Volume 20, Issue 76 (4-2020)                   refahj 2020, 20(76): 167-206 | Back to browse issues page

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hamed M, zokaei S. Lived Experience of Divorce Children in Iran. refahj. 2020; 20 (76) :167-206
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-3430-en.html
Abstract:   (1168 Views)
Extended Abstract
Introduction: Divorce is a phenomenon that is rising in many societies, including Iran, and often leads to great harm and dilemma for family members, especially children. Given that parental divorce usually occurs in the particular ages of the child’s psychosocial development, it causes children to suffer from various problems and injuries because the family is both the main support institution of the individual, especially in childhood and the most important factor in the development of their personality. Divorce can have negative and destructive impacts on children’s personalities. The sense of insecurity and abandonment in children, which occurs after a breakdown in the family system, has many and often devastating effects on the child.
Studies show that the lack of adaptation of children with parental divorce can be seen in various aspects of life, such as unfavorable academic performance, behavioral problems, psychological incongruity, defective self-concept, social incompatibility, and undesirable parent-child relationships (Amato, 2000). Therefore, divorce as a social problem has many social, emotional, and economic consequences for children, these issues, despite their importance, have not been addressed from children’s viewpoint in Iran yet. Some studies conducted in other countries show the unexplained and unknown knowledge of these children by the scientific community, and this fact has put more pressure on the children. Accordingly, this study attempts to take the first step in solving the problems of divorce children, which is their recognition.
Method: In this study, the constructivist-interpretive approach has been used. The main reason for paying attention to the constructivist approach in this study is its emphasis on the direct perception of individuals from specific experiences. The main emphasis of the research has been on how children interpret their experiences as regards divorce. For this purpose, the Grounded Theory method, derived from the aforementioned approach, has been selected as the research method and was conducted using tin-depth interviews with 24 children of divorced families at the age of 13-18.
Findings: The results of the code analysis in three stages appeared in the form of six categories: “rough social space” (context); “suspension and rejection “ (phenomenon); “restored family” (causative conditions); “fragile resilience of living space” (Intervening conditions); “coping strategies” (strategies); “fragile adaptability” (outcomes).
The common experience of divorced children is described in “suspension and rejection “, which is the result of a disorder in the social, family, and other living spaces of a person, and despite the use of different adaptive strategies by the children, most of the times, they are unable to adapt to situations, and it leads to many social and psychological consequences for them.
Children in divorced families experience a sense of insecurity, rejection, deficiency, and a kind of alienation through the major changes that have occurred in their lives. The restored family has very different characteristics from its early family, the change in members, roles, and changes in parental parenting ability (and in addition to other factors), the environment and the child’s living space, have lost their protective capability. (The fragile resilience of the living space), and they create a “suspension and rejection “atmosphere in close coordination with each other.
The child uses different tactics to escape from this disturbing environment, which varies according to his or her living environment. The use of tactics has sometimes a temporary effect and sometimes it is inefficient and leads to a lack of adaptation of children to conditions.
Some of the effective tactics used by the child include cognitive strategies, such as the reinterpretation of the phenomenon of divorce and the acceptance of reality. Children who are successful in believing positive attitudes toward divorce and positive aspects or trying to believe their situation, are adapted easier to it, and the effects of divorce are less on them. But children who are incapable of applying these strategies are more likely to suffer psychological and social harm and social disruption.

Figure (1) Paradigm Model of Research

Discussion: On the one hand, divorce is an extremely stressful process for children, and on the other hand, children have a limited ability to understand “what happens during divorce”, “what they feel” and to answer the questions that arise in this regard; therefore, experiencing parental divorce is painful for most children, and most of them are not easily adjusted to this phenomenon.
In the event of divorce, if the changes in the child’s life are more likely to be stressful, the child’s living space will be slightly resilient, and the child’s ability to use effective strategies will reduce, the consequences of divorce will be harder and more harmful. Accordingly, along with efforts to reduce divorce in society, it is suggested that “divorce with less harm” be considered. The social environment and social issues should be such that society does not act as a crisis for the child. Eliminating the label of divorce and divorce children is the first step towards achieving a safe society for this group of children.
Divorce children are excluded from society, rather than receiving social support because of the lack of awareness of society and, consequently, they will experience stereotypical encounters with the facts. stereotype - which only considers individuals as groups, regardless of individual differences, single-faced view, and linear analysis of phenomena-is among the major factors by which all children are affected. Evasion of social responsibility seems to prevent community members from thinking and abandoning stereotypes.
Ethical consideration
We would like to tank and sincerely thank all those who helped us in this research. This article is an excerpt from Dr. Mahboubeh Hamed's dissertation with comprehensive advice, especially the methodology of Dr. Mohammad Saeed Zokai, which was financially supported by the Ministry of Sports and Youth, but does not contain any affiliation with any organization or institution. There is no conflict of interest between the authors of this article. All members of the research sample participated in the project with the full consent of themselves and their parents, and each member had complete freedom and authority to leave the research at any stage. Also, the principle of anonymity has been observed for all members of the sample. On the other hand, since the sample members were children, the researcher did not continue the interview whenever the researcher felt that they were under stress from reviewing or expressing their memories.
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Type of Study: method |
Received: 2019/06/9 | Accepted: 2020/05/13 | Published: 2020/10/6

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