The influence of divorce on the occupations of primary school going children in the Western Cape, South Africa: The perspective of the child and a relevant counsellor
Soeker, Mogammad Shaheed
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There have been a number of studies over the years that propose that divorce could create turmoil in children’s lives. Many theorists agree that divorce is a stressful life transition needing adjustment for both the parent and/or child. This study determined how divorce influence childrens` participation in scholastic and leisure activities. The study was positioned in the qualitative research paradigm, specifically using focus groups and face to face interviews to collect data. The participants consisted of one male and three females (aged 8-12 years) and one adult female (key informant). Four themes emerged viz. 1) Listening but not hearing, 2) Adapting by doing, 3) Helping hands and 4) In the ideal world. The findings of the study indicate that children could benefit from family centred treatment programmes and should be involved in counceling post divorce. The barriers or challenges include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, inability to communicate and express feelings to parents and a change in social interaction and leisure activities. The facilitatory factors included having closer family networks, having a parental figure at home to assist with occupational needs, having positive peers support groups and counseling as a form of support.