UBC Theses and Dissertations
Some social and emotional factors contributing to the rejection of the first child of a forced marriage Lazenby, Doris Elizabeth
In families which are seen by social agencies the first child of a forced marriage would appear to be rejected to a greater degree than his siblings. This study attempts by examination of 10 cases to discover some reasons for the rejection of the first child, to estimate the kind and degree of rejection and its effect on the child, and finally to suggest some measures which may help the child develop more normally and prevent him being a rejecting parent in his turn. The cases used were taken from the files of the Child Guidance Clinic, the Juvenile Court and the Family Welfare Bureau. They did not all provide such complete information as would be desirable, but represent a cross-section of families coming to the agencies. In every case examined the forced marriage was unhappy and the first child rejected by one or both parents. The rejection was overt when the parent showed direct hostility to the child or covert when it took the form of over-protection or overindulgence to compensate for guilt feelings of the parent. The rejected first child was unable to develop a mature, well-integrated personality; he showed inability, to form satisfactory personal relationships within and without the home. Consequently he developed behavior problems, physical symptoms or habit disorders. The fathers and mothers were rejected by their own parents; their consequent immaturity and unmet needs resulted in the forced marriage and their inability to love and accept the child who was the cause of it. Therefore he, in his turn, was unable to develop normally and is likely to be an inadequate and rejecting parent himself. It should be the aim of social agencies to break the chain of rejection. Case-work treatment of the child may be accompanied by treatment of the parents, where possible, to assist them in meeting their needs and becoming mature persons who can accept and love their first child. Some forced marriage may be prevented by case-work help to the unmarried mother which may aid her in surrendering her baby for adoption.
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