Supporting children's social and emotional adjustment at school after permanent separation of their parents

Year: 2001

Author: Kirk, Gillian, Maloney, Carmel

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The number of children who experience the separation of parents is constantly rising. These children often face overwhelming feelings of confusion and stress that in turn may negatively influence their psychosocial development. Young children generally are inexperienced in dealing with stress in that they are not prepared with the knowledge or understanding of their stressors and nor do they have the strategies to help them deal with stress. This study examines four case studies of children who have experienced the separation and divorce of their parents. The study examines three support systems (esteem, social and informational) as described by Dubow and Tisak (1989) which children can draw on to cope with stress. In addition the role of the classroom teacher in establishing support systems and assisting children cope with stress is explored.