e r ) , i t was j u s t , i t was i m m o r a l . . . I d i d n ' t know what t o t h i n k anymore. . .To me he h a d t o t a l l y b l o w n e v e r y t h i n g that I b e l i e v e d t o t a l l y out o f the water. Three other had  affairs  p a r t i c i p a n t s suspected  prior  to or during  seemed t o be so t h r e a t e n i n g to discuss  the subject.  that  the d i v o r c e ,  that  I found  One g i r l ,  their  p a r e n t s had  and t h i s  the g i r l s  when I a s k e d  knowledge  unwilling  several  times  what t h e knowledge o f h e r mother h a v i n g h a d an a f f a i r  would  mean t o h e r , a n s w e r e d b y d e n y i n g  felt  that  the notion The  affairs  girls  was t o o t h r e a t e n i n g who were w i l l i n g  their  own b e l i e f  "my p a r e n t s h a v e t o l d  f o r her to consider.  found  systems.  me b e h a v i o u r  that  already  was a c o n f u s i n g unstable  period  time  they  s u c h as t h i s  lives.  thought,  i s wrong, y e t  This  f o r them, and o c c u r r e d  i n their  parents'  they began t o  Logically,  a r e engaged i n i t , s o what i s wrong?"  period  I  t o acknowledge t h e i r  or intemperate behaviours  question  they  its possibility.  questioning during  A l l participants  an felt  71  that  though t h i s  now f e e l  was a c o n f u s i n g , t r o u b l i n g  they have g a i n e d  greater insight  time  f o r them  they  through i t s  occurrence. The to  discuss their  their to  majority of participants  parents  felt  c o n f u s i o n and a n g e r a b o u t t h e d i v o r c e  or s i b l i n g s .  The p a r t i c i p a n t s  be a b l e t o d i s c u s s t h e d i v o r c e w i t h  being that and they  encouraged by t h e i r  parents  promised  parents they  were u n a b l e  their  to talk  with  d e s c r i b e d wanting parents,  t o do s o , b u t t h e n  i t was t o o e m o t i o n a l l y c h a r g e d that their  t h a t t h e y were n o t a b l e  and even finding  about w i t h  t o achieve  them  the i m p a r t i a l i t y  could.  p : B u t we d o n ' t t a l k a b o u t i t . I c a n ' t t a l k t o my Mum b e c a u s e she h a t e s my Dad so much, and I c a n ' t t a l k a b o u t i t t o my Dad b e c a u s e he h a t e s my Mum s o much.  p : I mean I e v e n f e l t i t when I was i n t h e h o u s e , t h a t I c o u l d n ' t s a y s u c h and s u c h a t h i n g and I c o u l d n ' t be my own person. I h a d t o be t h i s , y o u know, t h i s l i t t l e box ( o f g u a r d e d s t a t e m e n t s ) , y e a h , and e v e n t h o u g h she t r i e d and she w o u l d s a y t o me, oh I r e a l l y want y o u t o be a b l e t o t a l k a b o u t - ( s t e p m o t h e r ) and I w o u l d , and s h e ' d w i n c e , o r s h e ' d be v e r y silent. T h a t was even h a r d e r b e c a u s e I'm v e r y s e n s i t i v e w i t h h e r and y o u know body movement, I know my Mum r i g h t , e v e n t h o u g h s h e ' s q u i e t she t e n s e s up and I c a n ' t t a l k a b o u t i t . Many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s confused talking  during this to their  participant  said  time  she h a d e v e r  girl  said  the  described feeling  p e r i o d because o f t h e i r  parents  about t h e d i v o r c e .  that these really  v e r y a l o n e and  discomfort As w e l l ,  i n t e r v i e w s w i t h me were t h e f i r s t  talked  about the d i v o r c e .  she d i d n o t t h i n k she h a d any i n s i g h t s  Another  t o o f f e r on  s u b j e c t , and a t t h e end o f t h e i n t e r v i e w r e m a r k e d  surprised The  one  how  she was a t how much she h a d h a d t o s a y . participants  worked a t m a k i n g  sense  of the d i v o r c e i n  72  a number o f ways. choice  participant  t o l e a v e soon a f t e r  acceptance endured.  feels Other  and  sadness  one  p a r e n t and  difficulty  she h a s  and  father's  through  her  a v o i d e d much o f t h e p a i n h e r  and  feelings  accepted her  i t happened,  participants  for years,  Another  this  One  clung to t h e i r  still  of  hold  feelings  feelings  of  o f blame  theme was  people.  I was  surprised  among t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  these p a r t i c i p a n t s  consistently  having  divorce in their  experienced  anger toward  abandonment.  common theme s h a r e d by most p a r t i c i p a n t s  trusting  sister  and  a t how  is  consistent  how  traced i t s occurrence  to  home.  p : I g u e s s I d o n ' t t r u s t p e o p l e b e c a u s e I c o u n t e d on my p a r e n t s and t h e n t h e y d i v o r c e d . They were p e o p l e I c o u n t e d on s o r t o f and t h e n t h e y were so b u s y l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e i r c o n c e r n s t h a t I f e l t l i k e t h e y had l e f t , and I t r u s t e d them t o be t h e r e . T h a t ' s more why I w o u l d n ' t t r u s t them, e v e r y b o d y t h a t I c o u n t e d on h a d s o r t o f gone.  p : Whereas i t ' s t a u g h t me t o s o r t o f n o t t r u s t a n y t h i n g , l i k e I'm r e a l l y a f r a i d o f g e t t i n g i n t o a relationship.  p : I h a v e a h a r d t i m e t r u s t i n g p e o p l e , b u t even w i t h my roommate l i k e we're r e a l l y c l o s e and I t a l k t o h e r now b u t i t t o o k me a l o n g t i m e b e f o r e I g o t c l o s e b e c a u s e e v e r y t i m e s o m e t h i n g a l w a y s h a p p e n e d . . . I d o n ' t t h i n k I'm n o t e v e r g o i n g t o be a b l e t o t r u s t anybody, w h i c h I can, I mean I can t r u s t p e o p l e , i t j u s t t a k e s me a l i t t l e , a l i t t l e g r a d u a l , I go s l o w e r . These g i r l s friends  from  cautious, their  a l l say  that  non-divorced  and  friends.  feel  that  t h e y do  homes do.  not  trust  They f e e l  like  their  more w o r l d l y ,  t h e y h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d more p a i n  than  73  p : I n s i d e a l o t o f me s o r t o f l o o k s a t t h e w o r l d as s o r t o f g r a y , and t h e r e a r e t h i n g s t h a t k i d s h a v e n ' t experienced l i k e I have. They t h i n k e v e r y t h i n g i s w o n d e r f u l o u t t h e r e and n o t h i n g c a n h u r t , and i n s i d e I know t h a t ' s n o t true. Most o f t h e unpredictable perception  place.  This  can  change  probably  greatest  s e c u r i t y and  her  parents'  divorce.  did  not  that  feel  friends.  was  This  she  other This  was  one  p a r t i c i p a n t who  the  most p r o t e c t e d  i s a l s o the  had  as  sister  for parenting  the  that  f a t h e r as  than  her  their  not that  f o r them.  stability  Both  who  did  occurred  seems  this  mother had  been the  been  i n t h e i r home, w h i l e less  involved  loss.  As  w e l l , the  divorce  created  opposed t o h i s  f o r the loss.  their  i n parenting.  divorce  and  adult  was  not  father The  loss  perceived  seemed t o h a v e  f a t h e r t o become more i n v o l v e d w i t h  In a s e n s e t h e their  felt  enjoyed  growth w i t h i n h e r  causes.  view.  throughout  divorce  f a t h e r f r o m t h e i r home c o n s e q u e n t l y  a devastating  spurred  the  as h a v i n g  T h e i r mother had  been o f t e n absent or  of t h e i r  to t h i s  a l o v i n g , h a p p y home f o r them b o t h b e f o r e  divorce.  responsible  that  participant  p a r t i c i p a n t ' s sense of  her  the  one  that  emotional  participant  after  and  the  f r o m a number o f  to create  their  committed  t o h a v e stemmed  able  of  seem as  participants described  and  an  result  more m a t u r e o r w o r l d l y  same d e g r e e o f  particular  the  as  always t r u s t w o r t h y  This d i f f e r e n c e suggests  provoke the  world  overnight.  the  the  not  p a r t i c i p a n t does n o t  T h i s p a r t i c i p a n t was  their  seems t o be  that people are  one's world One  p a r t i c i p a n t s see  sisters  his children. the  gain  of  74  T h i s p a r t i c i p a n t was a l s o t h e m i d d l e she  was p r o t e c t e d  her  mother.  and s u p p o r t e d  Her o l d e r  sister  own f e e l i n g s .  the  front line  had  enjoyed  strain this  created  of the divorce, while  the divorce,  by t h e d i v o r c e .  the d i v o r c e ,  positive  side of the d i v o r c e .  encouraging her to explore  and aware o f  the younger p a r t i c i p a n t  Still,  younger p a r t i c i p a n t had avoided around  s i s t e r and  s i s t e r h a d b e e n on  degree o f s h e l t e r from t h e  feelings  that  seemed much more aware o f t h e  I t was as i f t h e o l d e r  a greater  and f e l t  by b o t h h e r o l d e r  p a i n h e r mother h a d s u f f e r e d t h r o u g h her  child,  i t was my h u n c h  thoroughly  and t e n d e d  emotional that  exploring her  to t r y to only  see t h e  I was u n s u c c e s s f u l i n  the p o s s i b i l i t y  of the existence o f  some a m b i v a l e n t f e e l i n g s For  the other  p a r t i c i p a n t s though,  s e e n a s an u n p r e d i c t a b l e this  way, and f e e l i n g  place.  as i f t h e y  the world  came t o be  Interpreting their had l i t t l e  c a u s e d many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s t o q u e s t i o n  world i n  c o n t r o l over i t their  sense o f  reality.  p : My memories o f my f a m i l y l i k e when I was f i v e i s s t r o n g and p o s i t i v e and so when t h a t ' s t h r e a t e n e d a l l o f a s u d d e n t h e r e i s a l o t o f d o u b t and y o u d o n ' t know what i s t r u e and what's n o t t r u e . . . So i t ' s s c a r y when i t b r e a k s a p a r t and i t ' s t h r e a t e n i n g and y o u d o n ' t know i f i t was t r u e o r i f i t wasn't t r u e .  p: J u s t that everything's not p r e d i c t a b l e , l i k e I f o u g h t i t f o r a l o n g t i m e and I d i d n ' t want t o a c c e p t i t , I didn't f e e l comfortable with i t . Seeing the  girls'  the world  a s an u n p r e d i c t a b l e  v i e w s on t h e i r  place  own r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  also affected  Most f e l t  they  75  had  difficulty  divorce  trusting  occurring  relationships  i n their lives  and were f r i g h t e n e d  of  also.  p : Our r e l a t i o n s h i p s and how we v i e w r e l a t i o n s h i p s h a s t o a l t e r b e c a u s e we saw a r e l a t i o n s h i p w o r k i n g , and n o t w o r k i n g o r n e v e r w o r k i n g o r w h a t e v e r , and so when y o u s e e y o u r p a r e n t s , t h e one t h i n g t h a t ' s s u p p o s e d t o be s t a b l e , n o t w o r k i n g t h e n t h e r e ' s a l o t o f d o u b t t h a t i t e v e r c a n . So, i f a f t e r t w e n t y y e a r s t h e i r ' s c a n ' t work i s t h e r e e v e r g o i n g t o be a r i g h t p e r s o n y o u know. It that  i s perhaps because  t h e need  to feel  every p a r t i c i p a n t . important their  i n control  life  was so u n p r e d i c t a b l e  was so i m p o r t a n t an i s s u e f o r  A l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s  f o r them t o f e e l  friends  they f e l t  i n control,  said  that  i t was  and many s a i d  that  c a l l e d them b o s s y .  p : C o n t r o l i s i m p o r t a n t and I've a l w a y s f o u g h t f o r i t , l i k e my i n d e p e n d e n c e , where I want c o n t r o l o v e r my l i f e and I g u e s s i t h a s been a b i g t h i n g t h a t I l i k e t o be i n c h a r g e . P e o p l e t e l l me I'm b o s s y b u t I a l w a y s l i k e t o be i n c h a r g e so t h a t n o t h i n g i s g o i n g t o go wrong.  like  p : Oh y e a h , I a l w a y s h a v e t o be i n c o n t r o l , feeling helpless.  r: So much i n c o n t r o l , y o u want t o f e e l how y o u r Mum f e e l s , y o u want t o p r o t e c t h e r ?  I don't  control  over  p : I would t a k e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r e v e r y t h i n g and e v e r y b o d y i f I c o u l d , y o u know. This  need  participants' described  to control  manifested i t s e l f  relationships.  feeling insecure  i n the  In p a r t i c u l a r t h e g i r l s  i n male/female  relationships.  p : You c a n ' t e v e n c o n t r o l y o u r h u s b a n d , who i s s u p p o s e d t o be w i t h y o u t h e r e s t o f y o u r l i f e , he c o u l d go o u t and h a v e an a f f a i r , and y o u know, I h a t e t h a t f e e l i n g . It is j u s t an a w f u l f e e l i n g o f b e t r a y a l and r e j e c t i o n , i t ' s j u s t s o m e t h i n g t h a t I remember t a l k i n g t o y o u a b o u t . It is s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s r e a l l y b i g f o r me i n l i f e , and I h a v e a r e a l h a r d time coping w i t h t h a t .  76  This  need t o f e e l  dichotomy  f o r the g i r l s .  need t o be  flexible  world.  them from How  the  process  following  though t h a t  that  many i n d i v i d u a l s  they  girls do  that  raised  experiencing adolescence  for from  a few  years  their  after  parents,  fallibility,  and  companionship. whether t h i s  feeling  confused  c a s e was  such  more  as  rebellion.  focus  later  of  with in  to  issues  life.  many p a r t i c i p a n t s  was  pattern of I t was  exponentially. in rebellious  over  the  examined i n  struggling  more  friends  were r e a l l y  Many o f  behaviour  parents' for  sure  though  adolescence,  more p r o n o u n c e d Some s u s p e c t e d  like,  independent  their  a normal p a r t o f t h e i r  whether the d i v o r c e p r e c i p i t a t e d behaviours,  by  t u r n i n g more t o t h e i r  simply  other  I think i t important  the d i v o r c e , growing  None o f t h e g i r l s was  be  b e e n i n many ways i n t e n s i f i e d .  d e s c r i b e d engaging  the  the  in control  will  the normal developmental  in  On  been the  not e x p l o r e u n t i l  had  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and  have b e e n  adolescence a sense,  recognize  t h r e a t e n i n g view of  d i c h o t o m y has  of r e s o l u t i o n .  these  interesting  they  to f e e l  an o t h e r w i s e  i s s u e w h i c h was  felt  hand,  adolescent years,  note  Another  t h e one  t h e need  to resolve t h i s girls  l e a d s t o an  unpredictable world.  that  facing  many o f t h e s e  how  On  i n an  hand, t h e y have found protects  in control  or  adolescent  that  the  latter  correct.  p : Yeah, b u t i t seemed t o be w o r s e , l i k e t o a worse degree than normal a d o l e s c e n c e . L i k e you l o o k a t o t h e r k i d s i n n o r m a l homes, t h e y were r e b e l l i o u s b u t n o t q u i t e t o t h a t e x t e n t , whereas w e l l we went t h r o u g h y e a r s where you g o t up i n t h e m o r n i n g , t h e r e was a f i g h t a b o u t what t i m e you g o t up; what's f o r b r e a k f a s t , t h e r e was a f i g h t a b o u t what we c o u l d eat; a b o u t g e t t i n g d r e s s e d , what you were w e a r i n g , how l o n g you t o o k i n t h e shower.  77  Adolescence lives  c a n be d e s c r i b e d  where s e p a r a t i o n  and d i s e n g a g e m e n t  a c e n t r a l concern  f o r them  tremendous e f f e c t  upon t h i s  because rate  opportunity  of  separation  child.  t o disengage  Divorce  process, process  parents i s  has a  I believe, a t an  unnatural  Most c h i l d r e n e n j o y t h e  emotionally  and p h y s i c a l l y f r o m  The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s  separation  i n youngster's  from t h e i r  1981).  a t a r a t e which c o i n c i d e s with  development. physical  (Rice,  i t p r e c i p i t a t e s the separation  f o r the adolescent  parents  as a p e r i o d  f r o m one p a r e n t  s e c u r i t y and c a u s e an u n n a t u r a l  their study  could  maturational described  affect  and p r e m a t u r e  b e t w e e n t h e m s e l v e s and one o r b o t h o f t h e i r  their  their  how t h e sense  separation  parents.  p : I t h i n k t h a t ' s when t h e y need i t ( f a m i l y ) t h e most. I t h i n k t h a t was t h e t i m e when I p r o b a b l y needed a mother t h e most. A l t h o u g h I wanted t o s e p a r a t e f r o m my f a m i l y t h e n b u t you need t o know i t ' s t h e r e , y o u need t o know t h a t t h a t b a s e i s t h e r e and t h a t y o u c a n s e p a r a t e f r o m i t , when somebody s u d d e n l y s a y s b u t t h e b a s e i s no l o n g e r t h e r e . Then y o u d o n ' t know what t o s o r t o f s t e p o f f f r o m and w i t h o u t a s t a i r y o u c a n ' t c l i m b upwards. Many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s f e l t quickly,  and t h a t t h e y  and  them d i r e c t i o n  give  l o s t having  that  they  a parent  sooner than they  grew up t o o to nurture  would h a v e  them  normally.  p : I f e l t l i k e a whole b i g t h i n g h a d b e e n d r o p p e d on me and I h a d t o d e a l w i t h i t t h e n r e a l q u i c k , and I t h i n k i t had a l o t t o do w i t h i t . I s o r t o f r e s e n t t h a t , t h e f a c t t h a t I h a d t o grow up q u i c k e r .  p : I t ' s h a r d t o b a l a n c e , I mean e v e n now I d o n ' t want t o , I h a l f want h e r t o t r e a t me l i k e an a d u l t , and t r e a t me l i k e a l i t t l e k i d , y o u know l i k e t o b e t h e r e and mother me as w e l l a s I want h e r t o r e s p e c t me and know t h a t no i t ' s n o t Dad who's b r a i n w a s h i n g me.  78  p : I t h i n k t h a t i t j u s t h a p p e n e d t h a t I was a t t h e r i g h t age and I needed my Mum a t t h a t age b e c a u s e I needed p u l l away from h e r . I believe that children innocence  sooner  illustrated  by  than  the  growth.  In t h e  interesting journey as  their  next  Blake  t o see how  and  Process  and  from  the p r o c e s s  girls  own  their emotional  of r e s o l u t i o n ,  i t is  undergo a p s y c h o l o g i c a l  perception of  would argue t h a t t o  girls  their  their  is  h a v e shown i n  life. fall  i s p r e f e r a b l e to ignorance  seems t h a t t h e s e  The  the  I think this  girls  parents,  their  Dickens  though p a i n f u l ,  these  process,  which a l t e r s  d i v o r c e d homes l o s e  most c h i l d r e n .  insight  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with  from  to  would a l s o agree  Authors from  such  innocence,  of experience.  with  o f R e s t r u c t u r i n g M e a n i n g and  this  It  philosophy.  Moving  Toward  Resolution  The  experience  participants intensity  i n t e n s e and  o f the e x p e r i e n c e  pervasiveness more l a s t i n g divorce  as an  o f p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e i s d e s c r i b e d by  of the ways.  have a not  the  "creative  merely  fades with  a f f e c t s how  the  itself  experience  individual  The  of  comes  in  the to  world.  d e s c r i b e s how individual  to i t .  p e r c e p t i o n and  r e p r e s e n t s them.  capacity . . .  to respond  the  The  time.  e x p e r i e n c e however m a n i f e s t s  construe h i s or her  s h a p e d by how  naturally  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  ultimately  George K e l l y  pervasive experience.  the  reality  Individuals  to r e p r e s e n t the Because  are  environment,  [ p e o p l e ] can  represent  79  [their]  environment,  constructions doesn't  suit  [they]  upon i t and,  136).  in  many s i m i l a r ways t o t h e i r  suggest  participants in this  changes t h e that  responded  Following  the  to the  t o have r e q u i r e d period  an  described  and  interpret their  divorce.  The  precipitated They now  the  divorce  entailed.  These  experience  girls  several  process  as  Kelly individuals when an  (Ivey can  older  a n d / o r may  no  Fredman  of the  they  the  e n t a i l e d seems  of  their  (1986) d e s c r i b e  after their  and  to  their  feel  an  was  also  against  I t " c o n s i s t s of  premature  intensified.  1980)  argues  representation world  process  that  of t h e i r i s an  perspective.  which a g i v e n  changing  event  the  world. increased  of  Sherman reframing  frame o f  i s considered  world  impediment  m e a n i n g w h i c h i s a c o u n s e l l i n g t e c h n i q u e drawn f r o m theory.  growing  parents'  awareness o f the  the  This  experience  The  f i t their  well.  appears t o have  to t r u s t  parents  as  l e a r n i n g and  s h a r e d ways o f p e r c e i v i n g  c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r longer  and  divorce,  e a c h began t o  divorce  & Simek-Downing, alter  the  similarities  divorce  differently  i t difficult  from t h e i r  initially  and  adjustment process  the  world  responded  parents'  f o r a sense of c o n t r o l .  separation  and  and  1980;  p a r t i c i p a n t s construed  internal  trauma o f  found  study  it if it  in a similar pattern.  initial  of adjustment by  the  worlds  something about  p h y s i c a l changes the  was  need  divorce  generally  to t h e i r  adjusting  do  i n I v e y & Simek-Downing,  p.  physical  place alternative  indeed,  [them] ( c i t e d  The  can  or  Adlerian  reference  judged,  80  thus  c h a n g i n g the  without  changing  m e a n i n g and the  facts"  value  (p.  judgement o f  196).  I believe  participants  in this  s t u d y were s p u r r e d  restructure,  many o f  the  This  is a  process  by  divorce,  resulted  and  the  and  experience of  was and  one  their  which  adjustment  i n some s h a r e d ways o f  event  that  reframe,  ways t h e y p e r c e i v e d  l e n g t h y one,  precipitated  to  the  the or  world. was  to  the  perceiving  the  world. Ultimately foster  some o f  the  fears  within  the  participants,  relationships  and  fear  leave  of  cumbersome.  To  participants  to p e r c e i v e  more p o s i t i v e way. believe,  a restructuring  p r o c e s s has believe  l e d toward  a greater  s u c h as  a suddenly  these  This  which the  fears  divorce  fears  behind  required  meaning.  resolution  a c c e p t a n c e by  Often  of  the  became  the  i n a d i f f e r e n t and  change i n p e r c e p t i o n  the  to  around  changing world,  t h e i r world  of  seemed  often  constituted,  this  reframing  divorce,  participants  I  and  I  of  themselves. A generalized by  many o f  process  of  the  participants,  restructuring  instability, gave t o  f e e l i n g of  I believe,  many a s p e c t s  participants,  after  longer predictable, have d i f f i c u l t y control  in their  of the fair  instability, i s the  meaning. was  lives.  divorce, just.  t r u s t i n g people, lives.  This  c a u s e d by  their  or  best  and  described  illustration feeling  of  this  of  the  meaning t h e  For  example, many o f  came t o As  w h i c h was  see  t h e i r world  a r e s u l t , they desired  girls  a high  as  the no  described degree  of  81  This  sense  motivating tensions  of i n s t a b i l i t y  factor  i n their  consistently  appears  t o understand lives.  t o have s e r v e d as a  and u l t i m a t e l y  The d e s i r e  resolve  t o understand  these  was  d e s c r i b e d by t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s .  p : T h a t ' s p r o b a b l y why I r e b e l l e d and p r o b a b l y why I g o t u p s e t and b e c a u s e I j u s t c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d h e r anymore, she k e p t d o i n g t h i s and I d o n ' t know, I d o n ' t know.  p : I was v e r y c o n f u s e d a g a i n and u p s e t . I didn't r e a l i z e why, b e c a u s e l i k e she d i d n ' t s a y why o r a n y t h i n g . r:  "Why"  p : Yeah,  was i m p o r t a n t  t o you?  I d i d n ' t know what was g o i n g o n .  r : So i t was i m p o r t a n t was g o i n g t o h a p p e n ?  f o r y o u t o be a b l e t o p r e d i c t  p : Yeah, and t h e r e a s o n s Understanding  why t h e y  be a way t o overcome t h e i r  of  making  Initially, felt Not  sense  of this  the g i r l s  uncomfortable  t h e way t h a t  sense  talking  to their  their  they looked w i t h i n  t h e y d i d seemed  of powerlessness  c o n f u s i n g time  turned to t h e i r  being able to find  seems t h a t  why and s t u f f .  felt  to  what  i n their  parents  lives.  f o r answers, b u t  p a r e n t s about  answers t h r o u g h themselves  and a way  their  the d i v o r c e . parents, i t  to provide their  own  answers. One p a r t i c i p a n t understand  d e s c r i b e d how she f e l t  t h a t h e r need t o  what h a d h a p p e n e d t o h e r was i n c r e a s e d b y t h e  developmental  stage  s h e was a t .  p: Adolescence i s a kind o f t h i r s t t o learn, a t h i r s t t o e x p l o r e , and when t h a t h a p p e n s a t t h e same t i m e a s d i v o r c e , i t ' s kind of forced. So y o u a r e f o r c e d t o d o u b t t h i n g s , f o r c e d t o r e l o o k a t s i t u a t i o n s and r e a d a p t t o l i f e i n a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . So t h e w o r l d i s n ' t j u s t y o u r h o u s e , y o u r f a m i l y , y o u r dog, y o u r two c a r s and y o u r c o m p u t e r .  32  The desire  evidence  in this  for control  themselves against unpredictable. fail  gradually world,  gained  their  that  to begin  for control.  occurred  the world  suddenly a l t e r .  was suddenly  As t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  way o f c o n s t r u i n g see t h e i r  The p a r t i c i p a n t s g r a d u a l l y  shift  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  saw i t , r e l a t i o n s h i p s c o u l d  could  need  that  l i v e s h a s b e e n a way o f d e f e n d i n g  insight into their  deep-seated  how t h i s  suggests  perception  t h e y were t h e n a b l e  differently. their  i n their  As t h e y  and t h e w o r l d  study  their  world  began t o g i v e  One p a r t i c i p a n t  up  describes  f o r her.  p : L i k e t h i n g s h a d t o be p r e d i c t a b l e , t h i n g s h a d t o be a c e r t a i n way, and t h i s i s how t h e y a r e s u p p o s e d t o be, t h i s i s how t h e y m o r a l l y a r e , and y o u know, i t ' s n o t a c c e p t a b l e . But l i f e ' s n o t l i k e t h a t . r:  You've l e t go now?  p:  Well yeah,  r : Is t h a t  that's  still  kind  t h e whole t h i n g of scary  i s l e t t i n g go.  f o r you?  p : Oh y e a h , s u r e i t ' s s c a r y , l i f e ' s s c a r y b u t y o u h a v e t o s o r t o f g e t on w i t h i t . I d o n ' t know, I f e e l a l o t more f r e e d o m now b e c a u s e I d o n ' t f e e l t h e l o a d .  r : So y o u k e p t m a k i n g y o u r own l i f e predictable?  very  s t a b l e and  p : Yeah, I made my l i f e p r e d i c t a b l e b u t I r e a l i z e d t h a t I didn't necessarily l i k e i t (laugh). This very  p a r t i c i p a n t described  orderly  and p r e d i c t a b l e  following her parents'  f o r the f i r s t  divorce.  d e p e n d a b l e and r e s p o n s i b l e  how she c a u s e d h e r l i f e three  She d e s c r i b e d  and s t r u c t u r e d .  t o be  years  h e r s e l f as  very  83  p : [ T h e y saw me a s ] v e r y r e s p o n s i b l e , y o u know, l o g i c a l and t h a t I c l u n g on t o . I saw them t h i n k i n g t h a t . I a c t u a l l y t h o u g h t t h a t was p o s i t i v e , t h e n I r e a l i z e d t h a t I h a d been r u n n i n g around f o r t h r e e y e a r s . I h a d my f i r s t c a r when I was f i f t e e n b e f o r e I even h a d my l i c e n s e y o u know and a bank l o a n , and I've a l r e a d y p a i d o f f my bank l o a n , and I ' v e h a d a car t o t a l l e d . A l l o f t h e s e t h i n g s , whenever t h e y ' r e n o t t h e r e I j u s t r e b u i l d a new r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . This she  participant described  f e e l i n g quite  b e g a n t o l e t go o f h e r need  frightened  once  for control.  p : When I f i r s t f i g u r e d o u t t h a t ' s what i t was (need to c o n t r o l ) , I c o l l a p s e d . T h a t was two weeks a g o . I j u s t , I r e a l l y b r o k e down and d i d n ' t know what I h a d t o m o t i v a t e me o r t o h a n g o n t o and t h e n I r e a l i z e d t h a t I s h o u l d p r o b a b l y l e a r n how t o go t h r o u g h l i f e and be h a p p y w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o c l i n g t o something. My m o t i v a t i o n s were wrong. This their feel  world  i n perspective  and t h e i r  more i n t e r n a l l y  external rest  shift  parents stable,  ways t o f e e l  helped  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s t o see  i n a new way.  They b e g a n t o  and b e g a n t o s t o p  searching f o r  i n c o n t r o l and t o r e d u c e t h e i r  r : You were t r y i n g t o impose y o u r own r e a l i t y o f the world?  tension.  on t h e  p : Yeah, and I r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e r e s t o f t h e w o r l d was m o t i v a t i n g me t o do i t , and n o t m y s e l f . So now what I want t o do, i n my b i g l e s s o n t h a t I ' v e l e a r n e d , when I do s o m e t h i n g I want t h e m o t i v a t i o n t o come w i t h i n m y s e l f and n o t t h r o u g h s t r e s s o f p a r e n t s o r s t r e s s o f what o t h e r p e o p l e s e e me a s . I believe participants place  this  to begin  and f e e l  flexibility  that  strong  and t a k i n g  new s e n s e o f s e c u r i t y h a s a l l o w e d t h e  t o accept  the world  enough t o f i n d  as an  a balance  unpredictable between  control.  p: J u s t because I always had t o have c o n t r o l , i t d i d n ' t m a t t e r i f I was u s u a l l y i n s e c u r e . I wouldn't l e t myself lose c o n t r o l . I t h i n k I h a v e r e a l l y l e t go o f t h a t , and j u s t l e t t h i n g s , I s t i l l f e e l t h a t I'm i n c o n t r o l enough to l e t myself f e e l the i n s e c u r i t y of not having predictability. I t h i n k I am s t r o n g enough as a p e r s o n n o t t o have t o have t h a t .  84  It their for  appears that  perceptions  p a r t i c i p a n t s are beginning  o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s as w e l l .  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s , have t y p i c a l l y  see  this  though have d e s c r i b e d  differently  Relationships,  b e e n an a r e a  b e c a u s e o f t h e need t o t r u s t and f e e l participants  t o reframe  o f concern  i n control.  Some  how t h e y a r e b e g i n n i n g t o  as w e l l .  p : I would s a y t h e y ( r e l a t i o n s h i p s ) change, b u t I h o p e f u l l y , when I g e t i n t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p i t w i l l be s t r o n g enough t h a t we c a n f a c e t h e c h a n g e s t o g e t h e r . Many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s f e e l greater feel  maturity  that  as a r e s u l t o f t h e i r  they have  parents'  gained  divorce.  t h e y a r e more mature i n some ways t h a n t h e i r  f r o m n o n - d i v o r c e d homes. maturity,  that  A l l of the g i r l s  and a r e p r o u d o f t h e i r  t h e y h a v e come t o s e e e x p e r i e n c e , synonymous w i t h p e r s o n a l they have the s t r e n g t h  value  independence.  Many friends  this I t seems t h a t  e v e n p a i n f u l e x p e r i e n c e , as  g r o w t h , and f r o m t h i s k n o w l e d g e  t o face  life  feel  honestly.  p : I'm j u s t s o much more i n t o u c h w i t h m y s e l f and how I f e e l and t h a t i s v e r y p o s i t i v e t o come o u t o f s u c h a n e g a t i v e s i t u a t i o n . B e c a u s e now t h a t t h e d i v o r c e i s o v e r and now t h a t my l i f e i s g o i n g t o b e g i n I'm s t a r t i n g w i t h a g r e a t e r knowledge o f m y s e l f . So I s o r t o f am s t a r t i n g f r o m a v a n t a g e p o i n t where h o p e f u l l y t h r o u g h s i t u a t i o n s I ' l l know a l i t t l e b i t more a b o u t m y s e l f and know how I ' l l r e a c t . Out  of this  reframing  sense o f acceptance  i n degree  believe issues  that  a  greater  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s f o r themselves,  e n v i r o n m e n t and t h e i r vary  process has developed  family.  Naturally,  f o r each p a r t i c i p a n t .  the pain  i t has c r e a t e d ,  of their  parents'  have n o t been  These p a r t i c i p a n t s a r e s t i l l  Half  this  process  will  of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  divorce,  fully  their  and t h e  resolved y e t .  s t r u g g l i n g with  the issues the  85  divorce  created,  parents  and s t e p p a r e n t s ,  sadness over requires around  s u c h as t h e i r a m b i v a l e n t  their  difficulty  losses.  the partipants  the divorce,  trusting  To r e s o l v e  t o have acknowledged  and t o h a v e a c t i v e l y  t h e i r b e l i e f s and a s s u m p t i o n s .  seem s t u c k  in their hurtful  of  feelings,  some o f t h e i r  she  their  feelings  e x p l o r e d and Some  participants  o t h e r s have n o t y e t  assumptions,  s u c h as t h e i s s u e  does n o t d e s c r i b e h e r s e l f  h a s a s t r o n g need  difficulty  trusting  participant  that  to feel i n control  people.  she h a s n o t r e a l l y begun t o f a c e  described  by h e r s e l f  secretive, life.  divorce.  My s u s p i c i o n i s  some h e r f e a r s  and  This participant  was  very  a b o u t t o whom she t o l d d e t a i l s o f h e r  I a s k e d h e r i f t h i s may be due t o some d i f f i c u l t y she  trusting  secretiveness particular  p e o p l e , b u t she d i d n o t p e r c e i v e h e r i n t h i s manner.  participant  restructuring  consequently  for this  the processes o f learning,  as h a v i n g  i t s occurence.  struggle  I t may be t h a t  meaning do n o t a p p l y .  describes herself after  i s the  and by h e r s i s t e r a s b e i n g  and c a u t i o u s  that  f r o m much o f t h e p a i n o f t h e  s i s t e r and h e r m o t h e r .  concerns around h e r p a r e n t s '  as f e e l i n g  n o r does she h a v e  This p a r t i c i p a n t  who was p r o t e c t e d  d i v o r c e by h e r o l d e r  and  p e o p l e , and  trust. One p a r t i c i p a n t  has  toward  these c o n f l i c t s  questioned  begun t o q u e s t i o n  feelings  This  This  participant  accepted her parents' certainly  g r o w i n g , and  divorce  i s her current r e a l i t y ,  t h e a c c e p t a n c e p r o c e s s has not been t h e  f o r her that  soon  i t has been f o r t h e o t h e r s .  86  Other issues  participants  c r e a t e d by  participants. believe  emotions t h e i r  this of  parents'  concerns  deep need  what was  that her reframe parents'  true.  just  these  now  other  h a v e now  For  one  I believe this older sister  and  was  from  i s so  because  struggle with  cautious trusting  begun t o a c c e p t h e r but  younger s i s t e r  she has of her  has  her  sister  obvious  d i v o r c e much more q u i c k l y  had  a  people.  worked v e r y h a r d  assigned  many  This  parents' divorce, to  struggle, i t  b e n e f i t e d , and  she h a s  to  participant  father,  withdrew  the  managed  right,  a result  t h e meaning  live.  or  w i t h i n them,  Her  issues, As  of experiencing  and  and  described, I  f e a r s I have d e s c r i b e d .  for control,  stage.  reality,  watched her and  p a r t i c i p a n t has resolve  some o f t h e  I have  d i v o r c e provoked  altered  particularly  questioned  the p r o c e s s  changes i n t h e i r  participant  the  this  through  w i t h an  these  thisseems  than  losses  o t h e r p a r t i c i p a n t s h a v e moved more q u i c k l y ,  more c o m p l e t e l y ,  resolve  d i v o r c e sooner  U n l i k e the p a r t i c i p a n t  these  struggling  the  appear t o have r e s o l v e d the  has  than her  reach appears  been a b l e  to aspects  of  sister  and  to  her was  able  to. In summary, e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t s ' divorce in  experience  i t s degree of  These d i f f e r e n c e s suggests natural their  to r e s o l u t i o n  fulfillment are  t o be  that there exists cycle  parents'  and  p r o g r e s s i o n from  of t h i s  experience  i t s degree of  expected.  the has  intensity.  However, t h e  evidence  f o r a l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  o f p r o g r e s s i o n from  the  divorce, to experience  initial  varied  a  experience  of the p h y s i c a l  of  changes  87  the  divorce  and  e v e n t u a l l y coming  that  they  believe  accept  I would  interviewed parents' several divorce. least  created,  the  responding  to interpret changes  not have  participants  divorce. years  The  i t created  witnessed who  had  upon  and  quite privileged  vicariously,  witness  their  to these  changes,  the d i v o r c e i n such  this  in their cycle  recently  participants  to reflect  I feel  cognitively  to respond t o have growth  lives.  study  have  to their  been  and  way I  i f I had  experienced  i n this  a  able  their had parents'  to, at  maturity.  Summary  In  summary, t h i s  c h a p t e r has d e s c r i b e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  experience  of their  identified  t h a t were d e s c r i p t i v e  experience  and o f t h e t w e l v e  identified  from  the  immediate  parents'  the f i r s t  experience  divorce.  were  of the  which had been  These p r o c e s s e s  were  o f the d i v o r c e , the process o f  created,  the process  the p r o c e s s  areas  interviews.  to the environmental  changes t h a t t h e d i v o r c e  o f making s e n s e  t h e new meaning  participants,  processes  o f the nature  topic  adapting  identifying  Four  and f i n a l l y  of resolution.  life  o f these  h a d assumed  reinterpreting  this  c h a n g e s and f o r the meaning  through  89  CHAPTER  COMPARISON  FIVE  OF PRESENT STUDY WITH RESEARCH  Introduction  The  previous  experience  of their  examine t h i s discussed little  chapter  parents'  experience  chapter.  of parental divorce.  study  children's  to  experience  authenticity  world  study  t o the l i t e r a t u r e  As t h e l i t e r a t u r e  This chapter  that this  on two l e v e l s .  First,  "by t r y i n g  to interpret  the findings  greater insight  and  chapter  to other  experience  from  the experience  a new p e r s p e c t i v e .  being  that are suited  by  as j u s t w o r l d  t h e o r y , h e l p t o p r o v i d e new i n s i g h t  experience  us t o  studied.  experiences  such  o f d i v o r c e and h e l p t o r e f r a m e  participants'  by r e l a t i n g t h e  interpretation helps  Some t h e o r i e s ,  the  approach allows the  explores participants'  findings.  attribution  into  1985).  t o understand  ( p . 9 7 ) , and s e c o n d l y ,  that this  the richness  i s well-suited  researcher  (1984) a r g u e s  to capture  experience  T h i s second  it  compare t h e  (Giorgi,  to research.  This  will  experience  experience  gain  suggested,  on t h e a d o l e s c e n t ' s  i s designed  of individuals'  o f the i n d i v i d u a l "  Sullivan  will  of parental divorce.  (1975) s u g g e s t s  analysis  This chapter  w i t h p e r t i n e n t r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s on t h e t o p i c o f  A phenomenological  Giorgi  divorce.  r e s e a r c h has been conducted  present  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  i n relation  i n the second  experience  and  presented  those  theory  i n t o the  aspects  to this.  relating  o f the  90  Chapter divorce  four d e s c r i b e s the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  as a p r o g r e s s i o n t h r o u g h  categories. divorce, change,  The f i r s t  restructuring  within It  meaning  was a l s o n o t e d  and speed  from  a theoretical  and  beginning  progession  t o end.  appears  the i n t e n s i t y moved  of the  through  this  theory  for children.  through  describes  time  movement.  with  Schwartzberg  as a way t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e "Attachment t h e o r y  provides  framework i n w h i c h t o v i e w d i v o r c e as b o t h  extending  related  reaction  because  d i v o r c e d homes a l s o  characterizing  the d i v o r c e process  loss"  moved f r o m  as a p r o g e s s i o n  (1981) d e s c r i b e s a t t a c h m e n t  of  was c h o s e n  of the  varied.  on c h i l d r e n  stages  environmental  and t h e p r o c e s s o f  a t which the p a r t i c i p a n t s  divorce experience  tasks  this  to  experience of  resolution  f o r a l l of the participants,  Research  process  process  participants  that while  four processes  different  of adapting  and moving t o w a r d The t e r m  each c a t e g o r y  experience  the  was t h e i m m e d i a t e  and g r o w i n g p r o c e s s ,  experience.  descriptive  the  four processes, or  f o l l o w e d by t h e p r o c e s s the learning  divorce  process  experience of  over  time  as w e l l as i n v o l v i n g  t o the task o f working  (p. 125).  (Schwartzberg,  present  study.  initial  loss  with  denial,  1981).  a t t a c h m e n t t h e o r y as a d e s c r i p t i o n some s i m i l a r i t i e s  specific the experience  There are f o u r phases which d e s c r i b e the  to the s e p a r a t i o n process:  detachment  o f through  a  protest, despair,  I t appears  of resolving  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  that loss  experience  shares i n the  Their progression i n v o l v e d r e s o l v i n g the  of their  parents' marriage  and numerous o t h e r  91  losses these  the  divorce  losses The  the  framework.  despair,  and  participants  1  each of  processes  the  process of as  The  evidence  to  this  in this  the  study d e s c r i b e s .  Schwartzberg  during  participants  underwent,  s u c h as  stepparents  terms of  denial,  1  participants' In  the  divorce,  response to  of  these  and  a n g e r , do  Schwartzberg Their  the  within  loss  completely  of  Each  the  moving homes experienced  detachment. adapting  by  change.  often  and in  However, as  to  the  descriptive  the  would  the  resolving  seem t o  argues  memory f o r how  divorce,  of  the  describe  felt  intense  actual  c r u c i a l , as their  of  Schwartzberg  loss.  The  however,  the of  reaction this  is s t i l l  range  s u c h as  of  initial  clear  feelings  experience  abandonment, l o n e l i n e s s ,  is descriptive they  experience  The  participants  disillusionment, not  divorce.  seem t o be  task of by  immediate  u n d e r g o a number o f  their parents'  emotions d e s c r i b e d fearfulness,  not  process,  feelings to  are  participants  in  believes,  and  the  experience.  first  the  despair  was  long-term process of  stages  the  f i n a n c i a l status,  stepchildren,  protest,  f o r the  Schwartzberg s  and  of  phases d e s c r i b e d  environmental  home, a l t e r e d  denial,  particular,  p r o c e s s of  schools,  framework  In  the  from the  suggests  c h a n g e s t h e y underwent  seem t o h a v e undergone t h e  parent  study  in i t s  more d e s c r i p t i v e  participants  change t h e  theory  (1981) d e s c r i b e s o f  detachment are  responses  resolving  well.  s t u d y d i f f e r s from attachment  phases Schwartzberg  protest,  The  e n t a i l s p e c i f i c tasks  present  theoretical that  did  precipitated.  and  of  shock, sadness,  denial stage. lucid.  which  a  92  Denial the  of  the  intensity  experience  seemed t o be stage  f o r two  characteristic of  the  Protest the  process  learning  their  sisters,  a family value  described  denial  of  by  o f how  the  event or of  of adapting  a particular  participants  described  1981)  best  but  need  initial not  f o r independence. a way  responses t o the  Despair the  participants  they  some  intensified  sense  This  more  c o u l d be their  insistent  described anger  of  divorce describe  as  around  However  demands were f a i r l y  that could  of  were more r e b e l l i o u s homes and  changes the  a l s o d i d not  felt  the complex.  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' created, a  it  was  particular  characterize a particular i t could  throughout the  d e s c r i b e how  first  three  c o u l d h a v e b e e n e v o k e d by  many p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d  could  the  lives.  of despair  helplessness that  an  of  accurately  example,  characteristic  p a r t i c i p a n t s , although  feeling  For  aspects  c h a n g e s and  of venting  responses to these  in their  describes  d i v o r c e made upon them.  a long-term response  stage  more  event  does n o t  process.  While p r o t e s t i s p r o b a b l y  last  evoked.  f e e l i n g s the  upon t h e i r  participants'  feeling  the  f r i e n d s from n o n - d i v o r c e d  many demands t h e  strong  than i s  experiencing  as  describe  p a r t i c i p a n t s responded  They b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e y  of p r o t e s t , or  to  Detachment, t h e  i s probably  than t h e i r  the  d e n i a l of  to environmental  characterize  a type  seems o n l y  f o r them.  growing p r o c e s s ,  adolescence.  and  Schartzberg,  (Schwartzberg,  and  pain  not  c o n t r o l aspects  of  and  their  stage  some o f  processes. the by  sense their  world.  for the The  of fear  93  Participants what m o r a l confused  by  also described feeling  framework t h e y their  of  feelings,  losses term  acceptance,  precise years  the d i v o r c e .  they  This study  (1979) c r i s i s  the d i v o r c e .  suggests  to  the  immediate p h y s i c a l  as  the  loss  She  o f one  the p a r e n t - c h i l d  parent,  These s t r e s s e s reaction not  that  first  the r e s u l t i n g changes.  the  a more several  seem t o be over  the  an  first  c o n c e n t r a t e d on  acceptance  is a  children  process  that  reaction react  environment,  such  f a m i l y dynamics, Hetherington loss,  and  suggests  change  and  separation  a c c u r a t e summation o f year.  However,  a model t h a t  I  fairly  must  o f t h e p r e d i v o r c e and  l o n g - t e r m h e a l i n g p r o c e s s , one  g r o w t h and  that  short-term  a s s o c i a t e d with c o n f l i c t ,  are d e s c r i p t i v e  l i t e r a t u r e has the  suggests  changes i n t h e i r  relationship  stresses  participants'  of  r e s o l v e d the  model a r g u a b l y  to  stage.  of  the d i v o r c e .  of the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  uncertainty  o f some  the i n t e n s i t y  experience  accurate description  the  of  t h e y were  i s probably  o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  Hetherington's  that  unsure  description  finally  r a t h e r than detachment,  description  after  a better  manner o f d e a l i n g w i t h  r a t h e r t h a n how  c r e a t e d by  as  and  behaviours.  i s probably  the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  their  s h o u l d a b i d e by  parents'  Detachment a l s o  confused  which  the  is descriptive  i n c l u d e s the  witnessed.  the  94  The  Chapter the  Immediate E x p e r i e n c e  four  summarizes  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experience  topics  were t h e n o r g a n i z e d  a movement f r o m t h e to acceptance of participants' The  initial  the  The  girls  described  additional To  literature  presents  qualitative  study  and  as  quantitative Wallerstein has  been  their that  of  research  research  chosen  research  experience  i s one  be  Santrock  divorce  this  this  is  through  the divorce.  one  with  alone.  rife  One  sad,  change  strong  worried  participant  altered  the  created  family t r a d i t i o n s .  study with  related  First,  illustrate  the  this  was  study  Santrock  (1987),  lacking  of p a r e n t a l  of  the  r e a s o n s an  study  and  why  this  of  and  Second,  (1987) b o t h o b s e r v e t h a t children's  a  experience  made c a u t i o u s l y .  c o n d u c t e d on  is particularly  for this  as  described  parents'  difficulties.  should  divorce.  adolescent  their  s u c h as  sought to  (1985) and  parents'  the  of  These  that  process  divorce  and  descriptive  a r e s u l t comparisons between t h i s  research  little  The  girls,  several  of  period  f i n d i n g s of  that  processes  f e e l i n g shocked,  family,  f o r the  compare t h e  divorce,  this  are  divorce.  first  of  abandoned and  sense of  losses  The  experience  feeling relieved.  participants'  that  experience  reported  over p r a c t i c a l i t i e s ,  Divorce  of p a r e n t a l  divorce.  initial  topics  into four  participants described  emotions.  the  12  of  there  reactions  to  i n p a r t i c u l a r notes  in empirical divorce. adolescent  s t u d y has  studies  This  paucity  population  focused  on  on  the  was  95  experience theory  o f p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e , as o p p o s e d t o t e s t i n g  on t h e t o p i c .  T h e r e a r e s e v e r a l s t u d i e s , however, employed  a qualitative  experience 1985;  existing  research design  of parental divorce  t h a t have i n p a r t  t o study  (Hetherington,  Cox, & Cox,  W a l l e r s t e i n , 1985; W a l l e r s t e i n & K e l l y ,  Wallerstein  and K e l l y ' s  the p r e s e n t  study  the c h i l d ' s  1980).  (1980) work i s e s p e c i a l l y  pertinent to  as i t a l s o l o o k s a t t h e a d o l e s c e n t  e xperience. In a s t u d y in  other  that notes  o f such  related  a broad  nature  as t h e p r e s e n t  r e s e a r c h t h e r e a r e few d e s c r i p t i v e  c a n be made o f a l l t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s . that there  intensity divorce"  of responses  experience  i n a l l these  the t r a n s i t i o n  (Hetherington,  statements  Hetherington  (1979)  i n t h e q u a l i t y and  and i n t h e a d a p t a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n t o  ( p . 8 5 2 ) . One common r e s p o n s e  participants  described  i s a "wide v a r i a b i l i t y  one, and  made t h o u g h b y  s t u d i e s i s "almost  a l l children  o f d i v o r c e as p a i n f u l "  1979, p . 8 5 1 ) . A l l o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  t h e d i v o r c e as p a i n f u l ,  even t h e one p a r t i c i p a n t  who  wanted h e r mother t o l e a v e h e r f a t h e r . The universal  present  study's  responses  Wallerstein  (1985).  adolescents  tended  depression,  [and]  f i n d i n g s concur  i n part with  several  t o p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e d e s c r i b e d by W a l l e r s t e i n ' s study t o experience  worry over  feelings  one o r b o t h  found  c h i l d r e n and  of "anxiety, parents  . . .  (p. 5 4 6 ) . The  feeling  of anxiety,  I b e l i e v e , was e x p e r i e n c e d  by  96  all  the p a r t i c i p a n t s , though the source  anxiety  varied  among p a r t i c i p a n t s .  used d e p r e s s i o n but  to describe  their  a l l t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s used  felt  about the d i v o r c e .  during  their  origins  term d e p r e s s i o n participants,  serious  experience o f the d i v o r c e ,  sadness t o d e s c r i b e  Some f e l t  t o the d i v o r c e .  feared  None o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  that  t h e y were  A number  depressed  and f o r some t i m e a f t e r t h e d i v o r c e . carries a clinical  I think,  that  participants'  may h a v e b e e n  intimidated  the consequences o f being  experience,  the divorce  by, and may  d e p r e s s e d were more A sense o f the  and seems t o h a v e stemmed  created  The  tone t o i t t h a t the  sadness,' however, does seem t o d e s c r i b e  many l o s s e s  they had  o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s were  than the consequences o f f e e l i n g sad.  pervasive  how  a d o l e s c e n c e , b u t were r e l u c t a n t t o t r a c e i t s  depressed before  have  and i n t e n s i t y o f t h e  and an i n c r e a s e d  from the  sense o f  instability. All of the  their  o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed parents.  The c a u s e s o f t h e w o r r y w h i c h  most p r o f o u n d  e f f e c t on t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s was  t o want t o p r o t e c t particular,  live  their  i n , and w h i c h p a r e n t  (1985) i s c h i l d r e n ' s This  particularly  from  to side  feeling hurt.  tendency  In f o r the whose home  with.  response d e s c r i b e d  seems t o d e s c r i b e  p r e - t e e n s when t h e y  their  s u c h as d e c i d i n g  and a d o l e s c e n t s '  t h o s e who  seemed t o h a v e  were a m a j o r c o n c e r n  especially conflicts  Another u n i v e r s a l  divorce.  parents  loyalty conflicts  participants, to  w o r r y o v e r one o r b o t h  by  Wallerstein  desire  t o undo t h e  most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  were s u r p r i s e d by t h e news o r were  learned  o f t h e news.  One p a r t i c i p a n t  97  d e s c r i b e d h e r sadness n o t work h a r d believed tried as  her b e l i e f  enough a t r e s o l v i n g  their  marriage  harder.  that her parents d i d  their  differences.  c o u l d h a v e worked  This b e l i e f  she t h o u g h t  She  around  deepened  this  i f o n l y they had participant's  h e r p a r e n t s ' a c t i o n s were somewhat  c e r t a i n l y harboured  a deep-seated  She  desire  sadness  capricious.  t o undo h e r  parents' divorce. A universal participants' such and  response  immediate  as f i n a n c i a l betrayal  which t h i s  concerns  common  concerns.  responses  p a r t i c i p a n t s who h a d n o t a n t i c i p a t e d One  participant  described feeling  p a r e n t s had o f t e n fought  prior  she h a d p r o t e c t e d h e r s e l f  Hetherington  b e an i s s u e w i t h i f one p a r e n t  adolescents described  parent,  shocked  to their  and f e a r f u l  Interestingly,  even t h o u g h h e r She b e l i e v e d  the p o s s i b l e  D i v o r c e , she t h o u g h t ,  that  left,  abandonment Young  so c o u l d t h e o t h e r .  from  described a vicarious their  father,  sources.  feeling left  parent  appears children While  o f abandonment.  several  feeling  the other  a r e a b l e t o r e a s o n more r a t i o n a l l y ,  usually  among  parents divorce.  divorce.  a d o l e s c e n t s as w e l l .  seems t o h a v e d e v e l o p e d  one  their  fighting.  experiencing feelings  participants  particularly  (1979) d e s c r i b e s young c h i l d r e n  may l e a v e them a l s o .  reason  problems  but not t o h e r .  abandoned by one p a r e n t ,  to  was t h e  F e e l i n g s o f shock  by a v o i d i n g f a c i n g  consequences o f h e r p a r e n t s ' happens t o o t h e r people,  noted  with pragmatic  or housekeeping  were a l s o  study  many o f them This  feeling  Some  o f abandonment when  home.  Other  98  participants  described  or both o f t h e i r  f e e l i n g r e j e c t e d and abandoned when one  parents  shifted their  allegiances  to their  new s p o u s e s o r c o m p a n i o n s . Parental involved.  divorce  creates  numerous l o s s e s  Many o f t h e i s s u e s  f o r the c h i l d r e n  the c h i l d r e n struggle  the  r e s u l t o f some l o s s t h e y h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d .  the  participants described  the  divorce  loss  participants'  sense o f f a m i l y . need  world  family  for tradition  very  that  by t h e  a f t e r the divorce  The p a r t i c i p a n t s wanted  seemed t o  and m a i n t a i n i n g  many  t o o many p a i n f u l memories f o r t h e The f o l l o w i n g p a r t i c i p a n t ' s  o f C h r i s t m a s were f a i r l y  participants'  many  and s i m i l a r t o t h e w o r l d  t r a d i t i o n s must a l t e r ,  t o p e r s i s t i n them.  impressions  family  that  increased  However, c h a n g e s t o t h e f a m i l y  t r a d i t i o n s contained  parents  ironic  was p r o b a b l y  nontraditional.  t o remain p r e d i c t a b l e  t h e y h a d known. dictate  losses  aware o f soon a f t e r  I t i s sadly  while the r e s u l t i n g i n t e r i m  was b y n e c e s s i t y their  keenly  Some  was t h e l o s s o f t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e home, and t h e  of their  divorce,  being  with are  typical  of the other  feelings:  p : I grew t o h a t e C h r i s t m a s . I a l w a y s used t o l o v e i t , i t w o u l d be my f a v o u r i t e t i m e o f y e a r . . . So t h a t [ t h e d i v o r c e ] b l e w t r a d i t i o n f o r me and when t r a d i t i o n was gone, I d i d n ' t h a v e a n y t h i n g e l s e b e c a u s e t h a t was C h r i s t m a s f o r me, i t was f a m i l y , and i t was t r a d i t i o n . The the  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s e n s e o f f a m i l y was a l s o a f f e c t e d b y  divorce.  Its effects will  process of adapting  be d i s c u s s e d  to environmental  changes.  many c h a n g e s t o t h e f a m i l y w h i c h t h e d i v o r c e tremendous s t r a i n  i n the f o l l o w i n g Accepting created  on many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Other  the  was a issues  also  developed out of the i n i t i a l  these  issues  particular, original that  participants  feelings  i n the following  processes.  described  t o avoid  o f abandonment  trying  and  In  their  and t h e f r i g h t e n i n g  sense  t h e i r w o r l d was an u n p r e d i c t a b l e p l a c e b y t r y i n g t o  over-control In divorce the  are evident  experience of divorce,  their  lives  and r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  summary, t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' was one o f i n t e n s e  news and b y t h e many  immediate  emotions c r e a t e d  losses  the divorce  reaction  t o the  by t h e shock o f precipitated.  100  The  Process of  Chapter children  four  described  generally  These changes are shift  to Environmental  a number o f  numerous and by  the  are  often  often  s p o k e a b o u t by  loss  f r o m t h e i r home, t h e  and  one  parent  stepchildren  financial  support.  psychological parent  their led  or both p a r e n t s ,  to a s h i f t  homes t y p i c a l  also  The  created  be  sense of  need  produced  discussed  i n c l u s i o n of  to  these  The the  stepparents decreased  changes o f t e n p r e c i p i t a t e d l o s s of  increased  stepparents family.  c h a n g e s as  one  relationship  closeness  and  The  with  stepchildren  double  parental  some i n t e r e s t i n g  decreased  f o r more a d a p a t i o n .  i n the  internal  p a r t i c i p a n t s were:  families created  conceptual  an  losses.  moving homes, and  fostered  p a r t i c i p a n t s , and  the  as  l e d to changes i n t h e i r and  of d i v o r c e d  by  to adapt  participantsThe  i n c l u s i o n of  in their  f o r the  generally will  These c o n c r e t e  home o f t e n  siblings.  options  lives,  change f o r t h e  from the  w i t h one  into their  the  changes  divorce.  followed  perceived  c h a n g e s most o f t e n of  parents'  c h i l d r e n i n order  These changes are  Change  environmental  experience a f t e r t h e i r  i n perspective  changes.  Adapting  financial These  changes  w e l l , and  f o l l o w i n g process of  standing  these  learning  changes  and  growing. R e s e a r c h on refers  to  the  children's  of p a r e n t a l  many e n v i r o n m e n t a l c h a n g e s c h i l d r e n  These changes, or  stresses  were p e r c e i v e d  the  their  experience  by  experience  and  as  the  literature  p a r t i c i p a n t s as acted  as  the  divorce  encounter.  r e f e r s to  them,  a fundamental p a r t  impetus  for  also  of  psychological  101  exploration Long,  and  growth.  1987), has  Rutter  suggested  (1978,  i n Forehand,  Middleton  &  that:  c h i l d r e n who e x p e r i e n c e s t r e s s f r o m s e v e r a l s o u r c e s (e.g., d i v o r c e ) are not at s i g n i f i c a n t r i s k f o r adjustment difficulties. However, f o r t h o s e c h i l d r e n who experience s t r e s s from s e v e r a l s o u r c e s (e.g., d i v o r c e c o u p l e d w i t h a poor r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h both p a r e n t s ) , the a d v e r s e e f f e c t s may i n c r e a s e as a f u n c t i o n o f t h e number o f stressors. (p. 306) One  p a r t i c i p a n t mentioned t h a t  h a v e c o p e d w i t h any experienced. and  her  more change i n h e r girl  had  r e l a t i o n s h i p with  asked her  how  to her  life,  in  life  her  This  she she  she  would  life  experienced  one  feel  felt  p a r e n t had about the  that than  she she  short  p : T h a t would be probably p r e t t y lucky Hetherington,  a period  of  had  not  already  both p a r e n t a l  divorce  degenerated.  When I  a d d i t i o n of  s a i d t h a t would h a v e e n t a i l e d t o o  i n too  could  stepparents many  changes  time.  a tremendous a d j u s t m e n t , I t h i n k I'm t h a t i t d i d n ' t a l l p i l e up a t o n c e .  Cox,  numerous e n v i r o n m e n t a l  and  Cox  ( 1 9 8 5 ) , a l s o comment on  changes c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e  the  through  divorce. Some o f t h e f a c t o r s t h a t m e d i a t e t h e l o n g - t e r m outcomes o f d i v o r c e f o r c h i l d r e n and p a r e n t s a p p e a r t o be t h e m u l t i p l e l i f e changes encountered f o l l o w i n g d i v o r c e . These i n c l u d e changes i n economic s t a t u s , r e s i d e n c e , occupation, c h i l d care arrangements, s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s s u p p o r t n e t w o r k s , f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l h e a l t h , (p. 519) The  participants in this  flexible  with physical  participant  felt  s t u d y however seem  changes i n t h e i r  deeply  a f f e c t e d by  numerous changes  economic  was  t o move o v e r a d o z e n t i m e s t h r o u g h o u t  adolescence.  For  the  other  and  environment.  residence, forced  status,  particularly  schools,  and  p a r t i c i p a n t s , the  Only in  one  her  this participant her  external  changes  102  that  seemed t o c r e a t e t h e  were t h e  social  difficulty their  The  a d j u s t i n g t o new  presented  Forehand, supportive for  changes .  relationships  believe,  greatest emotional  with the  girls  felt  stepparents,  their parents.  greatest risk  Middleton,  environment  and  for  hardship  t h e y had and  f o r them  most  to the  changes i n  These s t r e s s e s ,  I  adjustment.  Long,  (1987) b e l i e v e t h a t a  i s essential  for healthy emotional  growth  adolescents : S t u d i e s have f o u n d t h a t a s u p p o r t i v e h a r m o n i o u s environment p r o v i d e s a s e t t i n g f o r adolescents to recover from t h e i r s t r e s s e s of d a i l y l i f e . Two f a c t o r s t h a t d i s r u p t t h i s a r e d i v o r c e and a p o o r p a r e n t - a d o l e s c e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p , and h a v e been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h m a l a d a p t i v e functioning. (p. 305).  A s u p p o r t i v e , h a r m o n i o u s e n v i r o n m e n t does e n c o u r a g e process.  However, t h i s  d i v o r c e d homes, as probability  participants  well-functioning  enjoyed divorce.  individuals  two  enjoyed  noted.  enduring.  Also,  grown i n t o  happy,  from  in their the  in  The the  great  the  a s u p p o r t i v e , harmonious  p a r e n t s ' homes a f t e r  sisters  found  t h e d i v o r c e , and home p r i o r  same home f e l t  to  had  the  that this  was  f o r them.  loss  o f one  parent  d y n a m i c s i n t h e home. consistently  are  t h a t t h e y had  a s u p p o r t i v e environment  descriptive The  felt  i n both  Only  readily  however i s a f f e c t e d by  s t r e s s e s parents  who  is still  s e v e r a l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  of i t s occurrence  many a d d i t i o n a l  environment  environment  the h e a l i n g  appeared  r e l a t i o n s h i p with r e l a t i o n s h i p s with  One  from way  to a l t e r  their their  t h e home a l t e r e d  i n which these was  parents parents  i n the  and was  the  existing  dynamics  participants'  siblings. affected  The  participants'  i n a number  of  103  ways.  One  shift  consistently their  the  and  dynamics o f p a r e n t a l was  adolescents  the  and  Kelly  experience  Wallerstein  loss of  one  and  lonely  for several  p a r e n t s were o f t e n absent was  i n an  depressed  emotionally been t h e r e  f o r her  Feelings  sense.  a f t e r the  for her  of  to  One  divorce,  to give her before  the  parents'  financial  and the  so  sides.  The  children felt  within  the  family,  divorce. and  described  because  supported her  sister  she  for felt  leaving  father.  as  the  rejection.  being  very  This  father's  sided  there  and  love  Their were  mother  that  hand  P r i o r to to her  i n other  with  a n g e r and  had  ways.  their  mother  led to  One sister  d e c i s i o n to d i v o r c e .  she  felt  the  divorce  father,  Her  feelings  angry at her family,  and  she so  or  factions  mother and  c a r r i e d mixed  The  taking  rejection.  her  s t a r t i n g another  close  feeling  divorce.  "side-taking"  mother, and one  t h e i r home and  l o s s and  herself  On  own  and  participants into  f e e l i n g r e j e c t e d by  chose to support her  toward her  they  f e e l i n g s of  participant  status  not  created  a tendency t o provoke the  i n the  was  is  divorce.  had  father  their  o b l i g a t i o n s , or  support  divorce  their  this  concerns  p a r t i c i p a n t s a i d her  r e j e c t i o n were a l s o  that  that  sense of  financial  after their  both  own  participants described  a b s e n t due  emotional  to t h e i r  anger,  by  r e j e c t i o n from  K e l l y suggest  or both p a r e n t s  Several years  (1980) n o t e t h a t  and  w o r r y o v e r changed  domestic problems.  abandoned  a sense of  loneliness, conflicted loyalties,  vulnerability  relationships  f e e l i n g r e j e c t e d or  Wallerstein  departed parent.  c a u s e d by of  described  parents.  children  i n the  but  father  she  also  described this  shift  in  104  allegiances  was p a r t i c u l a r l y p a i n f u l .  r:  You're s u p e r s e n s i t i z e d  to feeling  p:  Oh t o t a l l y ,  . . I am r e a l l y  rejection.  rejected? sensitive to  rejection. The the  loss  o f one p a r e n t 'from t h e home was p e r c e i v e d  most immediate and a p p a r e n t  was a p a i n f u l rejection, reconcile  one and seemed t o c r e a t e  most p a r t i c i p a n t s this loss.  some f a i r l y  altered  usually  parental of  the father,  home.  described  Part  and b a r g a i n i n g  f r o m t h e i r home. felt,  t o be g a i n e d b y t h e helped to  of adolescence  new  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  with a greater  degree  focused  prior  attention  on t h e i r new s i t u a t i o n s enjoyed  an a d d i t i o n a l  which arose  a closer  t o the divorce  i s exploring  t o two  often  Another b e n e f i t  was g a i n i n g  Having access  because t h e i r parents'  t h e y now e n j o y e d  There  f o r new f r e e d o m s .  homes p r o v i d e d  participants  created  environmental  by p a r t i c i p a n t s  freedom than they had e x p e r i e n c e d  Prior  t h e y were a b l e t o  loss.  well,  the  s u c h as  changes f o r the  participants  One o f t h e b e n e f i t s second p a r e n t a l  loss  as a g r e a t e r p r o b l e m t h a n t h e a c t u a l  some b e n e f i t s ,  their  this  feelings  d y n a m i c s i n t h e i r homes, and t h e s e b e n e f i t s  reconcile  options  While  painful  and i n t e r e s t i n g l y some o f t h e s e  of a parent,  were a l s o  that  environmental  c h a n g e s were e x p e r i e n c e d loss  felt  loss.  The a b s e n c e o f one p a r e n t however  prominent  participants,  initial  t o be  t o the d i v o r c e .  after  their divorce  and on new  most p a r t i c i p a n t s  was  relationships,  degree o f freedom.  from t h e d i v o r c e  relationship  As  with  their  had l i v e d  was  finding  fathers. in fairly  a  105  traditional  homes i n w h i c h t h e m o t h e r s were r e s p o n s i b l e  bulk of parenting participants fathers.  described  fathers  were f o r c e d  time.  to dedicate  spent  a s i t u a t i o n where t h e more  time  and t h e y were  fathers  their  fathers.  jealous  on weekends d e s c r i b e d I t was  back a p a r e n t . fathers  with  their  Having access describe  of t h e i r  phenomenon.  enjoyed a higher  provide  weekend t r e a t s t h a t their  often harsher  the i n i t i a l  Generally  standard  fathers  reality  of l i v i n g ,  their  Rather,  of their  much more  simply  gave them their  increased  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' and were a b l e t o  m o t h e r s ' homes.  not a f f o r d .  enjoyed  from the  Most o f t h e  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s  f r u g a l l y a f t e r the d i v o r c e . that  the b e n e f i t s  o r were m a r v e l l e d  their  fathers  Interestshould  support o f t h e i r mothers'  m o t h e r s were o f t e n p e r c e i v e d  complainers,  visit  t o what I  t h e n were a welcome r e l i e f  more t o t h e f i n a n c i a l  they  weekend  loss of  mothers c o u l d  none o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s f e l t  contribute  Their  living  their  the divorce  m o t h e r s were s t r u g g l i n g t o make ends meet. described  very  f e e l i n g much c l o s e r now t o  t o two homes a l s o gave r i s e  as a h o l i d a y  with  fathers,  fathers.  fathers  ingly,  with  did eventually  as i f , i r o n i c a l l y ,  So, t h e y p e r c e i v e d  this  f r o m t h e i r home as a c t u a l l y p r e c i p i t a t i n g an  closeness  Visits  time t o t h e i r  like  However, t h o s e p a r t i c i p a n t s t h a t  their  the  their  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s were i n i t i a l l y  as t h e y h a d n e v e r  i n the past,  l i t t l e time with  however c r e a t e d  e n t i r e weekends.  reluctant  As a r e s u l t o f t h i s ,  spending very  The d i v o r c e  participants often  responsibilities.  f o r the  at their  e i t h e r as  at f o r their  fathers'  depressing ability  homes. homes.  106  t o make ends meet.  A l l o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s learned  able  support  to  to financially  them.  that  t h e m s e l v e s was o f c e n t r a l  They d i d n o t want t o h a v e t o s t r u g g l e  mothers d i d .  Their  commitment  to this  The  u n i v e r s i t y , or had concrete environmental  participants  change t h a t  t o have caused  of stepparents  addition  required  in  s e n s e o f what c o n s t i t u t e d  their  initiated  t o be g a i n e d  adolescents' structures on  this  concern One  and b e n e f i t s  from  reactions  which  that  t o p i c , and y e t t h i s  that  This  adjustments  They h a d r e c o n c i l e d  I have  there  research  l o s s had described.  were v e r y  few  on t h e t o p i c o f  seems t o be an a r e a  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s o f the reasons,  participants  i s because  unacceptable challenge  was t h e  t o t h e i r home.  I h a v e n o t e n c o u n t e r e d much  constituted  altered,  hardship  t o g r o w i n g up i n d i f f e r e n t f a m i l y  i s lacking.  traditional  by t h e  stepparents.  (1987) s u g g e s t s  stepchildren  Their  was p e r c e i v e d  family.  either  to attend.  f r o m t h e home b e c a u s e t h i s  some b a l a n c e s  Santrock  were  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s t o make enormous  However, t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d benefits  plans  and s t e p c h i l d r e n  l o s s o f one p a r e n t  their  was s u p p o r t e d b y t h e f a c t  them t h e g r e a t e s t  addition  being  importance  like  s i x out o f the e i g h t p a r t i c i p a n t s I interviewed  attending  the  that  I believe,  discussion  of central  study. that  s u c h an a r e a  stepparents  and  o f concern f o r  t h e y were p e r c e i v e d  t o be an  t o t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' sense o f f a m i l y .  sense o f f a m i l y had a l r e a d y  and t h e y were n o t p r e p a r e d  t o accept  been  severely  any more  changes  107  over in why  which they had  this  s t u d y had  they  chosen for be  not  perceived  to t h e i r  sense of  clearly  their  easily  accepted  by  loss  participant the  and  stepsiblings,  o f one  parent  parents'  who  sister For  the  the  or p a r e n t s '  had  the  of  participants'  companions.  their  Not  of  this  was  she  o n l y d i d the  time.  As  felt her  well,  jealousy  stepparents  over  an  i n terms  also in  their  feel  t h e y were a l s o  i n f l u e n c e of t h e i r as  and  competition  participants  homes, b u t  perceived  loss  stepparents  seemed t o e x i s t  j e a l o u s y , and  known t o t h e  f o r the  because  t o c r e a t e a sense of  feelings  stepparent  children.  (1980) d i s c u s s how  traditional  t h e y had Again  to t h e i r  lives.  attention their  recreational  This competition  sense of b e l o n g i n e s s . lost  and  their  her  companions o f t e n e x p r e s s e d  Kelly  children.  not  one  for accepting  other p a r t i c i p a n t s  amount o f t i m e  companions t e n d e d  the parents  into  accepted  r e j e c t e d her  committed  and  was,  should  f o r a l l but  positive  readily  gave them, p a r t i c u l a r l y  within  t h e y had  stepparents  known, p a r t i c u l a r l y  Wallerstein  simply  f r o m t h e home seemed t o b r i n g  had  the parents  had  stepparents  f a m i l y she  decreased  stepparents  their  f a m i l y seemed t o make up  actions.  time  t o why  a threat  Their d i s l i k e  new  father's  parents'  participants  her  mother and  generally  the  and  them.  single participant  the  t o t h e m s e l v e s how  f a m i l y members.  a d d i t i o n of  that her  the  as  participants  s t e p c h i l d r e n t o be  seemed t o b r i n g n o t h i n g  For  the  and  Instead,  new  them, ample e v i d e n c e  I t seems t h a t t h e  articulated  stepparents  some b e n e f i t s , t h e  the  control.  family.  to d i s l i k e  While the  of  no  infraction  that losing  new against  108  their  sense o f c o n t r o l  participant  o v e r what c o n s t i t u t e d  family.  As one  noted:  p : I g u e s s i t d o e s n ' t f e e l l i k e home a t Dad's b e c a u s e i t ' s - ' s h o u s e , i t ' s n o t r e a l l y Dad's h o u s e , she d e c o r a t e s i t , she l o o k s a f t e r i t , i t ' s h e r h o u s e . She's t h e b o s s t h e r e , b u t she won't be b o s s o f us s o r t o f t h i n g , she d o e s ' t want t o be a p a r t o f o u r l i v e s , d o e s n ' t want us t o be a p a r t o f h e r s .  109  The  The the  variations  salient these next any  process  L e a r n i n g and G r o w i n g  of adapting  to environmental  i n the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  changes p r e c i p i t a t e d process  related  will  conceptual  parents  changes,  and examine  from  c h a n g e s d i s c u s s e d was how t h e  t h e home  l e d t o an a l t e r a t i o n  also  felt  i n their  angry  described feeling  and t h r e a t e n e d  parents.  to maintain  and one o r b o t h  their  The g i r l s traditional  girls and be  1  that the p a r t i c i p a n t s  distress  beliefs.  arose  from  found  their  rejected  initially,  by t h e changes they  had counted values  c o n f u s i o n over counted  r o l e m o d e l s f o r them, and t o p r o v i d e  d e p e n d a b l e home. expectations, helpless. before  When t h e i r  parents  some o f t h e g i r l s  One g i r l  felt  lost,  who h a d p a r t i c u l a r l y  the divorce f e l t  especially  i n their  own  on t h e i r  contravened  The  Much o f t h e  their  them w i t h  saw  on t h e i r  and r o l e s .  distressing.  They h a d u n c o n s c i o u s l y  i n the  of their  d i v o r c e however o f t e n seemed t o p r e c i p i t a t e b e h a v i o u r s parents  This  research.  The p a r t i c i p a n t s  occuring  t h a t were most  m o d i f i c a t i o n s as w e l l .  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  they  addresses  I b e l i e v e that the experience of  d e s c r i b e these  a b s e n c e o f one p a r e n t  and  changes  environment  internal  One o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l  parents.  Process  values  parents to  a secure, these  c o n f u s e d and  admired h e r f a t h e r  confused  and b e t r a y e d .  p : L i k e Dad s h o u l d n ' t be w i t h h e r , i t was j u s t , i t was immoral. B u t t h e t h i n g t h a t was s o h a r d was he was l i k e a God t o me, he r e p r e s e n t e d , he was n e v e r wrong, he d i d e v e r y t h i n g r i g h t , he was p e r f e c t and a l l t h a t , and t h a t j u s t t o t a l l y s h a t t e r e d t h e image. I d i d n ' t know what t o t h i n k anymore.  no The  a l t e r e d dynamics of  responsible  i n divorced  e x p e r i e n c e a sense of discipline.  The  Wallerstein yet  safe  and  possess  from the  adolescent. their and  own  e f f e c t of  the  "The  the  course"  (1980, p.  the  supports  left  sexual  sexual  f r o m home"  (p.  83).  Kalter,  none f e l t the  controls  according  t o keep  world  the  of  aggressive  may them  to  impulses,  adolescent  world  them t o a s t r a i g h t 1985)  for girls  and  responses  including  s u b s t a n c e a b u s e , and  that  running  away  516).  discipline, While the  that  their  out  of  the  participants did  or  study  the  appeared  altered  t o have  structure  participants discussed  b e h a v i o u r s were o u t  normal range o f b e h a v i o u r s respond  t o the  of  t h e y grew up  using  They f e l t  p a r e n t s had  that  home,  alcohol,  c o n t r o l , or  for adolescents.  friends  their  b e e n h a s t e n e d by  their  f e e l i n g as  from  natural  the  really But  a l t e r e d dynamics o f  more q u i c k l y t h a n t h e i r  n o n - d i v o r c e d homes.  responded  i n the  In p a r t i c u l a r , some p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d  from t h e i r  on  to  required  (in Wallerstein,  reaction  activity,  may  f o r t e e n a g e r s who  the  t h a t would h o l d  participants in this  differently.  and  of  t r i g g e r symptomatic  precocious  to reduced  wild  seems  Kelly  them f e e l i n g v u l n e r a b l e  temptations  "a t i m e b o m b - l i k e  a d o l e s c e n c e may  if  dangerous  internal discipline  divorce  and  loosened  changes,  undisciplined, often  without  The  Wallerstein  because of  be  home a l s o  homes a d o l e s c e n t s  these  K e l l y , can  s u r r o u n d e d by  homes.  turmoil  newly s t r e n g t h e n e d  suggests  post-divorce  f o r i n t e r n a l changes.  (1980) s u g g e s t t h a t  not  the  separation  divorce.  While  m  they  d i d not  described  t u r n t o the  by  type  W a l l e r s t e i n and  Wallerstein,  1985), t h e y  of precocious Kelly  felt  (1980),  behaviours and  p r e s s u r e d by  Kalter  these  (in  changes  nonetheless• Adolescence separation child  and  growing  ( R i c e , 1981).  a type  of unnatural  normally family,  the  mother,  as  before  I was  central  these  s e p a r a t i o n w i t h i n the  parent  who  i s s u e s by family.  leaves.  with both  commented,  she  needed t o be  her  Schwartzberg  one  able to leave  her  emancipation  thrown out  from  hazard primary  requires a stable,  into  t o the  s a f e f a m i l y t h a t she  girls  who  felt  t h a t t h e y had  their  mother v i a t h e  alone  and  lost  their  process  can b e g i n  to  for her.  The  suddenly  with  confused  mother r e p r e s e n t e d  to lose her  The  relationship  d i v o r c e Were e s p e c i a l l y  I t seems t h a t t h e i r  insecure.  world  l o v e o b j e c t s " (p. 122).  a t a r a t e which i s c o m f o r t a b l e  f o r them, and  the  (1980)  normal a d o l e s c e n t  from  security  Kelly  like  "family disruption  disengage  threatened.  felt,  the  83).  (1981) comments t h a t  specific  her  As  d e s c r i b e d i n t h e W a l l e r s t e i n and  ready I " (p.  Where  parents.  She  the  creating  This a f f e c t s  mother l e a v i n g h e r .  "[were] b e i n g  issues for  preparing to leave  has  i f she  poses a very  affects  the c h i l d  youngster  child  Divorce  r a t h e r than her  study,  of  independence are  i n s t e a d i t i s one  participant  d e s c r i b e d as a p e r i o d when  a d o l e s c e n t would be  relationship  the  is typically  left  and  greater  them  feeling  112  p : I t h i n k t h a t was t h e t i m e when I p r o b a b l y n e e d e d a m o t h e r t h e most. A l t h o u g h I wanted t o s e p a r a t e f r o m my f a m i l y t h e n b u t y o u need t o know i t ' s t h e r e , y o u need t o know t h a t t h a t b a s e i s t h e r e and t h a t y o u c a n s e p a r a t e f r o m i t .  p : I mean even now I d o n ' t want t o , I h a l f want h e r t o t r e a t me l i k e an a d u l t , and t r e a t me l i k e a l i t t l e k i d , y o u know l i k e t o be t h e r e and mother me. The  most o u t s t a n d i n g  consistently control this  witnessed  i n their  need  When I d i s c u s s e d  this  second i n t e r v i e w , concern  transformation I  was t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s '  lives.  for control  internal  I saw i n t h e i n i t i a l  issue  with  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  f o r a l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  participant support,  other p a r t i c i p a n t ,  except  two.  t h i s c o n c e r n was a l s o  provided her with I think,  may h a v e  One  actions,  some c o n c e r n s  this issue,  had not a r t i c u l a t e d  were aware o f i t t h e y were a b l e t o d e s c r i b e  over  t h e i r parents'  divorce  lives,  and i n p a r t i c u l a r  i n this  Although the once  they  how t h i s need f o r  of having  little  control  of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  for control  i n their  i n t h e i r more i n t i m a t e  and K e l l y  The  and t h e r e s u l t i n g c h a n g e s t h e  The m a j o r i t y  f e e l i n g t h e need  Wallerstein of  divorce  precipitated.  described  feelings  and h e r  a sense o f c o n t r o l .  other p a r t i c i p a n t s  from t h e i r  partici-  t h e one  them.  was b o r n  issue. i n the  a r e a , b u t h a s n o t y e t begun t o e x p l o r e  control  that  t h i s was a c e n t r a l  who h a d s u p p o r t e d h e r f a t h e r ' s  I believe,  interviews  a p p e a r e d t o be a p r e d o m i n a n t  I came t o s e e t h a t  p a n t who d i d n o t v o i c e  deep d e s i r e f o r  (1980) d e s c r i b e  vulnerability i n children  domestic relationships.  an i n c r e a s e d  and a d o l e s c e n t s .  These  sense  authors  113  suggest which  that  this  suddenly  predictable, their p.  and  described  family  the c h i l d r e n  "confronted a world  t o h a v e become l e s s  likely  in their  view  expectations" (Wallerstein  and  the world  changed  less  T h i s sense  participants, that  appeared  needs and  45).  i s because  of v u l n e r a b i l i t y  i t appears  t o be  i s unpredictable.  i n poignant  f o r them, and  t e r m s how how  the  & Kelly,  result  1980,  f o r the of t h e i r  Some o f t h e  fear  participants  w o r l d was  t h e y were u n s u r e  less  to provide for  did exist  their  c o u l d r e p l a c e what t h e y had  reliable,  suddenly  whether t h e i r  new  had.  p : I saw i t ( t h e f a m i l y ) as one u n i t and w i t h o u t i t b e i n g one u n i t I d i d n ' t know i f i t c o u l d be t r u e , i f we c o u l d be h a p p y . Most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s h a d depend on  t h e i r home and  place  people  that be  and  parents being  throughout  because I f we  need t o f e e l  d i d not  worlds, Kelley  we  we  feel  that  a veridical  (p.  They had  that  behaviour  have c o n t r o l  c o u l d not  secure  predicted  making  for people  over our  lives.  reasonably p r e d i c t as  always  our  frightening places.  that:  "Attribution  processes are to  n o t o n l y as a way  of providing  the i n d i v i d u a l  view  of h i s world, but  maintaining h i s effective  world"  they could  same s a f e ,  t h e o r y argues  would e x p e r i e n c e o u r w o r l d  (1971) s u g g e s t s  understood  youths.  i s normal  t h a t we we  the  that  were c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h would  Attribution  these kinds of p r e d i c t i o n s  and  their  t h e home t h e y knew and  t h e r e f o r them.  believed  22).  as a means o f  exercise  of control  be  with  encouraging i n that  114  Attribution feel  that  sense of  mastery, of  controlled  a to  sense of  This by  by  personal  research  regain  The degree, still  was,  need t o an  participants their  described  predictability having  control  information  the  t h e y were t o be A number o f protect evoked.  one  a  lower  externally &  Teasdale,  individuals  may  where t h e i r  can  feel  so  seek  ability  1977). threatened  distort their reality  in control  appraisal  of  a number o f  i t .  you  to  surprised  them.  participants from the  participant  that,  b e e n , and  to  a  for  most  their personalities.  the  they took  a sense  i s one  be  way  of  painful  commented,  the  described  felt  The  as  more  less  trying  situations she  that  maintaining  relationships.  also  control  described  argued  about people,  The  of  participants  It could  i n your had  by  had  ways t h a t  Most o f  feel  remarked  establish  participants  t h e i r parents As  they w i l l  t r u s t i n g people.  the  that  who  exhibit  (Bulman & Wortman,  other people cautiously  a r o u n d how  a  Seligman  individuals  worked t o  within  difficulty  approaching  feel  and  limited  and  feel  in situations  i n t h i s study  accurate  lives  individuals  control.  participants the  indicated  that  control  sense of  self-esteem  (Abramson,  control  i s very  loss of  their  also  suggests  those  t h a n t h o s e who  t h e i r worlds  control  their  over  depression  that  o v e r t h e i r w o r l d s , who  enjoy higher  R e s e a r c h has  exert  suggests  they have c o n t r o l  incidence  1978).  theory  the  likely  to divorce  i f she  was  115  trying their  to parent her parents. parents  feelings  as  t h e y were a b l e t o c o n t r o l  of pain  described  about the d i v o r c e .  trying  t o take  a way o f a v o i d i n g  abandonment.  participants  The the  described  would h e l p  the  participants  stability  be a b l e  participants  fears  around  their  resulting financially.  desire  that  This  except  desire  fear  men and c u r r e n t l y  expressed  concerns  interest in initiating  over  they  may  of their  Many f e a r e d  that with  t h e i r boyfriends or  relationships. fear  that  their relationships  trusting  most s u c c i n c t l y how t h i s  out of the  who d i d n o t e x p r e s s an  i n her l i f e .  had t r o u b l e  about  numerous t i m e s b y a l l t h e  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t  control  fear  the s t a b i l i t y  was r a i s e d  for control  remarked  r e l a t i o n s h i p s and  and t h e i r  or p r e d i c t  of their  (1980) a l s o  t h i s concern a r i s e s  for control,  to control  the success  and K e l l y  i n t h e i r study  they would have l i t t l e  parents'  so  Many o f t h e  so t h a t  and s u c c e s s o f t h e i r  relationships.  stated  feelings  she wanted c o n t r o l  f e e l i n g dependent  Wallerstein  I believe  participants  even  said  at school  was t h e i r  the adolescents  unnatural  participant  o t h e r a r e a o f c o n c e r n w h i c h was commonly e x p r e s s e d b y  marriages.  not  vicarious  o f h e l p l e s s n e s s and  h e r as b o s s y .  them t o a v o i d  own r e l a t i o n s h i p s . that  t h e i r own  Another  h e r own f e e l i n g s  worked h a r d  responsibility for  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r others'  Another p a r t i c i p a n t  much h e r f r i e n d s  career  By t a k i n g  One  developed  participant from h e r  divorce.  p : Our r e l a t i o n s h i p s and how we v i e w r e l a t i o n s h i p s h a s t o a l t e r b e c a u s e we saw a r e l a t i o n s h i p w o r k i n g , and n o t w o r k i n g o r n e v e r w o r k i n g o r w h a t e v e r , and so when y o u s e e y o u r p a r e n t s , t h e one t h i n g t h a t ' s s u p p o s e d t o be s t a b l e , n o t working then t h e r e ' s a l o t o f doubt t h a t i t ever c a n .  116  I believe desire  for control  experiencing an  i t i s plausible  early  became,  over  feelings  age.  individuals' Rubin  and  t h e y had  suddenly,  (1975) d e s c r i b e j u s t  world  need t o see  Peplau  world  that  the  developed  of u n c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y  A world  relatively  their  t o argue  believed  unpredictable.  one's w o r l d  from  and h e l p l e s s n e s s a t  was  t h e o r y as a way  participants'  predictable Rubin  and  Peplau  to conceptualize  as a p r e d i c t a b l e p l a c e .  note:  The b e l i e f t h a t t h e w o r l d i s a j u s t p l a c e seems t o p r o v i d e p a r t o f t h e s c a f f o l d i n g needed t o s u p p o r t an i n t e r n a l locus of control. I f t h e w o r l d were n o t j u s t , p e o p l e might s t r i v e f o r r e i n f o r c e m e n t s and t h e n f a i l t o g e t them b e c a u s e o f u n f o r e s e e n e x t e r n a l e v e n t s . Thus t h e b e l i e f i n a j u s t w o r l d seems n e c e s s a r y i f o n e ' s s e n s e o f p e r s o n a l e f f i c a c y i s t o be m a i n t a i n e d . (1975, p. 79) Some o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s confused  and  t h e y had  known was  their  sense  participant  threatened they  felt  had  had  never  Security,  important  feelings In  beliefs  world  now  as  and  an  independent  The  striven  and  one to  young  c o n t r o l have been lives,  that  an  I believe  these  of a v o i d i n g r e - e x p e r i e n c i n g  of h e l p l e s s n e s s . summary, t h e p r o c e s s o f l e a r n i n g  the b e l i e f s parental  the  f o r them.  a s e c u r e home has  p a r t of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' as a way  how  Some d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g  enjoyed  predictability  needs h a v e d e v e l o p e d  realized  become d i s t o r t e d  make a s e c u r e home f o r h e r s e l f adult.  when t h e y  gone f o r them.  of r e a l i t y who  d e s c r i b e d i n moving t e r m s  that  divorce.  arose  for participants  This internal  upon m o r a l i t y and  values.  and  growing  explored  from e x p e r i e n c i n g  dialogue included questioning The  divorce altered  the  117  stable  r o l e s the  divorce,  and  this  threatening. divorce and  parents  was  how  (Abramsom, S e l i g m a n (Rubin & Peplau, individuals  require  self-esteem,  was  the  the  framework o f  do  not  one.  need  1978)  and  In o r d e r  and  the  one  rate.  personal for  control  theory  j u s t world  suggest  exhibit and  i s that  theory  that worlds,  lowered  that  one  does  most a l s o b e l i e v e As  the  and  increased  to b e l i e v e  just place.  the  themselves  that  I discussed,  p a r t i c i p a n t s seemed t o h a v e  divorce  if  and  threatening.  attribution  sense of mastery  i s a predictable  capricious  The  enjoy t h i s  world  parents'  as  a sense of c o n t r o l over t h e i r  c o n t r o l over one's world,  from t h e i r  f e e l i n g as  uncomfortable  These t h e o r i e s  of depression.  lessons  and  the  confusing  p r o c e s s between  divorce.  & Teasdale,  a reduced  foremost  as  also experienced  exert  the  p r i o r to  p a r t i c i p a n t s sense of  the  1975).  i n d i v i d u a l s who  incidents  unnatural  a f f e c t e d by  examined w i t h i n  that  an  separation  separation  I discussed was  at  held  experienced  Participants also described  This hastened  control  a l t e r a t i o n was  p r e c i p i t a t e d the  their  Last,  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' p a r e n t s had  world  can  be  the  one  learned a  very  of  118  The  Process o f R e s t r u c t u r i n g  M e a n i n g and Moving  Toward  Resolution  The  process  internal  experience  environmental the  of parental  feelings  resolved their  This  experience these  world.  will  These m o d i f i c a t i o n s  meaning t h e i r  construe  lives  threatening,  boring,  I have d e f i n e d  within  my w o r l d "  Attribution  theory  The p r o c e s s  their  hold  way o f p e r c e i v i n g  i n beliefs  their  effect  u l t i m a t e l y have  undergone. on t h e i r  " I fI define challenging,  a s i t u a t i o n as  or f a n t a s t i c ,  i t establishes the status (Natanson,  argues that  i n Schutz,  that  pleasant,  t h e way i n that s i t u a t i o n  1971, p .  xxxvi).  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s the How an i n d i v i d u a l  explains  and i n t e r p r e t s h i s o r h e r w o r l d w i l l  person's  e m o t i o n a l and b e h a v i o u r a l  Michela,  1980).  world,  a b o u t what i n f l u e n c e s  influence  that  responses t o i t ( K e l l e y &  A t t r i b u t i o n theory  t o make s e n s e o f t h e i r  w o r l d and  f o r them i s what d e f i n e s  fundamental p a r t o f i n d i v i d u a l r e a l i t y .  predictions,  of  examine how many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  f e e l i n g s by m o d i f y i n g  reality.  try  was a  r e s o l u t i o n of the  t o a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e changes t h e y h a v e  which  produced  an a l t e r a t i o n i n  process  and h e l p l e s s n e s s .  meaning and moving t o w a r d  individual's  has  systems.  of v u l n e r a b i l i t y  How i n d i v i d u l s the  The d i v o r c e  one f o r many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s as i t c r e a t e d  restructuring divorce  divorce.  changes w h i c h i n t u r n p r o d u c e d  participants' belief  difficult  led  o f l e a r n i n g and g r o w i n g was e s s e n t i a l l y t h e  suggests  that  as p e o p l e  t h e y make t h e o r i e s , o r a r e a t work i n t h e i r  world.  119  The  participants  experiencing the  initial  i n the present study d e s c r i b e d  a period  o f trauma  i n t e n s e emotions  soon  eventually  participants  drew some c o g n i t i v e  experience.  These c o n c l u s i o n s , s u c h  unpredictable  o f one's w o r l d ,  tension  f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  to  accomplish  meaning  this,  their  as t h e world i s  to constantly feel i n o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y and  Ultimately,  many o f t h e  these b e l i e f s  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  they a s c r i b e d  t o events.  behind.  sense  o f mastery,  In o r d e r  began t o a l t e r t h e  T h i s change i n meaning h a s  b e e n a c c o m p a n i e d b y , f o r many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s , increased  While  lessened, the  created feelings  described leaving  the d i v o r c e .  c o n c l u s i o n s from  and i t i s i m p o r t a n t  control  participants  after  an  m a t u r i t y , and a c c e p t a n c e  of their  situations. While  the d e s i r e  for control  many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s , gradually their go  over  expressed go  Peplau to  experience not develop  their  described being able to l e t  own r e a l i t y ,  o f the world.  t o experience l i f e  that  i n a just world injustice  their  own need t o  Some o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s spontaneously,  need t o c o n s t a n t l y p r e d i c t  (1975) s u g g e s t  believe  adults  the r e s t  a desire  of their  for increased f l e x i b i l i t y i n  Several participants  o f c o n s t a n t l y imposing  control,  t h e y d e s c r i b e how t h e y h a v e  come t o s e e t h e need  lives.  c o n t i n u e s t o be an i s s u e f o r  their  world.  children begin to lose  and l e t R u b i n and  their  need  as t h e y g r a d u a l l y b e g i n t o  and u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y .  a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d  who m a i n t a i n a r i g i d ,  belief  inflexibile  C h i l d r e n who do  system belief  c a n grow system.  into  It in  would be  this  s t u d y have  divorce on  misleading  created  fully  f o r them.  from d i v o r c e d  psychological  longitudinal five  year  says,  had  did  not  with  expect  p.  only  She  divorce"  that  also  participants did  several  years  difficulties, issues  of  parents.  leave  their  are  ominous female  she  are  economic,  & Blakeslee, present  "we  1989,  study  parents'  an  about t o ,  resolve  divorce  In  f o r so  behind  and  19  and  23  moral  suggests  our brunt  for  These arose  separation  from  believe  these concerns  showed  many,  t h a t many  difficulties  and  Wallerstein some  i t , they note t h a t h a l f of  between  "I  308).  divorce.  them.  136).  Blakeslee,  allowing  p.  p a r t i c i p a n t s at present  she  interviewed,  vulnerability, early  the  (p.  (Wallerstein &  comments t h a t  their  Ten,  fully  (1989) s t u d y however s u g g e s t s  findings. subjects  adolescents  her  homes, a t  difficulties"  t o e n d u r e so  c o n t r o l and  parents'  Blakeslee's  the  f e e l i n g s of  However, t h e  they have, or  studied  undergo p s y c h o l o g i c a l  s u c h as  lack of  in  adolescents  psychological,  following  from  18  passions"  from the  studies  that  f i v e were d o i n g w e l l .  of  (Wallerstein  evidence  suffer  the  Kelly  experience  the  longitudinal  suggesting to  that  into e a r l y adulthood.  psychological  drama and  to bear  The  and  the  20).  children  the  writes  the  participants  issues  c h i l d r e n from d i v o r c e d  "significant  such high  1989,  of  s t u d y on  follow-up,  Wallerstein  homes i s now  the  the  from  homes c o n t i n u e  of  that  a l l of  Research  problems w e l l  (1981) comments t h a t  suggest  resolved  c h i l d r e n from d i v o r c e d  children  to  serious  the  from their that  of  121  c o n c e r n s around committing  themselves  to  romantic  relationships. Interestingly,  W a l l e r s t e i n and  showed t h a t t h e men direction in  the  in their  present  a l w a y s mold and little  for  The  As  and  with  still This  adjust that their that  ago.  parents  homes t h e y  tensions  and  well that's going  an  The p a r t i c i p a n t s  this  t e n d e n c y t o want  out  initiated  of  their  almost to  feelings  on,  and  angry,  divorce  occurred that divorce.  t o be  ones  These p a r t i c i p a n t s are  parents' "A  to the  i n continued  divorce behind  l o t of people  i t carries  on,  think  like  the  them. that fights  it's difficult."  concurs with  "well-being  parents'  d i v o r c e d i d not changed  parents'  never d i d a d j u s t  fighting. their  feeling  These p a r t i c i p a n t s f e e l  affect  little  child  (p. 852). i n the  divorce.  r e s u l t i n g home was  Hetherington's  of the  e s s e n t i a l component  home had the  little  had  describe  grew up  i t , but  observation  to t h e i r  the  had  study  they  worlds arose  adjustment o f the h o u s e h o l d "  describes  they  control.  and  even though t h e i r  to s i x years  comment t h a t t h e the  lives,  young woman commented,  divorce, are  in their  s t r u g g l i n g to put  one  sense of  participants s t i l l  sad,  post-divorce  still  felt  seemed t o s u g g e s t  i s because t h e i r  filled  study  (1989)  c o n t r o l over i t .  some up  this  or  shape t h e i r  Some o f t h e depressed  lives  study  t o o much d i r e c t i o n  of  in their  Blakeslee's  later This  (1979) depends  upon  statement  participants' ability  T h o s e p a r t i c i p a n t s who  them g r e a t l y a l s o b e l i e v e d  after  warm and  the  divorce,  supportive.  and  or  to  felt that  believed  122  While p a r e n t a l long-lasting appear with  t o h a v e made t h e t r a n s i t i o n s  success,  insight  mastery.  and  depression  control  Out o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s '  The  a d o l e s c e n t may be a b l e  this  i n this  divorce  experience  helplessness  study  their  childhood  feelings  to feel  charge.  world  Consequently,  age.  that,  f o r increased  within  over  mastery"  (p.  122).  experiencing  detachment,  and t h a t  I feel  that  with  that  has a l s o  and e x p l o r e  a great  insight  than  also believed need  control i n of their  world  caused  they would  take  p r e c i p i t a t e d the  their belief  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and p e r s o n a l  to give  personal  t h e i r own l i v e s ,  The p a r t i c i p a n t s  were l e a r n i n g  the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n  t h e sudden l o s s  the divorce  to reevaluate  They h a d e x p e r i e n c e d and  facilitated.  power.  spurred  and b e l i e f s a s s o c i a t e d  greater maturity this  to natural  divorce  helpless  I t appears that  participants  t o normal  feelings of  suggest that  of personal  t h e need  Feeling  them t o d e c i d e  (1981) comments,  can promote t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f f e e l i n g s o f  into  lives.  s e n s e o f a g e n c y and  by a c t i v e  s t u d y would  does come p r i o r  of powerlessness  may even be  t o 'transform'  Experiencing parental this  dignity  does n o t come p r i o r  i n t o a sense o f c o n t r o l  participants  parental  sense o f p e r s o n a l feelings  i n d e p e n d e n c e and m a t u r a t i o n  helplessness  o f them  Schwartzberg  [of the family]  study  required  t h e r e h a s grown an i n c r e a s e d  the d i s r u p t i o n  some  in this  the divorce  and an i n c r e a s e d  o v e r t h e i r own d e s t i n i e s .  detachment, The  does seem t o e x e r c i s e  e f f e c t s , o v e r a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s  and  "If  divorce  i n this  systems. study  showed  i s customary f o r t h i s t o be  for control  true.  i n their  t h i s need up i n f a v o u r o f  lives,  123  experiencing  life  as  i t really  non-divorced  homes, t h e y  begun t o q u e s t i o n l i f e What t h e n was these g i r l s , in  this  and  had  never they  d i d i t change t h e i r  them s u c h  as  feelings  vulnerability.  The  and  this  of loss,  evoked  losses  also  and  w i t h one  o f f a m i l y , and  experiencing This  participants'  emotions,  f a s h i o n and  the p a i n f u l  that  environment,  altering  their  and  this  shown by  sequence.  and  their  acceptance  p r e v i o u s l y being areas positively divorce. feelings  now,  That  and  The  from  unhappy  event.  seemed t o o c c u r  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  systems.  Those  in a  endured  experienced  then began t o adapt  to  the  these  participants  p a r e n t s ' d i v o r c e have  they have r e s o l v e d these  of the very  of concern,  that  d e s c r i b e themselves  issues  i s s u e s t h e y d e s c r i b e d as they p e r c e i v e t h e i r as h a v i n g  accepted  These p a r t i c i p a n t s h a v e managed t o t r a n s f o r m of v u l n e r a b i l i t y ,  issues  developed  the d i v o r c e , then  belief  several  t o the d i v o r c e , the  beliefs  First,  appear t o have r e s o l v e d t h e i r  completed is  issues,  sequence.  and  t h e demands made upon  that  i n response  e m o t i o n s e v o k e d by  changes i n t h e i r c h a n g e s by  parents,  the b e l i e f s  that  participants  degenerated  a p o w e r f u l l y u n c o n t r o l l a b l e and  study argues  The  for  changes they e x p e r i e n c e d .  relationships  of t h e i r  even  p a r e n t s ' d i v o r c e as  identified  i s s u e s c e n t e r e d upon t h e i r  sense  need, o r  a number o f e m o t i o n s f o r  most p r o f o u n d  similar  lives?  abandonment, shock,  participants  arose out o f the  this  have.  study d e s c r i b e d e x p e r i e n c i n g t h e i r very p a i n f u l ,  their  felt  from  experience of p a r e n t a l divorce l i k e  something  that  felt,  Their friends  t o the degree  the  how  is.  lives the  their  w h i c h a r g u a b l y were c r e a t e d by  the  124  divorce,  into  feelings  Where once t h e y had secure  o f a g e n c y and  difficulty  enough t o f e e l  They h a v e n o t y e t r e s o l v e d For  they have denied divorce.  for  them.  Also,  difficulty personal  beliefs  try  They a r e protect  their The  as  less painful  The  process  these  the  and  divorce  because  their into  parents'  trying  i t probably  still  who  to  was  having around  b i t t e r about  the  their  have r e s o l v e d  which causes  constantly  four  of r e s o l u t i o n  move b a c k and  exerting  the  them t o  control  and  issues  participants  useful.  assisted  by  i s gradual  recognizing  i n t h i s study  t h e y may  be  arose  seem t o h a v e who  have  have not, knowledge o f t h e s e  how  and  of these b e l i e f s .  than have the p a r t i c i p a n t s who  and  does n o t o c c u r o v e r n i g h t ,  the r e s o l u t i o n  From a c o u n s e l l i n g  and how  processes  f o r t h between the b e l i e f s t h a t  these  vulnerable,  angry  through  resolved  be  imcomplete.  seem t o h a v e n o t e x p l o r e d  more o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  be  than  describe  still  Overall,  may  about  channeled  i n a b e l i e f system  themselves  of the d i v o r c e ,  those  feel  worlds.  participants  For  feelings  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  stuck  is still  appear to have concerns  appear  movement t h r o u g h  diffuse.  out  and  as t h o r o u g h l y  and  over  still  These p a r t i c i p a n t s  divorce.  lives.  they  t h i s seems t o be  is still  some p a r t i c i p a n t s  control,  divorce.  energy  as b e i n g  trusting,  say  some o r a l l o f t h e i s s u e s  or r e p r e s s e d t h e i r  the d i v o r c e  their  t h e y now  though the c y c l e  some p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  Much o f t h e i r  perceive  trusting,  over  insecure.  For other p a r t i c i p a n t s  precipitated.  mastery  perspective,  the d i v o r c e responding  not.  processes  participants  caused  them t o  to t h e i r worlds  may  feel to  125  help  defend  aware o f help the  against  the  this  powerful  emotional  participants feel divorce.  validating about the before.  Last,  f o r the divorce  I t was  able  this  beginning how  as  an  apt  maturity  of  this  thesis  the  story of  metaphor t o d e s c r i b e and  that  than a s s i g n i n g  I believe  h e l p f u l to  the  feelings  s a i d t h e y had  recognize their  Most o f  talked else  their and  story of  Sysyphus  assume c o n t r o l o v e r  that  control outside  Sysyphus c o n t i n u e s  their of  to  serve  increased  t h e s e young women h a v e  decided  it  i s better  to experience  life  i n a l l of  i t s v i c i s s i t u d e s than  to  impose an  artificial reality  upon i t .  Like  girls  chose t o r e t r e a t from p s y c h o l o g i c a l  completeness of experience  fully  life, the  and  in this  caprices  of  choice life.  Sysyphus,  darkness are  to  was  anyone  feelings  I used the  and  never  that  be  around  process  participants'  flexibility.  creates,  i n t e n s e l y with  i n d i v i d u a l s choose t o  destinies rather  themselves.  Most  and  their  interview  v a l i d a t i n g f o r them t o  normal.  own  the  i n t i m a t e l y or  r e s p o n s e s were  to describe  that  one,  a l s o be  responses divorce  participants.  a shared  the  I t may  to confront  I found  e x p e r i e n c e was  At  feeling.  to the  willing  to  these rich  126  Summary o f F i n d i n g s  Many o f t h e f i n d i n g s r e s e a r c h on t h e t o p i c . children results  Divorce  t o u n d e r g o , and t h i s from  longitudinal  homes a r e r e l a t i v e l y that  of this  present  suffering  study,  This of t h e i r  study, they  i s a traumatic  trauma  new, and t h e s e  parents'  to explore  divorce.  experience  event f o r  from  The  divorced  are suggesting  o f p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e c a n c r e a t e more anticipated.  late  The  finding.  adolescents'  experience  Most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s h a d at least  and so h a d h a d ample t i m e  witnessed  findings  t h a n had been o r i g i n a l l y  sought  existing  c a n be l o n g - l a s t i n g .  i n p a r t , seems t o c o n f i r m t h i s  study  undergone t h i s  confirm  s t u d i e s on c h i l d r e n  c h i l d r e n ' s experience  long-term  study  five  years p r i o r  to reflect  w i t h i n themselves.  t o the  upon t h e c h a n g e s  What t h e p r e s e n t  study  found  w h i c h was new t o t h e f i e l d  was t h a t many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  described  powerless  parents'  learning  has  taken  While  lives.  the bulk  Learning to control  of their  into  four processes,  resolution or stages.  a r e a new way o f i n t e r p r e t i n g divorce, particularly  this  f e e l i n g the  and t o s t o p s e a r c h i n g f o r u l t i m a t e  movement o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s '  processes  of their  to resolve.  been d i v i d e d  parental  to over-control their  most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  adolescence  has  tended  more f l e x i b l e  The  as a r e s u l t  d i v o r c e , and t o h e l p overcome t h i s  participants feel  to feel  study  concurs  with  from  of divorce These  the experience of  a long-term p e r s p e c t i v e .  W a l l e r s t e i n and B l a k e s l e e ' s  127  (1989) d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e d i v o r c e greatest of  cause o f p a i n  by  occurs, and  there  maturity,  Blakeslee's This  appears  study  divorce.  finding  stepsiblings. unacceptable  with  imposition  understanding  illustrate  created  sense o f agency  that  t h e removal o f a event  parent  to adjust to,  and more p a i n f u l  the i n t r o d u c t i o n of stepparents seemed  to create  and  a f i n a l , and  upon t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s . f o r c o n t r o l was i n t e r p r e t e d  framework w h i c h  the divorce  o f j u s t world  the issues  f r o m W a l l e r s t e i n and  home i s a d i f f i c u l t  Stepparents  a theoretical  most  study.  The p a r t i c i p a n t s ' d e s i r e  tenets  differs  also illustrates  occurred  that  process  When and i f r e s o l u t i o n  f o r most p a r t i c i p a n t s t h e g r e a t e r  adjustment  using  suggests  to resolve  the s i n g l e  the f i n a l  t o d e v e l o p an i n c r e a s e d  and t h i s  (1989)  study  are able  parental  f r o m an a d o l e s c e n t ' s however  by t h i s  eventually  experiencing  being  i n children's lives,  resolution described  participants  process  seems  experience.  theory  t o be a new way o f  Using  and a t t r i b u t i o n  the divorce process  some o f t h e theory  helped to  f r o m a new p e r s p e c t i v e .  128  Limitations  o f the Study  A phenomenological hypotheses,  rather  experience. generalize studied.  and S u g g e s t i o n s  perspective  the findings o f t h i s However, t h i s  the  four  the  general  processes  this world  study d i d produce  this  some new i n s i g h t s  exploration  further  study d e s c r i b e d of parental  utilizing  detrimental study  effect  suggest  to explore  a  that  divorce.  divorce  Also,  W a l l e r s t e i n and  has a  upon c h i l d r e n .  research  long-reaching,  The f i n d i n g s  t h a t perhaps the c h i l d r e n ' s b e l i e f  i s uncontrollable  whether  are p r o t o t y p i c a l of  the issue of c o n t r o l .  (1989) s u g g e s t s  difficulty  may be t h e b a s i s  from that the  f o r some o f t h e i r  i n adjusting.  One o b v i o u s  limitation  female a d o l e s c e n t s .  of this  Wallerstein  suggests  t h a t males r e a c t  parental  divorce  focus  i t i s d i f f i c u l t to  i t would be i n t e r e s t i n g  experience  explore  Blakeslee often  then  o f an  methodology.  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  might  the richness  study beyond the p a r t i c i p a n t s  w h i c h may w e l l be s u i t e d t o f u r t h e r different  Research  s t u d y does n o t seek t o t e s t  i t seeks t o d e f i n e  From t h i s  f o r Further  study  and B l a k e s l e e ' s  differently  t h a n do f e m a l e s .  i s i t s focus  on  (1989)  only  study  as young a d u l t s t o  Further  research  on b o t h male and f e m a l e r e s p o n s e s t o p a r e n t a l  then  could  divorce.  129  Summary  This their ages  study  parents'  sought  t o examine a d o l e s c e n t g i r l s '  divorce.  Interviewing eight adolescent  16 t o 19 t w i c e p r o v i d e d  the d i v o r c e experience. participant fashion, topical  experienced  described  her parents'  were c o m p i l e d  o f adapting  toward  and t h e p r o c e s s  present  The e x p e r i e n c e  trauma w h i c h  p o s t - d i v o r c e home  can  continue  adulthood. of  altering as  c h a n g e , t h e l e a r n i n g and meaning and  on t h e t o p i c  i s best  and B l a k e s l e e ' s  some s i m i l a r i t i e s  reduced  by t h e q u a l i t y  (1989) s t u d y  the divorce continued this  I t appeared  with the  study's  o f the  Cox, & Cox, 1 9 8 5 ) . suggests  t o have p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s While  of children's  o f d i v o r c e o f t e n produces  (Hetherington,  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  divorce.  o f d i v o r c e , the  of restructuring  that  children  well into  early  t o b e , a n i s s u e f o r many  findings  t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s were w e l l on t h e i r the  which  of parental divorce.  experience  o f p a r e n t a l d i v o r c e showed  Wallerstein  unique  resolution.  study.  long-term  each  T h e s e themes, o r  four processes  t o environmental  from  description of  d i v o r c e i n h e r own  into  A comparison o f the l i t e r a t u r e experience  a rich  themes d i d d e v e l o p .  were t h e immediate  growing process, moving  with  the progression of the experience  These p r o c e s s e s process  the study  girls  The i n t e r v i e w s showed t h a t w h i l e  a number o f common headings,  experience of  suggest  t h a t most o f  way t o r e s o l v i n g  that the process  the pain o f  of resolution  lay in  t h e c o g n i t i v e l e s s o n s many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s h a d made  a result  of their  described having  parents' divorce.  a. h i g h  need  for control,  Many o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s and t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n  130  of  increased  life's their  came o n l y  changeable nature, parents'  alters these  flexibility  divorce.  which This  through  eventually  i n a s e n s e was a l s o  study  accepting  accepting  a l s o d e s c r i b e d how  t h e dynamics o f t h e p o s t - d i v o r c e  home,  divorce  and t h e e f f e c t s  a l t e r e d dynamics appear t o e x e r t . Attribution  theory  and j u s t  world  theory  were u s e d t o  examine t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' d e s i r e f o r c o n t r o l .  P a r t i c i p a n t s ' need  for  original  c o n t r o l , i t was a r g u e d ,  assumption  that the world  arose  out of t h e i r  was u n j u s t  and u n p r e d i c t a b l e ,  and t h i s  seemed t o l e a d t o f e e l i n g s o f h e l p l e s s n e s s . In t h e s e c o n d o f my  interview with  insights into their  the p a r t i c i p a n t s I shared  experience.  We  w h i c h were a new way o f l o o k i n g a t t h e i r  found  experience.  themes w e r e : why t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s p e r c e i v e d negatively,  their  control i n their  lives.  parents,  themes These  stepparents  how d i v o r c e h a s t e n s t h e n a t u r a l s e p a r a t i o n  b e t w e e n c h i l d r e n and t h e i r for  three  some  process  and t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' need  131  References  Abbey,  A.  (1987).  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(1970). Q u a l i t a t i v e methodology.  Mortham P u b l i s h i n g Camus, A. New Forehand,  ( 1 9 5 5 ) . The York: Vintage R.,  and  Co.  myth o f s i s y p h u s  ( J . O'Brien,  & Long, N.  as a c o n s e q u e n c e  (1987). A d o l e s c e n t  of recent parental-divorce  the p a r e n t - a d o l e s c e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Applied  Trans.)  Books.  M i d d l e t o n , K.,  functioning  Chicago:  Developmental  Psychology,  8,  Journal of  305-315.  132  Gilligan,  C.  (1982).  University Giorgi,  A.,  deKoning,  University A.  Giorgi, in  A.  (1985).  & Ashworth,  P.  (Eds.).  Harvard  (1986).  Pittsburgh:  Phenomenological  Pittsburgh:  Duquesne  psychological  studies  I I (pp. 8 2 - 1 0 3 ) .  Press.  of phenomenological  In A. G i o r g i ,  Duquesne  and  Duquesne U n i v e r s i t y  An a p p l i c a t i o n  psychology.  Vol.  Cambridge:  Press.  (1975).  (Eds.),  A.,  research i n psychology.  (Ed.).  research.  voice.  Press.  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D i v o r c e and  a d o l e s c e n t s : An o v e r v i e w .  children  and  Adolescent Psychiatry,  9_,  119-131. Sherman, R.,  & Fredman, N.  techniques  ( 1 9 8 6 ) . Handbook o f  i n marriage  and  family  structured  t h e r a p y . New  York:  Brunner/Mazel. Smart, N.  ( 1 9 7 6 ) . The  (2nd e d . ) . New Spradley, Holt Sullivan, of  J.  religious  York:  ( 1 9 7 9 ) . The  Rinehart & E. V.  e x p e r i e n c e o f mankind  Charles Scribner's  Sons.  e t h n o g r a p h i c i n t e r v i e w . New  York:  Winston.  (1984). A c r i t i c a l  t h e p e r s o n a l w o r l d . New  psychology:  York:  Interpretation  Plenum P r e s s .  Wallerstein,  J . & Blakeslee,  women, and Ticknow & Wallerstein, report  J . (1985). C h i l d r e n of d i v o r c e : of a ten year  Wallerstein,  Journal 2A{5),  J . S.  research.  Wallerstein,  How  York:  Wallerstein,  o f the American  o f the American  & K e l l y , J . B.  Basic  & K e l l y , J . B.  Recent  Academy o f C h i l d  (1980). S u r v i v i n g  the  divorce.  ( 1 9 7 4 ) . The  e f f e c t s of  a d o l e s c e n t e x p e r i e n c e . In E. J . (Eds.),  The  child  in his  (pp. 4 7 9 - 5 0 5 ) . New  family: York:  Sons.  & Dintzer,  of the  A critique  Academy o f C h i l d  p a r e n t s cope w i t h  at p s y c h i a t r i c r i s k  Wiley &  analysis  and  Books.  d i v o r c e : The  B.,  children  Children of divorce:  A n t h o n y & C. K o u p e r n i k Children  York:  545-553.  c h i l d r e n and  J . S.  parental  New  Men,  S p e c i a l S e c t i o n , _24_( 5 ) , 515-517.  J . S.,  breakup:  chances:  Preliminary  follow-up of older  (1985).  Journal  Psychiatry  Wortman, C.  Second  Fields.  Psychiatry,  John  (1989).  c h i l d r e n a decade a f t e r d i v o r c e .  adolescents.  New  S.  L.  learned  (1978).  helplessness  o f t h e Abramson  reformulation.  Journal  I s an  attributional  phenomenon v i a b l e ? :  Seligman-Teasdale  o f Abnormal  Psychology,  87(1),  75-90. Young, R.  A.,  & Marks,  S.  E.  (1986).  Understanding  attributional  processes i n c r o s s - c u l t u r a l counselling.  International  Journal  Counselling,  9,  f o r t h e Advancement o f  319-330.  138 Appendix C Interview 1.  Would you d e s c r i b e  parents' 2.  what i t was  Interview  like  f o r you d u r i n g  your  divorce?  Do y o u remember  told?  Guide - F i r s t  what i t was  Where were you?  Who  like  f o r y o u when y o u were  were y o u w i t h ?  first  What d i d y o u do  you  learned  3.  What i s i t l i k e  f o r you now?  4.  Can y o u t e l l  the s t o r y o f your parents'  5.  Can you d e s c r i b e  after  about i t ?  me  the events  divorce?  t h a t you t h i n k  l e d up t o t h e  divorce. 6.  Do y o u f e e l  like  7.  Does t h e f a c t  y o u h a d any c o n t r o l o v e r  t h a t your parents'  divorced  the d i v o r c e ? make any s e n s e t o  you? 8.  Did you f e e l  What was 9. that 10.  that  like  y o u h a d much c o n t r o l o v e r what h a p p e n e d ?  feeling  like?  Do y o u b e l i e v e t h a t y o u r p a r e n t s ' you t h i n k  about  Do y o u f e e l  that  things? you a r e a d i f f e r e n t  In what ways a r e y o u d i f f e r e n t , 11.  In what ways h a s t h e d i v o r c e  12.  Could  parent's  you d e s c r i b e divorce  d i v o r c e h a s c h a n g e d t h e way  what ways  affect  since the divorce?  t h e same?  n o t a f f e c t e d you?  whether t h e r e  could  person  a r e ways you t h i n k  y o u r own  your  r e l a t i o n s h i p s or future  relationships? 13.  What h a v e y o u l e a r n e d  parents 14.  were  Is t h e r e  that helps  about l i f e  s i n c e you l e a r n e d  your  divorcing? anything  to describe  e l s e important  about your p a r e n t s '  your experience  of i t ?  divorce  139  Appendix  D  I n t e r v i e w Guide - Second 1.  S t r e s s e s e v o k e d by  Interview  stepparents  a) i n i t i a l j e a l o u s y o v e r p a r e n t s ' l o v e r s . b) c o n t i n u e d j e a l o u s y and f r u s t r a t i o n s a r o u n d p a r e n t s ' l o v e r s . c) s t e p p a r e n t j e a l o u s o f c h i l d ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h spouse. d) p a r e n t s j e a l o u s , b i t t e r and h o s t i l e t o w a r d s e x s p o u s e ' s l o v e r s . e) r e s e n t m e n t and f e e l i n g o f d i s l o y a l t y a r o u n d a c c e p t i n g s t e p p a r e n t in parental rolef ) w o u l d l i k e s t e p p a r e n t t o assume p a r e n t a l r o l e . g) c o m p l i c a t e d s e n s e o f abandonment t h a t stems from p a r e n t s i d i n g w i t h l o v e r s i n s t e a d o f w i t h t h e i r own c h i l d r e n . h) a d j u s t m e n t t o s t e p b r o t h e r s and s t e p s i s t e r s and h a l f - b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s . 2. R e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r e n t s and c h i l d i s a l t e r e d a) r i f t i s c r e a t e d b e t w e e n one c h i l d and one p a r e n t . b) d e e p s e n s e o f l o s s o v e r t h i s r i f t , and anger. c) d i v o r c e p r e c i p i t a t e s a c l o s e r , warmer r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h one parent. d) p r o t e c t s and p a r e n t s one p a r e n t . e) p l a y s m e d i a t o r r o l e , v e r y h u r t f u l t o w i t n e s s p a r e n t s blame and h a t e e a c h o t h e r . f ) r a r e l y a r t i c u l a t e f e e l i n g s and e x p e r i e n c e o f d i v o r c e . T h i s i s p a r t l y b e c a u s e i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o t a l k a b o u t t h e d i v o r c e t o one or b o t h p a r e n t s b e c a u s e o f t h e i r a n g e r and p a i n . D i s c u s s i n g the e x p e r i e n c e o f the d i v o r c e then i s not modelled w i t h i n the f a m i l y . g) r e s e n t m e n t a r o u n d e x p e c t a t i o n s p a r e n t s and f a m i l y h o l d o f t h e c h i l d r e n i e . a r e e x p e c t e d t o p l a y r o l e s s u c h as p r e t e n d i n g e v e r y t h i n g i s okay, o r t h a t t h e y d i d n o t h e a r f i g h t i n g . h) p a r e n t d i r e c t s h i s / h e r a n g e r from e x - s p o u s e t o w a r d c h i l d i e c h i l d i s t o l d she i s l i k e h e r father/mother. 3.  R e l a t i o n s h i p between c h i l d  and  siblings  is altered.  a) enemy camps a r e e s t a b l i s h e d between s i b l i n g s . b) become much c l o s e r t o s i b l i n g s , draw s t r e n g t h from them • c) s i b l i n g s become an i n t e r i m f a m i l y . d) w i t h o u t s i b l i n g s , c h i l d ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t i s d e e p e n e d and i n some ways more d e p e n d e n t . 4.  View of world  threatened  a) q u e s t i o n what i s m o r a l i t y when w i t n e s s p a r e n t s d e f y t h e i r own moral code. b) k n o w l e d g e o f p a r e n t a l a f f a i r s i s e x p e r i e n c e d as h i g h l y threatening. c) d i f f i c u l t y t r u s t i n g people. d) s e n s e o f abandonment f r o m one p a r e n t l e a v i n g , b u t a b l e t o r a t i o n a l i z e and u n d e r s t a n d t h i s . e) s h a t t e r i n g o f t h e i r b e l i e f i n a j u s t , p r e d i c t a b l e w o r l d . f ) t h e w o r l d i s n o t p r e d i c t a b l e , t h e r e f o r e you must be f l e x i b l e .  140  g) s e n s e o f d i s t o r t e d , c o n f u s i n g r e a l i t y . h) l i f e i s u n p r e d i c t a b l e . i ) c o n t r o l o v e r my own l i f e i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t . 5. F a m i l y  breakdown  a) e f f e c t s s e n s e o f p e r s o n a l m o t i v a t i o n - drew m o t i v a t i o n f r o m f a m i l y , c o n s e q u e n t l y must now b e g i n t o d i r e c t m o t i v a t i o n i n t e r n a l l y , school performance o f t e n a f f e c t e d . b) engaged i n r e b e l l i o u s b e h a v i o u r w h i c h u s u a l l y s u r f a c e d a y e a r a f t e r t h e d i v o r c e and c o n t i n u e d f o r a few y e a r s . I f d i d not a c t u a l l y r e b e l , may h a v e c o n s i d e r e d i t . c) q u e s t i o n e d i d e n t i t y , i e s h o u l d I be a r e b e l , who am I now? d) drew a g r e a t d e a l o f i d e n t i t y from f a m i l y . e) s e n s e o f abandonment as c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t w i t h d r a w s w i t h i n self. f) f e e l s n e g l e c t e d , a l o n e . g) b l a m e s one o r b o t h p a r e n t f o r p a r t i c u l a r b e h a v i o u r s . 6.  C h a n g i n g homes  a) h o l i d a y phenomenon w i t h n o n - c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t . b) now h a s t h e o p t i o n o f l i v i n g w i t h o t h e r f a m i l y - e f f e c t s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t s as c h i l d f o r f i r s t t i m e has r e a l b a r g a i n i n g power. c) c h a n g i n g homes v e r y u n s e t t l i n g . d) c h a n g i n g s c h o o l s i s t h r e a t e n i n g and a f f e c t s many a r e a s o f l i f e i e c h i l d e x p e r i e n c e s more l o s s e s s u c h as f r i e n d s , f a m i l i a r i t y , grades a f f e c t e d . e) e m o t i o n a l t u g o f war f o r c h i l d r e n when c o n s i d e r i n g who t o l i v e w i t h - v e r y d r a i n i n g e m o t i o n a l l y , want t o p r o t e c t p a r e n t s . 7.  Gained  maturity  a) u n d e r s t a n d t h a t e x p e r i e n c e b r i n g s i n s i g h t and g r o w t h , c o n s e q u e n t l y even p a i n f u l e x p e r i e n c e has i t s good s i d e . b) f e e l c o u l d d e a l b e t t e r w i t h d i v o r c e i n t h e i r own l i f e as h a v e a l r e a d y e x p e r i e n c e d i t o n c e - h a v e f a c e d t h e l i o n i n i t s den. c) b e l i e v e t h e d i v o r c e was f o r t h e b e s t - p r e f e r t h a t p a r e n t s l i v e a p a r t h a p p i l y than t o g e t h e r u n h a p p i l y , although the former i s not always a g i v e n o c c u r r e n c e . d) s t r o n g s e n s e o f p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . I n s i s t upon t h e i r own i n d e p e n d e n c e and b e i n g a b l e t o s u p p o r t s e l v e s . e) s e n s e o f i n d e p e n d e n c e c a u s e c r e a t e d i s a g r e e m e n t s with c u s t o d i a l parent. f ) f r i e n d s a r e s u p p o r t i v e - b u t do n o t r e a l l y understand. g) grew up q u i c k l y , more m a t u r e i n many ways now t h a n t h e i r friends. 8.  V i e w s on  relationships  a) w o r l d l y , s o p h i s t i c a t e d , r e a l i s t i c v i e w s o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s . b) d o n ' t want t o r u s h i n t o m a r r i a g e . c ) d i f f i c u l t y t r u s t i n g men and f r i e n d s . d) f r i g h t e n e d o f d i v o r c e d o g g i n g them. e) w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t c h a n g i n g n a t u r e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  141  f ) d e s p e r a t e l y do n o t want t o make t h e same r e l a t i o n s h i p m i s t a k e s t h e i r p a r e n t s made. g) b e l i e v e t h e y c o u l d make good s t e p p a r e n t s b e c a u s e o f t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e , b u t would p r e f e r t o a v o i d t h i s t y p e o f f a m i l y f o r themselves. h) p l a n t o be c a u t i o u s , c h o o s y and work h a r d a t own relationships. 9.  Finances  a) r e s e n t m e n t t o w a r d one p a r e n t , u s u a l l y t h e f a t h e r , o v e r f i n a n c i a l support. b) f e e l s p a i n o v e r m o t h e r ' s s u f f e r i n g and a n g e r a t l i m i t e d f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t from e x - h u s b a n d . c) money u s e d as a weapon. d) d o e s n o t e v e r want t o be f i n a n c i a l l y d e p e n d e n t l i k e h e r mother. 10.  Sense o f f a m i l y  a) mourns l o s s o f t r a d i t i o n a l , happy f a m i l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e loss of s t a b i l i t y . b) a c c e p t s d i v o r c e d f a m i l y as t h e norm. c) s e n s e o f t r a d i t i o n i s l o s t , mourns t h i s l o s s i e C h r i s t m a s . d) w e i r d h a v i n g new b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s much y o u n g e r t h a n s e l f . e) f i g h t i n g between p a r e n t s h u r t f u l and p a i n f u l , f e e l s h e l p l e s s . f ) t e n s i o n i n home. 1 1 . Experience of the d i v o r c e a) p a i n f u l . b) f e l t t o r n , c a u g h t i n t h e m i d d l e . c) deep s e n s e o f l o s s . d) d e e p s a d n e s s . e) e x t r e m e l y p e r v a s i v e e x p e r i e n c e . f) f e l t a l o n e . g) c o n f u s e d . h) h e l p l e s s , no c o n t r o l . 12.  Ways o f c o p i n g  a) deny e x p e r i e n c e . b) k e e p p e r s o n a l c o n t r o l . c) do w e l l a t s c h o o l . d) s h i f t f o c u s t o f r i e n d s . e) r e p r e s s p a i n f u l m e m o r i e s . f) s h i f t focus t o s i b l i n g s . g) d i r e c t a n g e r o u t w a r d i e s c h o o l o r p a r e n t h) d i r e c t a n g e r i n w a r d , i e s e l f .  or stepparent.  

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