The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of divorce and separation on family relationships; however, the researcher will apply qualitative research approach to analyze data and will use semi-structured interviews to obtain the required information from six participants by maintaining high ethical standards. This research will address the main challenges of divorce, such as, lifestyles after family break-ups, various psychological disturbances, motivation and expectation of marriage, and driving forces that influence to divorce, effects of break-ups on parents, children and the entire family, effect of break-ups on the career, impact of divorce on future life and so on.
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The divorce and separation is not a new concept in the history, but the changing dynamics of socioeconomic shifting, ethical dilemma, rising individualism, mobility of industrialization and urbanisation, expanding feminist thought, romantic attention other than a spouse, focus on having fun hiding the natural true, shallow relationships and unfulfilled desire of money have dramatically increased the rate of divorce in this era.
Whatever the educational level, moral hazard, and racial profile of the parties, the most common phenomenon of the marriage-terminated couples is to blame each other and become intolerable without taking into account of the actual social and economic cause of divorce and its consequences in the society, economy, and children (Solo 2014, p.2). During the separation, couples become emotionally disturbed, less considerate, intolerance, lying, and misunderstanding each other, which turn them mentally separated and physically unattractive; however, these issues influence then to reach in the breaking point without considering the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships. This research has aimed to investigate the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships.
Background of the Problem
Hetherington (2002, p.1) presented the most alarming data that about 50% of the marriages in the USA concludes with divorce, marriage has turned into a most unwilling and less enduring institution while 23% children in the US society come from single-parent families who are suffering different crisis with their socioeconomic, psychological, academic life.
Office of the National Statistics (2014, p.1) presented another alarming information that there were thirteen (13) divorces per hour all over the year of 2012, and the aggregate number of divorce were 118,140 were 65% application for separation made by the female partners. Among them, 71% of the couples were married for the first time and the rest prolonged with previous experience of divorce, but in both cases, the couples continued their conjugal life for four (4) to at best eight (8) years. The statistics pointed out the propensity of divorce among the male and female partners; however, the propensity of divorce among male partners were an average age of 45 years and female partners were 42 years while 48% carried with children with the age of fewer than 16 years and it is predicted 42% of marriages in the UK would end-up through a divorce.
Increasing divorce or separation in the society has been growing the number of children with anger, fear, guilt, doubt, betrayal, and socially disordered members who are unable to cope with a realistic world and ultimately become a burden on the nation; so, this situation will hamper economic growth and diminish social skills of human resource. Such distressing information has drawn greater attention of the policymakers, academia, and the social working groups in order to identify the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships.
Rationale of the Research
Starting from 1960s to the current era, the researchers have already conducted huge numbers of research on the impact of divorce where the anthropologists, psychologists, and social working groups engaged their keen eyes on the crisis of children development due to parent’s separation. A very few of the research had drawn the attention on the impact of divorce on the basic structure of the traditional family, and the changing dynamics of the family as a fundamental organ of society- a ‘two-parent’ nucleus has been quickly shifting to the single-parent families and same-sex parents (Demo & Acock 1988, p.1 and Fagan & Churchill, 2012).
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Demo & Acock (1988, p. 619) conducted a landmark study on the divorce data from the sixties to eighties of the United States and reviewed the previous research in this area and identified that the number of a single-parent family and the children growing up in the absence of biological parents are increasing in the society. Although the data used in this study were non-representative samples collected from a national survey without a focus on the impact of divorce, the empirical evidence they reached at the findings that children are suffering from emotional maladjustment and antisocial behaviour among the children are increasing in an alarming rate that seriously hampered the psychological and social well-being.
Fagan & Churchill (2012, p.28) conducted secondary research based on the concurrent studies on the impact of divorce and identified that separation of parents have a multidimensional impact on the children and they lose faith on god and reduce worship to the Almighty; it also diminishes learning capabilities of children. They also identified that break up of marriage trim down family income for which it becomes very difficult to meet up household expenditure and the single parent has to cut down the standard of living that seriously impact on the marketplace. Divorce also increases criminal mentality, rises usage of the drug and increase governmental spending for child care and public service, but the study has not addressed how divorce seriously changing the family relationships as well as restructuring the family composition.
Lalonde (2014, p.137) conducted doctoral research on the impact of divorce for partial fulfilment of his academic needs by integrating the methodological alignment of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and interviewed three couples where each of the respondents presented their own viewpoints on marriage and divorce. Then, the themes and outlook of the six respondents have reviewed with the corroboration of previous studies in order to reach at findings and recommendations for further research and Lalonde (2014, p.247) concluded that relational change is an ongoing process that every couple is experiencing to be difficult day by day without maintenance. The couples of this study agreed and appreciated that psychological therapy and counselling with most safety and comfort for the individual respondent would make them be trusted, relaxed, and engaged in the therapeutic process, which could provide a new way out to prevent separation.
The studies mentioned above have concentrated on the impact of divorce either from the point of view of safety and usual growth of the children, or economic impact on the market, pressure on the public service, nor therapeutic interest to provide psychological counselling to the victims, but not drawn attention to the family relationships. The family relationships are the basic component to organise a civilised society, and the increasing divorce rate has dramatically family relationships into quick-shifting dynamics that is continuously breaking the relationships, reconstructing the family relationships with unusual shape and combination; thus, it is essential to conduct a study on the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships.
Research Question and Objectives
The main aim of the study is to identify the various challenges that divorced couples encounter from their practical experience and how such experiences have challenged the affected family relationships for further engagement and way out for future dimension. Indeed, the affected couples must have encountered various difficulties in their marriages before deciding to break up with their partners, the events and interactions of the divorced couples from their own interpretation would unfold the secret truth and disclose the experiences that may not be conscious mind could identify from secondary data. Thus, it is essential to seek answers for the following research questions from the separated couple’s viewpoint:
- What are the motivation and expectation of marriage?
- What are the driving forces those lead to break up the marriages?
- How the divorce and separation influence on the parents, children, and the entire family?
- How did the break-ups affect careers and regular life?
- What a divorcee perceive from further marriage and intend to do in the future?
The aim of this chapter is to discuss different theory related with the research topic “the impacts of divorce and separation on family relationships”; however, the following issues need to address.
Motivation and Expectation of Marriage
Zoepf (2007) published a touching story of Zahra, in the spring 2006, a fifteen (15) years girl of Syria who was kidnapped from her own city and taken to an apartment in Damascus where she had endured for seven days continuous by her abductors. The police rescued her after seven (7) days, but the police were afraid to return Zahra to her family since her family would blame her for the rape and kill her, as according to tradition and legislation, the Syrian and some other Arab Countries sexually abused or raped ‘honour killings’ and family members would take responsibility to killing the victim.
Therefore, Zahra was sent for imprisonment for her safety, where Fawaz a cousin of Zahra came to the police, expressed his deep love and affection for Zahra, he said that he would like to honour Zahra by marrying and requested the authority arranged marriage for them. They got married and started a happy conjugal life, but one night a brother of Zahra came to her residence and killed her while she was sleeping, the killer surrendered to the police station and was made free without any significant punishment and her family observed a gorgeous celebration for her ‘honour killing’
The story of Zahra gives a lesson that if there is trust; love and respect in the relationship people do not bother to get married with sexually abused one, while family relationships never strongly stands beside the victim rather don’t bother to ordeal the victims in the eye of social tradition or religious sentiment. It may rise a question to every sensible reader what is the theory of moral psychology that motivated Zahra’s family to killing her and what is the motivation of her husband to marry a sexually abused girl.
Rai & Fiske (2011, p.58) pointed out that the moral psychology of marriage or any social relationship couldn’t determined isolated from the socioeconomic condition, societal norms and factors where it took place, rather the correctness or impurity would be judged by the social contexts integrating with cultural, moral and psychological insights linking with apathy, care, concern, cooperation conflict and violence.
The theoretical framework of moral psychology illustrates that every partner in a marriage has own virtues to judging the counterpart in the light of their unique attributes such as ideas of fairness, own process of justification, preferential treatment, antagonism, care and lack of concern, intolerance, faithfulness, leadership, devote, along with moralised forms of punishment and violence. The motivation of modern marriage has aligned with free, fair, impartial, and equal treatment of both partners without any capital punishment, reprisal, torment, or honour killing; in addition, Fiske & Haslam (2005, p.267) analysed this relational system with four basic social bonds such as authority standing, communal involvement, equality corresponding and market pricing that generates motivation for joint activities or marriage.
Driving Forces That Lead To Divorce
Rotz (2011, p.16) conducted a landmark study in order to reduce divorce rate and identified that that women’s participation in the labour force, increasing income level, age at marriage, easy access to the new reproductive technologies, relational complexities, shifting nature of family structure, and eagerness for stability from the future marriage are the driving force for divorce.
Hiller & Recoules (2009, p.12) pointed out that the marital relationship drives to the separation inspired by changing norms of divorce law, divorce rate, and cultural recognition of divorce for both unilateral or mutual consent separation where the cultural dynamics of the society to recognise same sex marriage has seriously impacted the human relationship and conflicting with natural law.
Goldstein (2008, p.1) pointed out that the theorists of new natural law have emphasised on the sexual ethics of homosexuality to integrate with the public regulation arguing that the human race starts its sexuality through non-reproductive alignment, self realisation, masturbation, and others; however, sexual actions regardless to the sexual orientation where marriage to an opposite sex is not required.
Such arguments by the homosexuality has crashed the old regime of conjugal regulation and established new moral boundaries of sexual union without biologically opposite gender out of reproductive activity and this moral transformation inspired the married couples to resolve their complex situation through divorce although the alignment against the biological features have generated further social complexities and health risk.
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Ambert (2009, p.13) mentioned that the increasing secularisation process, social liberalisation, rising individualisation, weakening religion institutions has dramatically increased the rate of divorce while the cultural factors and demographic factors have a strong influence on break down a marriage. Moreover, legal factors, the easy access to divorce laws decreasing stigma of divorce and the social acceptance of divorcee has provided enough opportunities for the couples to be separated without taking into consideration of its consequence on the children, family and as whole society.
Effects of Break-ups on the Parents
Fagan & Churchill (2012) and Ahrons (2007) stated that break-ups weakened parent-child relationships since parents face many psychological problems after separation, for instance, adjustment to their own intra-psychic conflicts and support their children to face new family challenges. At the same time, parents have suffered in mental stress while they identify that the relationship between parents and children weakened after divorce (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; and Ahrons, 2007).
Here, it is significant to mention that psychological effects differ for male and female, for example, most young fathers believe they have no importance and value to their kids for which they become less interested to carry on good relationship with their children (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011, p.224; and Ahrons 2007). On the other hand, most of the mothers try to provide full emotional support to their children after marriage though they have to face severe psychological problems after divorce or separation, for example, they feel lonely, nervous, and strive for a happy life (Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011, p.224; Fagan & Churchill, 2012; and Ahrons 2007).
Most of the cases divorced mothers are unable to provide the best care and emotional support to their children as they face their own mental stress; in addition, they do not get enough confidence to take care of their children for which they become less affectionate and communicative with their children (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; and Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011). In developing and less developed countries, parents are reluctant to consider these psychological issues more seriously; as a consequence, they can’t overcome the most common psychological reactions (Trivedi, Psych, Sareen & Dhyani, 2009; and Noton, 2009). On the other hand, many individuals start to consume drugs after divorce; however, it has a long impact on the society (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; Young & Wilmott, 2013; and Noton, 2009).
Effects of Break-ups on the Children
Matthews (2014) stated that age and gender are two crucial factors to assess the impact of break-ups on the children; however, some children undergo more risk factors, which may create permanent physical and mental problems after separation or divorce. At the same time, divorce or separation has comparatively short-term effect on younger children whereas it has long-term influence on the preadolescent and adolescent children since they expend long-time with their parents and habituate with their daily activities (Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011; Fagan & Churchill, 2012; and Matthews, 2014).
However, children need a lot of adjustment in daily life after divorce as kids of divorced families receive less emotional support, and realistic help from their parents; in addition, divorce has influence on socioeconomic status of parents for which many needs of the children may difficult to fulfil with limited resource (Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011; and Fagan & Churchill, 2012). At the same time, children suffer in many psychological problems, for instance, loneliness, stresses, nervousness, and many other mental diseases; therefore, they try to protest against the circumstances by strange and unusual behaviours (Noton, 2009; Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011; Fagan & Churchill, 2012; and Matthews, 2014). According to the research of Landau & Hissett (2008), the terminated relationships have adverse effects on the well-being of the children
Many children particularly male children feel unhappy and may not be interested to develop long relationship with their partners in the future; in addition, boys are more at risk than girls, so, they need more time to adjust with new family environment (Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011; Noton, 2009; and Matthews, 2014). At the same time, girls influence from both desire and anxiety, in addition, they will feel a need for love and attention; so, girls are attracted to older men (Blakeslee & Wallerstein, 2011; Noton, 2009; and Matthews, 2014). According to the report of Fagan & Churchill (2012), girls feel worry about their own marriage in the future; in addition, girls from divorce family may have lower relationship commitment and confidence; as a result, they cannot concentrate on their family life.
At the same time, educational life of the children seriously hampers after parental divorce; distress mental situation influence the students to waste their valuable time and consume drugs as well, which brings poor result in examination particularly in math (Noton, 2009; Young & Wilmott, 2013; Matthews, 2014; and Fagan & Churchill, 2012). On the other hand, children lose their capability to handle conflicting situation in the future, for instance, they become anger so easily and use violence more frequently with their spouse, friends and surrounding people to solve problems (Noton, 2009; and Matthews, 2014); in addition, Fagan & Churchill (2012) stated that the likelihood of divorce is transmitted across generations.
In this context, most of the children from divorce family cannot lead happy family life since they become aggressive in many situations and they cannot communicate with people easily; however, diminished sense of masculinity or femininity is another serious problem (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; Matthews, 2014; Baxter, Weston & Lixia, 2011; and Coleman & Glenn, 2010). Moreover, suicide attempt is higher in divorced families and child suicide rate is increasing from the thought that he/she has no value to the parents; however, many issues influence them, such as, continuing resentment at parents and a sense of deprivation (Fagan & Churchill, 2012; Ahrons 2007; Matthews, 2014; Young & Wilmott, 2013; Coleman & Glenn, 2010; and Noton, 2009).
Fagan & Churchill (2012) identified that children of divorced parents face serious behavioural problems and may involve in antisocial activities, such as, they can stealing from a store, damaged school property, hurt someone seriously, skipped school and so on; however, the following figure shows more details in this regard:
Level of dysfunction prior divorce determined the influence of divorce on behaviour of the children; however, such behavioural problems of children perceive as unpredictable and uncontrollable and it is very difficult to change their behaviour.
Effects of Break-ups on the Entire Family
Jirage (2012) has compared a home prior to a break-up as a theatre of war waiting for the fighting to start, constructing an antagonistic atmosphere at residence; so, before the break-up is settled down and even after that, the partners involve in conflicts regarding the distribution of expensive items and all the other things possessed together earlier as family. It has been seen in most of the cases that subsequent to a break up, the family relations, by no means, get normal; a great deal of emotional turmoil put an effect on each member of the family, not just children; finally it requires an extensive time to accurately recover from the shock and bewilderment regarding affection, existence, and associations.
In addition, hostility of the former life brims over into the future relationships, which the family members want to be engaged in; on the other hand, a number of family members can confront disturbing psychosomatic and economic predicaments; moreover, breakdown of nuptials can repeatedly make them feel unhappy; in fact, it can seriously influence accommodation arrangements, physical conditions, and mindfulness.
Jirage (2012) has pointed out that break up of a member of a family is able to raise bundles of mental concerns, such as hesitation caused by desertion and unsteadiness and ambiguity regarding upcoming years; in addition, subsequent to separation, familial occasions or social gathering like birth anniversary, Christmas, and New Year will not be the same like before. In families where one of its members has broken-up with his or her spouse, tremendous temperament fluctuations, gloominess, bitterness, desperate propensities, poor educational performance, promiscuity, material violence, incapability to hold faith, and lack of aspiration are common phenomenon; moreover, in post-separation circumstance, family members are at peril of mislaying mental connection and turning alienated from their loved ones or friends.
Behavioural troubles like impetuosity and antagonism are frequent in such families; moreover, many members may see separation in as an easier get away from disturbed nuptials, and this mentality is detrimental for their associations as well; nevertheless, seeing a couple split-up plays key role in their observation of fairness of their future choice, as there are two sides of coin. Jirage (2012) has pointed out that the capability of a family to deal with the break up will resolve the consequence of separation on them, that is, whether it is constructive or unconstructive; therefore, the elder members of the family must help the younger members and manage odd conditions with tolerance and subtlety; moreover, everyone should cooperate each other.
How Divorce Affect Careers and Regular Life
Meyer (2014) has identified that separation results in awful consequences in the career of an individual; the author has further discovered that the common expenditure of ‘separating workers’ to a business is around 83, 171 US dollars annually; in addition, workers may take a long time, for example, about five years before they regain their working efficiency. Wolf (2010) has wonderfully noted that in case of both male and female, modifying occupational strategies can turn into an obligation, particularly if kids are concerned; however, shifting for a fresh prospect may not be a choice because of guardianship engagements and travelling can be difficult psychologically and materially; yet, none should risk their livelihood whilst a wedding terminates.
Miller (2014) has pointed out that for about everyone out of three citizens in the USA who are married, ‘separation’ has turned out to be a compulsory outcome at least once in the lifetime; the author has further added that in most of the cases, separation brim over into the workplace and inflict chaos on the career of individuals. A number of studies have also pointed out that while a number of individuals can quickly recover from the trauma created by separation and get back to their work with full force; there exist a large number of them for whom this momentary hindrance turns out to be a permanent one, resulting in absolute collapse of their careers.
Miller (2014) has also stated that Vikki Ziegler (separation lawyer) has observed personally in what ways departing from a partner could damage a profession with high potentials; in due course, it has also been noted that more frequently, people undergoing a crumble of wedding do not disburse adequate concentration on works; the lawyer recommended everyone to remain unambiguous at work. In order to secure an undisturbed mental and financial future, the lawyer has stated to keep the separation totally detached from the workplace; in addition, she has further recommended keeping a journal at house, containing list of stuffs to do concerning the separation; managing list of stuffs to do at house would facilitate a person to remain determined at workplace.
Heston (2010) argued that dealing with an extra monetary shock that result from a separation is able to adjoin colossal stress as fresh and unexpected costs like lawyer’s fees, litigation expenditure, selling household items at lower prices to assist the monetary requirements of each partner, and so on can make a person completely frustrated, and this frustration continues at work. Heston (2010) has further pointed out that almost in all jurisdictions, fees of lawyers have increased awfully, burdening a party to confront additional fiscal load together with the human cost; in effect of this most of the workers are forced to think that their occupation is a factor of less significance in contrast to things going around them individually.
A number of studies have indicated that employers incur major costs if workers confront grave personal troubles, and among these troubles, divorce is one of the most significant one; in addition, if the workers go through divorces, they face considerable heartbreaking and economic challenges, and this result in a large number of workplace issues. These issues, for example, include non-attendance, weak performance, and stumpy output; in fact, while going through a divorce, workers face great dilemma, under which even when they are bodily in attendance in the workplace, psychologically, industriously, and competently not present at the job.
To put simply, augmented mistakes at work and more workplace calamity, abridged attentiveness while working, taking wrong decisions and incorrect strategies, waste of labour time, weak efficiency, absence, and interruptions are the most disturbing issues which employers face when worker is divorcing and this result in tremendous losses for their business. Losses that the businesses suffer also result from superior health expenses as amplified amount of angst, agony, and melancholy resulting from relationship break-ups bring about stumpy intensity of substantial healthiness and enlarged danger for material violence troubles; as a result, such health related troubles cause superior expenses for firms through means of more pricey insurance covers and medical expenses.
Impact of Divorce on Further Marriage and Future Life
Divorce has huge impact over later marriages as it reduces individual’s capability to keep up a relationship; The Alexander House (2014) noted that while 40% of first marriages break-up, more than 60% of second and 73% of third marriages conclude by separation.
According to Whitton, Stanley & Markman (2013), break of commitment, breach of faith, and cessation of long-standing affection are the usual consequences of a separation; however, a widespread scenario, particularly in western countries is that a large number of individuals go for a further marriage as soon as they get divorced. Bowles (2008) noted that such remarriages begin with huge expectations, but once a person has learned that even a highly committed relationship can be broken, it gets tough for him or her to rebuild immense commitment and faith in the new relationship; so, in future marriages, distrust begins to grow between partners and they more often doubts on each other.
Thus, the remarriages turn out to be stressful as well and this domestic tension awfully hampers a person’s career performances; moreover; if there are children from the previous marriage, the situation further deteriorates for both the kids and the new partner as coping up seems to be difficult (Bowles, 2008). Philpott (2014) noted that as time passes, for parents and children of such families, the value of human relationship worsens due to long-term torment over their emotions and sentiments; therefore, love and affection no more remains an in-depth feeling, rather, they become more mechanical and maintaining relationships become a formality.
In future, such parents and children are no more able to build long-term committed relationships and they focus on constantly building and breaking fleeting and fake relationships (Philpott, 2014). Such people become less reliant on marriages – The Alexander House (2014) noted that from 1980 to 2003, number of married people diminished from 67 percent to 56 percent and 51 percent to 34 percent in white and black people respectively.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide methodological framework to analyse data related with the impact of divorce on family relationship; however, this study will focus on the interactive phenomenological analysis (IPA) in order to conduct this psychological research as it allows new ideas to be developed and incorporated as essential data during interviews. At the same time, it will enable the researcher to obtain the psychological, ideological, as well as interpretative ideas of the respondents (Behrens & Liu, 2014; Spillman, 2014); however, this chapter will illustrate ethical issues and provide brief description of the respondents.
IPA is a qualitative research method, which developed by Jonathan Smith; however, this approach is widely used in British psychology since it has practical implication in social phenomenon (Biggerstaff & Thompson, 2008; Brocki & Wearden, 2006; Smith & Osborn, 2007; Spillman, 2014; and Lalonde, 2014).
The key characteristics of IPA include phenomenology, hermeneutics, and ideography; however, the IPA design will be indispensable in studying the participants’ insights about family break-ups (Biggerstaff & Thompson, 2008; Brocki & Wearden, 2006; Smith & Osborn, 2007; Behrens & Liu, 2014; Spillman, 2014; and Lalonde, 2014). This distinctive research approach seems applicable and useful method to assess the impact of divorce on family relationships as it will give the opportunity to the researcher to gain a deeper and richer understanding from a small number of participants; in addition, it will be a useful process to concentrate on the exploration of respondents’ experience, perceptions, and views.
Primary and Secondary Data
Primary data would be collected using semi-structured interviews; therefore, the researcher will prepare a set of questions because it will help the researcher to enter the psychological and social world of the participant and they will share closer view regarding impact of divorce on family relationships; in addition, it will create maximum opportunity to tell their own story. Here, it is important to mention that the researcher will apply some techniques to collect primary data, for instance, give sufficient time to the participants to finish a question, help them continue, monitor facial impression of the respondents, use tape-record to transcribe the whole interview and so on.
On the other hand, secondary data sources are more reliable since it has already published and accepted to the researcher, teachers and scholars; in addition, it is easy to collect, and less expensive to formulate the paper (Biggerstaff & Thompson, 2008; Brocki & Wearden, 2006; Smith & Osborn, 2007; Smith & Osborn, 2007; Behrens & Liu, 2014; Spillman, 2014; and Lalonde, 2014). However, this study would mainly focus on the internet databases, books, journal articles of different researcher, for instance, Fagan & Churchill (2012), Matthews (2014). Noton (2009) Lalonde (2014), Blakeslee & Wallerstein (2011), Solo (2014), Zoepf (2007), Rai & Fiske (2011) Hetherington (2002), Office of the National Statistics (2014), Demo & Acock (1988) and Ahrons (2007).
To conduct semi-structured interviews, a simple questionnaire with 10 open-ended questions will be designed as it will help the researcher and the respondents to develop and incorporate new ideas during the interviews; however, the following figure shows ten important factors to formulate a questionnaire, such as –
|Contents of the questionnaire|
|First Part||The first part of this questionnaire would design with intent to make easy the interview process by creating relaxed environment for the participates to provide their opinion regarding the impact of divorce on family relationship|
|Second Part||Second part of the questionnaire has designed with 10 open-ended questions in order to assess the research topic, such as, know their expectations from marriage life, the major challenges of marriage, primary cause of divorce, impact of divorce on children, behavioural change of surrounding people after divorce, affect of separation on professional, future plan, the best and worst thing of marriage|
Table 3: Contents of the questionnaire. Source: Self generated
Data Analysis Process
The researcher will try to learn the respondent’s psychological world by understanding the content of their story and engaging in an interpretative relationship with the transcript to assess the impact of divorce or separation on the family relationships; therefore, this qualitative research paper will not allow any statistical tool. The researcher of this dissertation will list the emergent themes on a sheet chronologically to correlate issues and some of the themes will cluster together to make sense of them; however, more analytical or theoretical ordering is important to develop the relations among themes to find out the impact of separation or divorce on family relationships.
Clustering themes encourage to using actual words of the participants by considering iterative way of analysis; however, researcher will produce a table of the themes to identify some cluster and incorporate interviews with six different participants. In the final stage of data analysis, the researcher will employ a clear idiopathic focus to write final statement about participants’ experience to address the hypothesis whether divorce and separation have negative effects on family relationships or not.
Description of the Participants
Description of the participants have included in the chapter four in order to present the paper more interestingly to the readers.
The researcher foresees that the amount and quality of data might not be highly reliable as parents might shy away from giving accurate information about their children; to combat this, the researcher will assure the parents of confidentiality and anonymity. Parents will participate in the study voluntarily, and they can withdraw from the study if it causes them to have some psychological distress; the researcher will maintain high ethical standard to handle emotionally and psychologically disturbed parents.
|Month 1 to 3||Month 4 to 6||Month 7 to 9||Month 10|
|Finding out research gap||xxx|
|the background of the research||xxx|
|formulate the data collection instruments||xxx|
|identify the participants to take part in the study||xxx|
|Completing introduction and Literature review||xxx|
|Conducting interview to collect primary data||xxx|
|Analyze the data||xxx||xxx|
|Completing methodology, findings and discussion chapters to supervisor||xxx|
|Review the entire research||xxx|
|the researcher will prepare a report and presentation slides for the entire research||xxx|
|The entire research will take a period of 10 months|
Table 1: Schedule to complete research. Source: Self generated
Limitation of the Research
To codify in accordance with cluster themes make it easy to include most important information within limited word limits, but the participants may not be interested to provide accurate information about their children for many psychological factors though they are agreed to participate in the study voluntarily. At the same time, there are many other problems to conduct research on the impact of divorce on family members, such as, expensive data collection process, limited words for qualitative research, short time-frame to interview, and so on.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of divorce on the family relationship through the IPA analysis involving critical questionnaire where the participants represent their individual viewpoint that they experienced in their real life practice. The demographic composition for this survey has composed with three (3) couples with three male and three (3) female, all the couples were married for one (1) to twenty (20) years residing at west London and working in different profession and aged at 27 to 70 years with education level of two years college degree and four years’ PhD Degree.
In order to assess the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships, this chapter represent the answers given by the respondents in accordance with the questionnaire without any modification of their viewpoint, but slightly edited to make their verses suitable to read and understand by the readers. For instance, the statements of the couples are represented in third person omitting ‘I’, ‘ahh’, ‘yeah’ ‘you’, ‘you know’, but the themes and sub themes are unchanged and made them more coherent in a uniform voice that make a complete sense to the readers about the impact of divorce on the family relationships remaining consistent with IPA analytical process.
Sara Khan is an atheist woman of 35 and David Lula is a Jewish man of 43 years; however, they meet in the Lincolns Inn during their Bar Vocational course and fall into deep love. Sara completed her BVC, but David failed. Sara became Barrister, and David is a solicitor, within nine months of their love they were married and divorced within a year, but still they are working in the same law firm “Khan & Associates”.
Yunus Hammek (70) and Coco Vera (65) met each other during their PhD course in 1968; Vera loved Yunus so much and they got married in 1970. After nine years of conjugal life in 1979, while Yunus informed that Vera was pregnant for six months, Yunus given unilateral divorce and escaped to a remote area of Asia. Vera though that the divorce during pregnancy would not be effective, so she went to the city where Yunus was. Yunus helped Vera and took her to the hospital to give birth their daughter Monica, but refused to take Vera as his wife.
In response to the question-1, ‘what your expectations were of married and how long were you married for?’
Couple-1 for Q-1
Pear Ali (50): During the marriage, he was just completed his Masters Degree and exited to have a cute and lovely wife with high degree of attractiveness. Rather than thinking about long-term marital stability and happiness, he was fond of beauty and looked for a charming and younger wife.
Full Banu (38): At the time of marriage, she was just eighteen and well motivated with religion virtues of Islam. Her religion taught her that her haven is beneath the feet of her husband. Her family had chosen groom for her and as a Muslim female, she had no scope to express her own liking or choice and she just obeyed the Muslim family tradition only.
Couple-2 for Q-1
David: His expectations from the marriage were to get professional blessing from his employer who was the owner of the law firm and father of Sara.
Sara: Before marriage, Sara had so many boyfriends of different race, while David came in her life she considered that she got the right person to make life partner.
Couple-3 for Q-1
Yunus (70): His expectations from marriage were to have a most cooperative life partner who would assist to reach at the highest success of life and it was difficult for him to complete the degree without financial support of Vera.
Vera (65): Her expectation from the marriage was to lead a simple life with peace and happiness with an honest partner.
In response to the question no.2, what were the major challenges you experienced in your marriage;
Couple-1 for Q-2
Pear Ali (50): my challenges were to cope with objective differences cultural and economic background lack of shared vision and objectives,
Full Banu (38): After her marriage, she discovered that she got married with a man with different values and face multifaceted challenges every day all through the married life
Couple-2 for Q-2
David: His major challenge was to motivate his wife to establish believe and faith on the Lord and to make her more realistic to be dependent on him for decision-making.
Sara: She had dreamed a dream of wonderful life from David, but identified a lot of conflicts with liking, choice idea, and ideology.
Couple-3 for Q-2
Yunus (70): Vera was excellent in the bed, but intolerable in the real life for her forceful personality. It was difficult for Yunus to mitigate this challenge, but he had passed nine years with Vera only for his addiction to Vera’s bed.
Vera (65): Her ultimate challenge was to rectify a most notorious person who was habituated to lie and theft beggars’ money from the streets and the other challenge is his increasing verbal abuse.
In response to the question-3, what was the primary cause for your divorce or separation?
Couple-1 for Q-3
Pear Ali (50): personal attributes as wrong selection of life partner, lack of truthfulness and economic crisis due to recession,
Full Banu (38): lack of looking to herself and her needs, betrayal, seduce, abuse, and torture
Couple-2 for Q-3
David: At any extend he was not liable for the divorce and he tried to sustain his married life, but Shara divorced him.
Sara: Her husband continued to establish his control and commanding attitude over her, hampered her freedom, and started to abuse emotionally that make her psychologically paralyzed and there as no alternative without divorce.
Couple-3 for Q-3
Yunus (70): His Cultural gap, low-income level, wife’s blame for dishonesty made him arrogant to divorce his wife;
Vera (65): Actually Yunus is an intellectual cheater who is very used to stealing poor’s money and he had stolen all of my property by cheating; therefore, it was impossible to live with him.
In response to the question-4, how has the divorce or separation affected your relationship with family members and friends?
Couple-1 for Q-4
Pear Ali (50): It is really interesting, he has come out from the burden of malfunctioning family structure, now he gets so many phone calls from girlfriends and I can fly with them,
Full Banu (38): Her family always blame her that she is a foolish and failed to rescue a good relationship;
Couple-2 for Q-4
David: The divorce carried out a lifelong harm and inflicted his relationship with family members and friends; none is in touch with him.
Sara: The divorce provided me freedom to communicate and nourish her relationship friends and family.
Couple-3 for Q-4
Yunus (70): The divorce provided me more opportunity go bank to my roots and serves his friends, family and the society;
Vera (65): The divorce made her more honest to my friends and family and to caring her only daughter Monica.
In response to the question-5, how has the divorce or separation affected your children?
Couple-1 for Q-5
Pear Ali (50): He loves his children too much and they were much more obedient, but after divorce they became so arrogant, he meets them week and he gives advice and commitment, but none works on them.
Full Banu (38): Children became very sadly, the older two are falling at the examinations, and the younger one is blaming her to return her father.
Couple-2 for Q-5
Sara: My daughter Diya (16) is very sensitive in nature and she misses her father too much. She is a very attentive student and she has aimed to become a barrister to help and work for distressed women in the society.
David: Divorce with Sara has no serious impact on educational performance of my daughter, but she loves an old doctor and she is determined to marry him; however, to a father, it is really painful that the age of her boyfriend is 5 years more than my age.
Couple-3 for Q-5
Yunus: My two sons Robin and Hikmot are drugs addict and they regularly use different illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol; as a result, they are suffering from health problems, which directly affect their longevity and higher risk of premature death. Divorce changes their lifestyle, attitudes, behaviours, school performance, and thoughts; Robin was going to commit suicide and Hikmot had married Tina, but that relationship was not romantic for which they decide to break-up their relationship. On the other hand, my daughter has no feelings for the family relationship, but she is responsible for her mother; Monica is an opera singer and got married another singer.
Vera: She was not interested in answering this question, but she said children need two-parent families in order to save them from psychological disturbances, such as, anxiety, sadness, distress, loneliness, nervousness, and so on.
In response to the question-6, how are you coping with being separated or divorced?
Couple-1 for Q-6
Pear Ali (50): He figured out a bachelor life, but the girlfriends come to his residence, cook for him, make fun, and enjoy themselves.
Full Banu (38): Maintaining the three children she has fallen into bad credit, looking for better job and do not get time to pass with friends or to go to the gymnasium;
Couple-2 for Q-6
David: He is going through a devastating situation; he is not allowed to meet with his baby, he is working in the same company where his ex-wife is bossing over him and making fun and joy in front of him.
Sara: The divorce has facilitated her to enhance opportunity to be free from bondage, developing my career, come in touch with new friends and caring her baby.
Couple-3 for Q-6
Yunus (70): He passed very hardship after divorce. Beside his teaching profession, he has to work as day labourer in the paddy fields to maintain his father’s large family. During his work with farmers, he identified easy way to make huge money from the farmers through small saving and became milliner. Now he believes in short-term marriage and divorce is a game to him that he put into practice regularly.
Vera (65): The divorce has spoiled the rest of her life, she kept herself single to grow up her daughter Monica, but the daughter now blame her like her father.
In response to the question-7, do you think that your relationship with family members and friends can be the same again?
Couple-1 for Q-7
Pear Ali (50): He does not bother to get back any old relationship that back to the previous dimension;
Full Banu (38): She is continuously keeping efforts to rescue relationship with family members and friends can be the same again;
Couple-2 for Q-7
David: Nothing same again and everything turned very complex.
Sara: Everything quite okay
Couple-3 for Q-7
Yunus: His money could purchase friends and family relationships.
Vera (65): Nothing same again, she failed in the journey, even the daughter is not with her.
In response to the question-8, how did divorce or separation affect your professional and /or career progress?
Couple-1 for Q-8
Pear Ali (50): He is in the same job, but increased savings for becoming separated and investing in the share market.
Full Banu (38): she has already switched two jobs and still looking for better another, hopes, and prays for good day.
Couple-2 for Q-8
David: He is in the same job, but complex working environment as his ex-wife is his boss.
Sara: She improved his career
Couple-3 for Q-8
Yunus: The divorce inspired him to grow his intellectual capabilities and he succeeded to be owner of a Bank.
Vera (65): The divorce generated instability in the career.
In response to the question-9, how do you see yourself in the future?
Couple-1 for Q-9
Pear Ali (50): He believes that he would be milliner in near future and he would do something for his children.
Full Banu (38): She hope and pray that the whole things would be turned okay again, her ex-husband would rectify himself and come back to her, she already offered him that if he could leave the habits of abusing and torturing, she is ready for a reunion, but his ears are poured with molten lava.
Couple-2 for Q-9
David: he could not figure out his future until he gets a better job than his ex-wife’s company
Sara: She would like to lead her life as she is now.
Couple-3 for Q-9
Yunus: He is in top of success and he dreams for the days when his two ex-wives beg for his money.
Vera (65): She wants to be a nun or to serve at orphanage; she has no intention to become successful person.
In response to the question-10, what are the best and worst things in your marriage?
Couple-1 for Q-10
Pear Ali (50): The best thing in my marriage was that his wife was very cute and she is a great mom, but the worst thing she is boring to make love.
Full Banu (38): The best thing is that he was a caring father and the worst is that he beats and abuses her regularly saying that it is his sweet love and would continue until her bones creak.
Couple-2 for Q-10
David: Best thing was her money and the worst thing was her secular thought
Sara: Best thing was his obedience and the worst thing was his religion blindness.
Couple-3 for Q-10
Yunus (70): Best things was the bed and the worst thing were the verses
Vera (65): best thing was that her husband shared his criminal core values to her, but the worst thing is that he was not in a position to take any motivation.
The objective of this research is to explore the impact of divorce and separation on family relationships and this chapter would provide a brief summary of the result and findings by integrating with the contemporary literature presented in chapter two. The outcomes and its strengths and weaknesses would be identified through the implications the recommendations and direction for future research that would be presented in the next chapter.
The literature of marriage and divorce has noted that the shortage of intimate relationship and information gap from the perspective of both husband and wife turn them to experience a separation and such literal viewpoint has generated from the marriage and divorce data of last one and half century (Stevenson & Wolfers, 2007, p.2).
During the last one and half century the divorce rates had grown with the increasing rate of demography, but the divorce rates have decreasing for the last quarter century with decreasing marriage rate with increasing age of first marriage and decreasing age difference between husband and wife. The decreasing rate of divorce in the recent years couldn’t satisfy the social workers and policymakers as the as the driving force laid behind such changes are the availability of birth control materials, fertility management, women’s participation in the economic activities, gender discrimination, social network and matchmaking sites on the internet has seriously impacted on the divorce.
In the present study, the couples have presented their realistic viewpoints and through an IPA analysis, it is illustrated that divorce has provided enhanced opportunity for career development and economically success along with strong family relationships for only two participants while the rest four participants spoiled their family relationships and struggling career. Only one of the participants remarried for more than two times and the rest five are unwilling to be ever married while all six participants have to suffer from psychologically disturbed or drug addict children and few of them any reunion of the old relationships could be monumental for the rest of their life with peace and happiness.
The marriage carried out hope for happiness and peace, while such objective fails, the theme of divorce illustrates the way out for healing, but in real life practice, divorce could not bring actual solution for a worthy lifestyle and generate social imbalance with mostly negative impact on the next generation. Couples needed to more investigative before their marriage and after marriage, only bilateral negotiation and compromise could ensure better healing and hope for consoled relationship that provide right value for meaningful human race.
The researchers have already identified the negative impact of divorce and separation on family relationships, but they should concentrate more on further research to find out possible solution to mitigate the adverse impact because it has long-term effects on the society. However, there are many issues involve in divorce cases, but the children cannot realize the situation and make the situation worse and ruined their life; therefore, parents should communicate with the children before divorce to counselling them. At the same time, impact of divorce and separation on family relationships vary person to person, and place to place; as a result, the policymakers, researchers and other related people should research with large numbers of participants of any particular place to identify the problems of divorce and solutions of that area.
From the above discussion, it can be said that divorce and separation have negative effects on family relationships and divorce causes irreparable harm, for example, weaken parent-child relationships due to lack of trust, diminished sense of masculinity or femininity, divorce diminishes children’s learning capacity and children suffer from worry, exhaustion, and stress for parents. The response of the respondents demonstrated that divorce and separation had adversely affected their family relationship, but all three couples added that they had selected wrong life partner for which and there was no alternative without divorce.
However, the researcher of this dissertation identified that the respondents’ marriage from different motivation and take major decision like divorce make easy their life, but practically it creates more complication in their real life. At the same time, divorce not only damaged family relationships of the respondents, but also damaged future prospect of the children of divorced family; therefore, divorce has negative impact on family relationships as well as society.
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