“What’s a divorcement?”: The voice of the child in parental divorce

  • Dr C. Brand Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • Professor J. G. Howcroft Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • Professor C. N. Hoelson Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Keywords: Children, divorce, divorce experience, perceptions, voice of the child

Abstract

The Objective of the paper is the way in which children experience the divorce of their parents plays a defining role in their adjustment and well-being. Research regarding parental divorce has traditionally preferenced the adult perspective. This article aims to highlight and honour the voice of the child in parental divorce by highlighting children’s conceptualisations of parental divorce.

The Method of the paper is an unstructured interviewing technique was used to document the divorce narratives of five children between the ages of 9 and 10 years. Children’s stories were recorded and analysed using narrative analysis.Some major findings include seven themes emerged, the first of which was titled “What is a divorcement?”. This theme constitutes the focus of this article. An additional six themes were identified around the types of stories children told of the divorce process. These themes were titled: Stories of Loss, stories of gain, stories of change, stories of stability, healing stories, and complicating stories.

In conclusion, this article provides insights for practitioners working with children regarding children’s conceptualisations and misconceptualisations of parental divorce.

Published
2018-07-03
Section
Articles