Article

A Methodological and Substantive Review of Intervention Outcome Studies for Families Undergoing Divorce

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Abstract

Recently, many interventions have been designed to help family members who are adjusting to divorce. This article reviews 15 studies that included both a treatment and a control group (7 adult and 8 child intervention studies). First, reports were examined according to a methodological checklist. Research in this area is at a very preliminary stage, and methodologically sophisticated studies are not the norm. Second, psychometric adequacy of the measures used was examined. The majority of investigators used psychometrically sound measures; however, it was rare for researchers to use only well-validated measures. Third, findings revealed that group interventions for children have produced only modest gains. Effect sizes reported in adult interventions are comparable to those found in the adult psychotherapy literature. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... The recent set of guidelines from the OPA is unique in defining the potential roles psychologists may undertake with divorcing families, including consultant, counselor/therapist, mediator, child development expert, expert adviser, assessor, and arbitrator. Many of these roles are well-known to psychologists, as a great deal has been written about the roles of assessor (e.g., Ackerman, 1995;Bricklin, 1995;Stahl, 1994), therapist (e.g., Grych & Fincham, 1999;Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994), mediator (e.g., Emery, 1994;Irving & Benjamin, 1995), and expert witness (e.g., Brodsky, 1991;Myers & Erickson, 1999). The role of psychological consultant, which is the focus of this article, is, however, less known. ...
... There is some general empirical support for the usefulness of psychoeducational groups for adults (Lee et al., 1994), whereas the support for psychoeducational interventions for children and adolescents is more modest. Although parental education is receiving considerable interest, its efficacy has not been systematically evaluated and we acknowledge that we do not yet have empirical support for the impact of our consultation approach. ...
... One or both marital partners may be receiving counseling to help them deal with their own reactions to the marital dissolution. Children may receive group or individual therapy to help them adjust to their parents' divorce (Garber, 1994;Lee et al., 1994). Parents may be contemplating engaging the services of a mediator or assessor to facilitate the development of a parenting plan. ...
Article
Divorcing parents are faced with concerns about the well-being of the children and the need to establish a new coparenting relationship with the former partner. Traditionally, psychologists have assisted divorcing families with a number of services, including psychotherapy, custody evaluations, and mediation services. The focus of the current article is on the provision of psychological consultation in which parents are provided empirically informed information on the effect of separation and divorce on children. We describe the principles of empirically informed divorce consultation and the professional issues involved in the consultation, the format of the services, and a review of the common themes covered in the consultation (e.g., conflict, shared parenting, dealing with children's needs and emotions, parental distress, developmental considerations). Cognitive behavioral techniques used in the consultation process are identified and strategies for the evaluation of this approach are provided.
... Parents who are undergoing separation or divorce and attend intervention programs might benefit by learning how to cope, express feelings, communicate with their former partner, and appropriately handle divorce-related issues. Further, a number of programs are available that focus on educating parents about how (Lee et al., 1994). A central question concerning such programs lies in whether the target audience of individuals experiencing divorce perceives substantive value in what the program offers them regarding support and education. ...
... In addition to examining perceptions of program value, it is important to investigate educational programs regarding divorce to understand whether they are beneficial to the individuals who participate. The existing studies that evaluate such programs for effectiveness generally have results indicating some positive benefits of such programs (Fischer, 1999;Gilman, Schneider, & Shulak, 2005;Hughes & Kirby, 2000;Lee et al., 1994;Pedro-Carroll, Sutton, & Wyman, 1999). Whether it be family counseling, individual therapy, or parent and child educational programs, a variety of research findings provide evidence that interventions have the ability to lessen the negative effects of divorce and assist parents and their children through the transition (Criddle, Allgood, & Piercy, 2003;Kurkowski, Gordon, & Arbuthnot, 1993;Shifflett & Cummings, 1999;Stone, Clark, & McKenry, 2000;Zibbell, 1992). ...
... In programs for adults experiencing separation or divorce, parents can learn to cope with their feelings, communicate with their former spouse and children, and learn about specific things to help children through the transition (Lee et al., 1994). Studies focused on educational interventions for parents undergoing divorce have addressed variables such as postdivorce adjustment, self-esteem, depression, relationships with the former spouse, and general psychological well-being (Lee et al., 1994). ...
Article
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The intent of this study was to examine the perceived value of a 4-hour divorce education program for adults offered in a Midwestern state. Parents Forever: Education for Families in Divorce Transition is a divorce education program directed toward educating adults about separation, divorce, and the effects on children. Participants included 342 adults who attended the class and responded to retrospective questionnaires assessing their perceived satisfaction, knowledge, and demographic status. Also, 32 legal and community professionals participated in the program and responded to questions designed to assess perceptions of program value. Both respondent groups reported high satisfaction levels and significant knowledge gains through the class experience. Implications of the findings for program support and brief divorce interventions are discussed.
... A careful review of current research on divorce education programs and their effectiveness shows a variety of brief format interventions have been examined and illustrates some evidence of program value and short-term behavioral effects (Arbuthnot & Gordon, 1996;Brandon, 2006;Fackrell, Hawkins, & Kay, 2011;Laufer & Berman, 2006;Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994;Whitworth et al., 2002). This brief review focuses on findings related to perceived program value, short-term impacts on knowledge and behavior, the influence of demographic and other variables on outcomes, and research on the Parents Forever program. ...
... Research efforts that address the effectiveness of parent education programs must consider the outcomes that are most likely to be impacted by program participation (Lee et al., 1994). Among such possible outcomes, the perceived value or usefulness of the program to participants is a basic and yet important dimension of a program's impact to consider. ...
... Because the majority of divorce education programs match the brief program model, it is important to construct evaluation efforts that examine outcome variables that fit with a program's potential impacts and are subject to change (Hughes & Kirby, 2000). Common variables examined in research on short-term effects of such programs include attitudes, knowledge, perceived support, coping efforts, and behaviors such as couple conflict and communication patterns with children (Hughes & Kirby;Lee et al., 1994;Whitworth et al., 2002). Research studies assessing the effects of brief divorce education programs show generally positive immediate and short-term outcomes associated with program participation (Lee et al.). ...
Article
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The focus of this research project was to investigate the perceived usefulness and impacts of a 4-hour divorce education workshop offered to adults. The program, Parents Forever, is a parent education program designed to assist adults dealing with the divorce or separation process and educate them about the effects on children and strategies for effective coparenting. Participants included 238 individuals who completed the workshop and then participated in an initial postprogram survey and a follow-up survey 2 months later, with 82 individuals completing the follow-up survey. The questionnaires evaluated the participants' perceptions regarding program usefulness, program impacts on their behavior, and demographic and participation variables of interest. Participants indicated positive views of program usefulness and significant adjustments in specific divorce-related behaviors. The implications of the findings for support of divorce education programs are explored.
... Given the high prevalence of separation it is perhaps surprising that there is not more research investigating whether psychological intervention can improve separation adjustment. It has been noted by many authors (e.g., Emery, 1998;Emery, Kitzmann & Waldron, 1999;Grych & Fincham, 1992;Lee, Picard & Blain, 1994) that there are few published empirical reports of interventions, with very few randomised trials. Intervention for connection, lonely negativity and distress appears unnecessary in the majority of separated individuals as most people improve on their own. ...
... There have been a number of previous intervention studies (e.g., Lee & Hett, 1990;Salts & Zonger, 1983;Woody, Colley, Schlegelmilch & Maginin, 1985) aimed at improving separation-specific and general psychological adjustment post separation. Issues addressed in the treatment studies include communication skills, financial planning, social support and dating (e.g., Bloom, William, Hodges, Kern & McFaddin, 1985;Lee & Hett, 1990;Lee et al, 1994;Malouff, Lanyon & Schutte, 1988;Salts & Zonger, 1983;Woody et al, 1985). Mostly, treatment was offered in a group format, and inclusion criteria into the groups were broad. ...
... The distinction between separation and divorce interventions relies on the area of service provision -primarily conciliation, mediation, or post-divorce adjustment -and the three major foci: adult-focused, child-focused, and family-focused treatment (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). A limited number of reviews have been conducted that explore the efficacy of interventions for adults experiencing relationship separation. ...
... A limited number of reviews have been conducted that explore the efficacy of interventions for adults experiencing relationship separation. The primary focus of these reviews has been on divorce adjustment interventions (adult and child-focused), with all of the reviews finding consistent methodological issues, including small sample sizes, inadequate study design, and a lack of standardised treatments (Lee et al., 1994;Sprenkle & Storm, 1983;Strouse & Roehrle, 2011;Zimpfer, 1990). Further, many of the reviewed studies only focused on divorce, with fewer studies examining cohabitation dissolution and fewer still investigating the effects of separation from dating relationships. ...
Article
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The effect of a relationship separation on wellbeing is substantial. However, without divorce parameters, individuals in dating or cohabiting relationships may struggle to access support mechanisms. A systematic review was conducted to identify controlled trials of interventions targeting individuals who have experienced a non-marital relationship separation, to supplement the divorce literature. The aim of the review was to assess the impact of these interventions on mental health. Five articles were identified through PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and Medline databases. Overall, two of the trials reported a significant improvement in specific mental health outcomes at post-test and/or follow-up. Of the two trials demonstrating efficacy in mental health outcomes, one used a weekly, forgiveness-based group intervention and the other was a writing-based, self-initiated intervention. A lack of trials testing theory-driven interventions for relationship separation is of particular concern. Limitations of the existing literature and corresponding directions for future research are discussed.
... The process of divorce reaches closure only once the affected individual manages to integrate the bitter experience into her or his life and lives on with it, fully functional. As such, divorce or separation is one of the more stressful and psychically exhausting challenges one can experience during life (Lee, Picard, Blain 1994, 3). It brutally reaches into the usual daily activities of a person and her or his daily lifestyle, shattering any and all expectations (McGoldrick 1995, 127). ...
... Some of them focus on working with the individual partner or children, others on working with the whole family. Various therapy groups for divorcees are also very helpful (Lee, Picard, Blain 1994, 4). The integrative model of Relational Family Therapy (RFT) also treats problems that arise with divorce. ...
Article
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Divorce or collapse of the partner relationship 2 is among the more stressful and psychically challenging of experiences. No matter the circumstances, due to which we could understand divorce as a desired solution of irresolvable complications in relationships, it is a distressing experience that affects the life of an individual as well as that of the family as a system. Divorce does not have far-reaching consequences just for the partners, but also for the children and extended family, as well as society. After divorce, a new era begins , when it is necessary to re-adapt to life and during which hard feelings also emerge. Divorce represents loss: the loss of a partner, of social status, of identity as a married person , etc. During the process of facing divorce, successful emotional adaptation to the new situation, which may also be described facing loss, is of great significance. The process of mourning begins, during which it is necessary to face the reality of loss. When that does not happen, the individual cannot move on; this is the point at which dysfunctional and symptomatic behaviour emerges. This contribution will outline some of the aspects of divorce, focusing mainly on the emotional aspect of adapting to divorce, as well as some possibilities for successfully processing emotional complications during divorce through the process of relational family therapy.
... conducted prior to 1991, and report an effect size of 0.36 (homogeneous). 2 Lee et al (1994) reports eight ESs for self-ratings ranging from 0.00 to 0.82, without, however, indicating average ES. 3 Taken together, the previous metaanalyses are hardly extensive, and do not give the latest data. Also, methodologically they are questionable, at least in part. ...
... For developmental problems, ES = 0.38; for competencies, ES = 0.33 3 Ratings of others vary from 0.00 to 1.12(Lee et al, 1994) ...
Article
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This study in the form of a meta-analysis evaluates the overall effectiveness of intervention programmes for children of divorce. A total of 23 studies were analysed (total study population N = 1615). The average effect size (ES) of all programmes was d = 0.43 based on a homogeneous set of data. The best results were attained by interventions applied during the first two years after the separation/divorce (d = 0.99) at the age of 9-12 years (d = 0.50) with no more than ten sessions (d = 0.66), each lasting about 60-75 minutes (d = 0.61). Group size was not so relevant, but there is a tendency for groups of medium size to be more efficient than small groups. The results were found to be dependent on the methodological quality of the studies, and the method of operationalisation used. The results are discussed in terms of possibilities for improving and further developing intervention programmes for children of divorce (eg by selecting risk groups).
... Findings from the present study suggest specific aspects of adjustment that could be targeted in future interventions, depending on the age of the child. In the past, interventions designed to help children experiencing their parents' divorce have typically shown only small effect sizes (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). Perhaps one reason that these interventions have not had larger effects is that they have not targeted key outcomes relevant at particular points in development. ...
Article
This study examined whether the occurrence and timing of parental separation or divorce was related to trajectories of academic grades and mother- and teacher-reported internalizing and externalizing problems. The authors used hierarchical linear models to estimate trajectories for children who did and did not experience their parents' divorce or separation in kindergarten through 10th grade (N = 194). A novel approach to analyzing the timing of divorce/separation was adopted, and trajectories were estimated from 1 year prior to the divorce/separation to 3 years after the event. Results suggest that early parental divorce/separation is more negatively related to trajectories of internalizing and externalizing problems than is later divorce/separation, whereas later divorce/separation is more negatively related to grades. One implication of these findings is that children may benefit most from interventions focused on preventing internalizing and externalizing problems, whereas adolescents may benefit most from interventions focused on promoting academic achievement.
... There is evidence that programs that target the above mediators are an effective method for achieving parent and child behaviour change in separated families. However, the majority of this research investigates the effectiveness of child-focused school-based interventions (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). Because these interventions have evaluated their programs with primary-school age children, (e.g. ...
... This systematic literature review was carried out to identify the available coparenting-based programs intended for separated and/or divorced parents and to select those that explicitly include the issue of custody as a target of intervention and/or as an outcome. Previous papers reviewed interventions following separation or divorce (for example, Lee et al. 1994;Pruett and Donsky 2011). However, those reviews either did not focus on coparenting interventions per se or did not specifically target how interventions included custody-related aspects. ...
Book
Full-text available
This open access book provides an overview of the ever-growing phenomenon of children in shared physical custody thereby providing legal, psychological, family sociological and demographical insights. It describes how, despite the long evolution of broken families, only the last decade has seen a radical shift in custody arrangements for children in divorced families and the gender revolution in parenting which is taking place. The chapters have a national or cross-national perspective and address topics like prevalence and types of shared physical custody, legal frames regulating custody arrangements, stability and changes in arrangements across the life course of children, socio‐economic, psychological, social well-being of various family members involved in different custody arrangements. With the book being an interdisciplinary collaboration, it is interesting read for social scientists in demography, sociology, psychology, law and policy makers with an interest family studies and custody arrangements.
... Child interventions for divorce produce effect sizes considerably smaller than those found for psychotherapy in general. Lee, Picard, and Blain (1994), in a review of child interventions for children from divorced families, report an effect size of only 0n27 standard deviation units on the adjustment of children. Although the effect size of parent-focused programs on the adjustment of parents is considerably larger, 0n80 of a standard deviation unit, the effects of these programs are confined to the well-being of parents and are associated with minor or no improvements in child adjustment (Emery et al., in press). ...
Article
This review addresses major questions about divorce, around which much contemporary research is oriented. These involve questions of the consequences of divorce for the adjustment of children and the vulnerability and resiliency of children in coping with divorce, whether children are better off in a conflictual intact family situation or a divorced family, and how mothers, fathers, and clinical or educational interventions can moderate the effects of divorce. Although research in the past decade has yielded considerable information about these questions, issues that need further investigation are also presented.
... A second review of group work for children of divorce found eight child intervention studies that included a treatment and a control group (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). The studies included alternate-treatment, waiting-list, and no-treatment control group designs. ...
Article
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This article reviews the published studies of the effectiveness of major group work programs, mainly implemented in schools, which address the stressful impact of parental divorce on children. Focused short-term program group work has shown to be modestly effective in helping children of divorce. However, methodological issues exist in regard to the evaluation studies, related to research design, program fidelity, biased ratings, and the overreliance on measures that focus on psychopathology and ignore coping and adaptation.
... Prevention programs that promote strengths of children, parents and schools lead to multiple positive outcomes over time, including reduced mental health problems, substance abuse and high risk sexual behavior. Weisz et al., 2005, p. 634 Visiting Nurse Program Perry Preschool Project Head Start preschool programs Family support services Parent-child interaction therapy Prevent negative consequences of divorce in parents and children Wrap around services Child abuse prevention programs Promoting school connectedness School mental health programs Positive behavior support Drug abuse prevention programs and prevention of school dropouts Creating a caring community Olds et al., 1998 Schweinhardt, 2000 Durlak, 1997 Yoshikawa, 1995 Eyberg et al., 2001 Lee et al., 1994 Eber et al., 1996; Kamradt, 2000 Davis & Gidycz, 2000 McNeeley et al., 2002 Jennings et al., 2000 Horner & Carr, 1997; Sugai et al., 2001 Tobler & Stratton, 1997 Battistich et al., 1996 EVIDENCE OF RESILIENCE IN ADULTS When studying how children respond to trauma it is critical to consider how their parents and surrounding adults react. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the way distressed parents respond to trauma is an important predictor of the child's response (Meichenbaum, 1997). ...
... Reviews of divorce intervention research have shown convincingly that multiple approaches can lead to significant improvements in children's and parents' functioning (eg, Grych and Fincham, 1992;Lee et al, 1994;O'Halloran and Carr, 2000;Pruett and Barker, 2009). Besides assessing aspects of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural adjustment in family members, a number of divorce interventions have measured participants' satisfaction with the programme. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although divorce intervention research has demonstrated positive effects on children's and parents' adaptation following divorce, surprisingly few studies have examined intervention effects on legal system involvement. This study explored effects of a court-affiliated intervention for separating/divorcing parents with children age 6 or younger on legal system outcomes. The study employed a randomised controlled design; the intervention was a hybrid programme of alternative dispute resolution that encompassed an orientation to the legal system, mediation, psychoeducation, and legal conferencing components. Measures of demographics, parents' functioning, co-parenting quality, and co-parenting practices were obtained from 142 families at time of filing and 15–18 months later. Multiple indicators of legal system involvement (eg, number of court motions filed) were also obtained at the follow-up. Path modelling analyses showed no direct effects of the intervention on legal system involvement. However, the intervention reduced litigiousness through two intervening pathways: (i) according to fathers, through parenting plans that involved consistent schedules and overnights; (ii) according to mothers, through their support for fathers in their fathering roles. In other words, mothers who participated in the intervention were more likely to encourage father involvement, which in turn was linked to lower legal system involvement. These findings point to potential avenues through which divorce intervention programmes can improve family outcomes in the legal system.
... These effect sizes are in line with effects found in other school-based group interventions for children of divorce-namely, CODIP and CSG, for which the average effect size was .27 (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). Moreover, even though these effects are small, they are relevant in demonstrating that a nonindicated, relatively inexpensive, child-directed, school-based Note. ...
Article
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Children of divorced parents have an increased risk of a variety of problems in comparison to children from intact families. Therefore, several intervention programs have been developed directed at children of divorced parents. Yet, empirical data on the effectiveness of these interventions are limited. This study evaluated the school-based, child-directed prevention program Kids In Divorce Situations (KIDS) using a randomized controlled trial. The sample consisted of 156 children randomly assigned at the school level into an experimental (80 children) and control condition (76 children). In addition, 131 mothers and 76 fathers participated in the study. Four assessments took place: a pretest, a posttest, and two follow-up assessments conducted 6 months and 1 year after finishing KIDS. Latent growth analyses demonstrated that the intervention significantly reduced child-reported emotional problems and enhanced child-reported communication with the father and mother-reported communication with the child. The effect sizes ranged from .30-.63. Few moderation effects of gender, time since divorce, or perceived parental conflict on the intervention effects were found. After parental divorce, a limited school-based intervention for children can be efficacious in promoting children's emotional well-being and parent-child communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
... In addition, courtconnected interventions for children (rather than parents) could be more widely available (Geelhoed, Blaisure, & Geasler, 2001). In contrast to interventions for parents, programs for children-many of which are set in schools-have been carefully evaluated and appear to benefit children (Kalter, & Schreier, 1993;Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994;Pedro-Carroll, 2010). These programs (a) provide children with cognitive and social skills that help them navigate the transition to postdivorce family life, and (b) increase children's social support by connecting them with peers in similar situations. ...
Article
This study attempted to assess the notion that a "good divorce" protects children from the potential negative consequences of marital dissolution. A cluster analysis of data on postdivorce parenting from 944 families resulted in three groups: cooperative coparenting, parallel parenting, and single parenting. Children in the cooperative coparenting (good divorce) cluster had the smallest number of behavior problems and the closest ties to their fathers. Nevertheless, children in this cluster did not score significantly better than other children on 10 additional outcomes. These findings provide only modest support for the good divorce hypothesis.
... Children's groups show some positive effects, but when recovering from divorce, children take their lead from their parentsif the parents are functioning well, the child is more likely to do well. Thus, interventions focused uniquely on children may be of limited usefulness (7). ...
... Although object relations theory has long offered a rich source of ideas about relational phenomena, only recently have these notions been translated into empirical questions to address current clinical issues (e.g., Alexander, 1992). Similarly, clinicians working with divorcing families, and those evaluating their effectiveness, are currently articulating a need for more theory-based approaches to interventions (e.g., Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994), for which we hope this and subsequent works may have some application. ...
Article
The identification of psychological and interpersonal factors that predict cooperation and agreement between ex-spouses is important to understanding, and eventually promoting, healthy postdivorce adjustment of parents and their children. By drawing on object relations theory, the authors identified differences between 16 ex-couples who were able to negotiate and maintain a cooperative parenting plan after separation ("agreed ex-couples") and 16 ex-couples who disagree about parenting arrangements ("disagreed ex-couples") but were similar in age, educational background, age of their children, and time since separation. As expected, disagreed ex-couples were more narcissistic, more interpersonally vulnerable, less able to take another's perspective, less concerned about the feelings and needs of others, more self-oriented, and less child-oriented and more self-important in their parenting attitudes than agreed ex-couples. Our findings also supported a process mediational model of "child-centeredness" that attempts to elucidate the pathways through which these variables are interrelated. This model suggests that ex-couples' empathy is associated directly with child-oriented but not self-important parenting attitudes, whereas self-orientation is associated directly with self-important but not child-oriented attitudes. A self-servicing orientation on the part of ex-couples does, however, relate to child-oriented parenting attitudes indirectly through self-important parenting attitudes.
... Several meta-analytic reviews have focused more narrowly on the prevention of specific problems. For example, beneficial effects have been found in meta-analyses of child abuse prevention programs (Davis & Gidycz, 2000 ), programs designed to prevent negative consequences of divorce on parents and children (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994), and drug abuse prevention programs (Tobler & Stratton, 1997; but see Ennett, Tobler, Ringwalk, & Flewelling, 1994 , on the apparent ineffectiveness of the widely promoted Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program for schoolchildren). In a meta-analysis by Wilson, Gottfredson, and Najaka (2001) in which they evaluated studies of school-based interventions to prevent alcohol and drug use, school dropout/nonattendance, or various other target behaviors , the authors concluded that programs were generally effective in each of these areas. ...
Article
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For decades, empirically tested youth interventions have prevented dysfunction by addressing risk and ameliorated dysfunction through treatment. The authors propose linking prevention and treatment within an integrated model. The model suggests a research agenda: Identify effective programs for a broadened array of problems and disorders, examine ethnicity and culture in relation to intervention adoption and impact, clarify conditions under which programs do and do not work, identify change mechanisms that account for effects, test interventions in real-world contexts, and make tested interventions accessible and effective in community and practice settings. Connecting the science and practice of prevention and treatment will be good for science, for practice, and for children, adolescents, and their families.
... Many divorce intervention programs target children and include psychoeducation about divorce, cognitive-behavioral interventions to address maladaptive thoughts about divorce, and training to enhance coping skills (Pelleboer-Gunnink et al., 2015). Typically, these interventions use a group format to increase social support and, though the length varies, length does not seem related to effectiveness ( (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994). Recent explorations of online coping skills interventions, like the Children of Divorce Coping with Divorce online prevention program (Boring et al., 2015), have demonstrated promise in increasing coping ability and decreasing mental health problems for most children at rates comparable to group-based programs (though a small subset seemed to be negatively affected by the intervention). ...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on some of the most difficult events in a child's life—divorce, separation, or loss of parents. It reviews the adjustment disorder categories appropriate for children with difficulty adapting to major events. General trends demonstrate that divorce has more deleterious effects on younger children, with some researchers positing that parental divorce prior to age 6 poses a particular risk of subsequent emotional and behavioral difficulties. Parental divorce affects many aspects of a child's life, including physical proximity and degree of closeness to caregivers, and can substantially affect parents’ socioeconomic standing, emotional states, and behavior. Strengths of the parent–child relationship prior to a divorce are thought to augment a child's coping resources and, after a divorce, parental variables can buffer stress, leading to fewer emotional and behavioral problems. Circumstances of parental loss can have substantial implications for adjustment difficulties a child is likely to experience.
... This systematic literature review was carried out to identify the available coparenting-based programs intended for separated and/or divorced parents and to select those that explicitly include the issue of custody as a target of intervention and/or as an outcome. Previous papers reviewed interventions following separation or divorce (for example, Lee et al. 1994;Pruett and Donsky 2011). However, those reviews either did not focus on coparenting interventions per se or did not specifically target how interventions included custody-related aspects. ...
Chapter
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This chapter focuses on the issue of shared physical custody (SPC) in the broader context of coparenting interventions. To identify if and how these interventions address the issue of SPC, we provide a systematic overview of the currently available types of coparenting interventions after marital dissolution. To be selected, the interventions had to be published in peer-reviewed journals, target separated or divorced parents, integrate work on coparenting, and include a custody focus within the intervention curriculum or as a targeted outcome. Finally, they had to be subject to empirical evaluation. As a second step, using a case study, we investigate how the issue of SPC may be addressed before divorce, during couple therapy. We describe the therapy sessions to highlight the factors that may protect or undermine the development of a cooperative coparenting relationship while separating, and eventually create a positive shared-custody scenario after divorce. We also analyse the couple’s progress regarding individual symptomatology and coparenting satisfaction based on self-reported questionnaires and on the quality of their observed coparenting interactions. From a therapeutic perspective, this chapter aims to deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities of coparenting during and after separation and its intertwinement with the issue of SPC.
... It is therefore useful to organize support groups that address issues such as individual adjustment, communication skills, financial planning and parenting issues. Evaluative findings in studies overseas indicate that such interventions appear to help respondents with symptoms of depression and overall distress, though the effect on other psychological and practical issues is limited (Lee, Picard, & Blain, 1994 ). In Hong Kong, social service agencies have begun to recognize the need, but such services are offered only on a sporadic basis. ...
Article
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This study examines the prevalence of divorce-related stressors and their impact on the well-being of 237 women in Hong Kong who are separated. By means of a cross-sectional study, it was found that most separated women had difficulty engaging in divorce litigation, anticipated housing problems and experienced declines in income. Regression analysis shows that litigation and housing problems are the strongest predictors among the various stressors of mental health problems.
Article
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Improving outcomes for children and adolescents with mental health needs demands a broad meta-systemic orientation to overcome persistent problems in current service systems. Improving outcomes necessitates inclusion of current and emerging evidence about effective practices for the diverse population of youth and their families. Key components of the meta-system for children with emotional or behavioral needs include families, cultural norms and values, and service sectors such as schools, pediatric health centers, specialty mental health systems, juvenile justice systems, child protection services, and substance use treatment systems. We describe each component of the meta-system, noting challenges to the provision of evidence-based practice (EBP) and highlighting ways to optimize outcomes. Our focus is on the inclusion of evidence-based assessment and interventions, including prevention, within a developmentally driven and culturally responsive contextual model. Recommendations for addressing disparities in research funding and essential steps to foster communication and coordination of EBP across settings are provided.
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As a result of the dramatic increase in women's participation in the work force, more relationship therapists are seeing couples who are dissatisfied with how domestic labor is divided in their homes. Although, this issue may seem therapeutically straightforward, there are many aspects which make its renegotiation surprisingly problematic and complex. This article is an effort to delineate some of these issues such as engaging men in therapy, exploring emotional issues connected with housework, and the mechanism of gatekeeping. Also included is a therapeutic framework for addressing client concerns about domestic responsibilities.
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I use a divorce-stress-adjustment perspective to summarize and organize the empirical literature on the consequences of divorce for adults and children. My review draws on research in the 1990s to answer five questions: How do individuals from married and divorced families differ in well-being? Are these differences due to divorce or to selection? Do these differences reflect a temporary crisis to which most people gradually adapt or stable life strains that persist more or less indefinitely? What factors mediate the effects of divorce on individual adjustment? And finally, what are the moderators (protective factors) that account for individual variability in adjustment to divorce? In general, the accumulated research suggests that marital dissolution has the potential to create considerable turmoil in people's lives. But people vary greatly in their reactions. Divorce benefits some individuals, leads others to experience temporary decrements in well-being, and forces others on a downward trajectory from which they might never recover fully. Understanding the contingencies under which divorce leads to these diverse outcomes is a priority for future research.
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Mediation and parent education are increasingly common support services provided to divorcing families. Although there is accumulating evaluation evidence, important questions remain. In this study we surveyed mediators, parent educators, attorneys, and judges in one state to identify the types of evidence that may be useful in further evaluation efforts and to obtain their professional judgements regarding the effectiveness of these programs. Most programs only obtain minimal evaluation, but professionals had helpful ideas about types of evidence that would be helpful. Judges, parent educators and mediators perceived the programs as more useful and effective than attorneys. Results are discussed in terms of ways to strengthen evaluation efforts of mediation and parent education programs for divorcing families.
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This review addresses major questions about divorce, around which much contemporary research is oriented. These involve questions of the consequences of divorce for the adjustment of children and the vulnerability and resiliency of children in coping with divorce, whether children are better off in a conflictual intact family situation or a divorced family, and how mothers, fathers, and clinical or educational interventions can moderate the effects of divorce. Although research in the past decade has yielded considerable information about these questions, issues that need further investigation are also presented.
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To consider methods and related evidence for evaluating bias in non-randomised intervention studies. Systematic reviews and methodological papers were identified from a search of electronic databases; handsearches of key medical journals and contact with experts working in the field. New empirical studies were conducted using data from two large randomised clinical trials. Three systematic reviews and new empirical investigations were conducted. The reviews considered, in regard to non-randomised studies, (1) the existing evidence of bias, (2) the content of quality assessment tools, (3) the ways that study quality has been assessed and addressed. (4) The empirical investigations were conducted generating non-randomised studies from two large, multicentre randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and selectively resampling trial participants according to allocated treatment, centre and period. In the systematic reviews, eight studies compared results of randomised and non-randomised studies across multiple interventions using meta-epidemiological techniques. A total of 194 tools were identified that could be or had been used to assess non-randomised studies. Sixty tools covered at least five of six pre-specified internal validity domains. Fourteen tools covered three of four core items of particular importance for non-randomised studies. Six tools were thought suitable for use in systematic reviews. Of 511 systematic reviews that included non-randomised studies, only 169 (33%) assessed study quality. Sixty-nine reviews investigated the impact of quality on study results in a quantitative manner. The new empirical studies estimated the bias associated with non-random allocation and found that the bias could lead to consistent over- or underestimations of treatment effects, also the bias increased variation in results for both historical and concurrent controls, owing to haphazard differences in case-mix between groups. The biases were large enough to lead studies falsely to conclude significant findings of benefit or harm. Four strategies for case-mix adjustment were evaluated: none adequately adjusted for bias in historically and concurrently controlled studies. Logistic regression on average increased bias. Propensity score methods performed better, but were not satisfactory in most situations. Detailed investigation revealed that adequate adjustment can only be achieved in the unrealistic situation when selection depends on a single factor. Results of non-randomised studies sometimes, but not always, differ from results of randomised studies of the same intervention. Non-randomised studies may still give seriously misleading results when treated and control groups appear similar in key prognostic factors. Standard methods of case-mix adjustment do not guarantee removal of bias. Residual confounding may be high even when good prognostic data are available, and in some situations adjusted results may appear more biased than unadjusted results. Although many quality assessment tools exist and have been used for appraising non-randomised studies, most omit key quality domains. Healthcare policies based upon non-randomised studies or systematic reviews of non-randomised studies may need re-evaluation if the uncertainty in the true evidence base was not fully appreciated when policies were made. The inability of case-mix adjustment methods to compensate for selection bias and our inability to identify non-randomised studies that are free of selection bias indicate that non-randomised studies should only be undertaken when RCTs are infeasible or unethical. Recommendations for further research include: applying the resampling methodology in other clinical areas to ascertain whether the biases described are typical; developing or refining existing quality assessment tools for non-randomised studies; investigating how quality assessments of non-randomised studies can be incorporated into reviews and the implications of individual quality features for interpretation of a review's results; examination of the reasons for the apparent failure of case-mix adjustment methods; and further evaluation of the role of the propensity score.
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Prevention is a critical component in the spectrum of interventions that also include traditional clinical treatments and rehabilitation. As reported in several meta-analyses, significant progress has been made in developing efficacious preventive interventions for a variety of problems. While there is the need for continued development of preventive interventions and for deepening our understanding of how they achieve their effects, increased attention is turning to the dissemination of effective prevention programs. We discuss that and related topics that have momentum to carry themselves into prevention's future.
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Preventive postdivorce interventions aim to help children cope with divorce and promote their adjustment. Nevertheless, questions remain regarding the concrete outcomes of these interventions and the intervention characteristics that influence them. This meta-analysis of 30 studies analyzes the efficacy of postdivorce interventions on children's symptomatology, personal resources, and adaptation to divorce. Likewise, it explores whether the intervention impacts the putative mediators from the family context and whether the characteristics of the studies themselves also influence the results. Using a data set of N = 4344 individuals, 258 effect sizes were calculated. Random effects analyses evidenced the impact of the interventions on specific variables instead of on children's global adjustment. There were no significant effects on children's mental health outcomes, and none of these effects were qualified by the moderators that were examined. Preventive postdivorce interventions had significant effects, specifically on children's divorce adjustment and self-esteem. The study of the moderators found that the interventions were generally homogeneous, and only one of the 20 moderators examined had a significant effect. Based on children's age, the interventions had an impact on family functioning only when they involved younger children, but this result should be interpreted with caution due to the small sample of studies. This meta-analysis provides evidence of the relevance of postdivorce interventions to critical variables as well as information about the role of the intervention characteristics in the effects and makes suggestions for future research on divorce interventions that encompass both practical and empirical developments.
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This meta-analysis focuses on the efficacy of interventions for adults facing separation or divorce designed to help them through the process of divorce. In this meta-analysis we investigate the nature of these programmes and their influence on reduction of divorce-related symptoms. Using a heterogeneous data-set (amount of variance explained by sampling error 58.68%) of N = 2022 adults, 24 independent effect sizes were calculated. The overall mean effect size was Δ = 0.47. Due to the heterogeneity of the results, partial analyses were also conducted. Our results on study characteristics and effect sizes as well as standards for presenting results in primary studies are discussed. Altogether, this meta-analysis provides a detailed and methodologically valid contribution to quantitative research in the field of divorce adjustment.
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Divorce represents a frequent and common phenomenon in modern society. The number of partners who wish to divorce is either on the rise or on a constant high. Recent demographic data on marriages and divorces in the European Union shows that the number of marriages per 1000 residents decreased in the few last decades, while the number of divorces increased1. The number of couples who separate is certainly higher especially if we take into consideration that those who are not married or registered in civil unions are not included in the official statistical analyses.
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ABSTRACT World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Report from 1987) defined sustainable development as “... development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” [1]. Sustainable development requires harmonization between: economic, social and environmental factors (clean environment). Thus, sustainability creates a balance between nature and society by keeping to a minimum the harmful effects, which arise from the relationship between these two. The economic, environmental and socio-demographic development of Mitrovica region, either from the past, or today, does not meet the principles of sustainable development. Since 1999, Mitrovica is known as the major center for Mining and industrial developments, and as the most polluted area not only in Kosovo but at the European level as well. Mining and industrial development has been dictated by economic interests of the former Yugoslavia, so the concept of maximum exploitation of natural resources has dominated in Mitrovica and in Kosovo as a whole. Such use (based on the maximum concept, not on the sustainable concept) has been accompanied by major environmental problems. Major environmental problems considered as threats to the present and future generations are: high pollution environmental mediums such as air, soil and water. Unsustainable environmental development is accompanied by unsustainable economic and demographic development, since as mentioned above, sustainable development requires a combination of these three components. Key words: sustainable development, industry, Mitrovica, environmental pollution.
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The main goal of projections is getting to know the trend and volume of the population with the aim of economic development and rational utilization of its sustainable development in the relationship between population, natural resources and environment in the future. So based on demographic projections we also formulate long-term policies in a various planning fields including education, social security , health , housing , work market etc, making predictions as necessity . Subject treatment of this project plan will be the development trend and challenges of Kosovo's population in the future and the consequences of such a development based on the results of the publication of "Kosovo Population Forecast 2011-2061" which represents the first prediction conducted by institutions of Kosovo (Kosovo Agency of Statistics). In composition of this prediction on demographic parameters are given three variants while initiative base is registration of population in 2011. For the needs of the research results were used from the medium variant estimated as more likely probable, based on actual data of demographic trend in the country. It is also a recommendation by publisher forecast that medium variant is used when planning and analysis.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
ABSTRACT The main goal of projections is getting to know the trend and volume of the population with the aim of economic development and rational utilization of its sustainable development in the relationship between population, natural resources and environment in the future. So based on demographic projections we also formulate long-term policies in a various planning fields including education, social security , health , housing , work market etc, making predictions as necessity . Subject treatment of this project plan will be the development trend and challenges of Kosovo's population in the future and the consequences of such a development based on the results of the publication of "Kosovo Population Forecast 2011-2061" which represents the first prediction conducted by institutions of Kosovo (Kosovo Agency of Statistics). In composition of this prediction on demographic parameters are given three variants while initiative base is registration of population in 2011. For the needs of the research results were used from the medium variant estimated as more likely probable, based on actual data of demographic trend in the country. It is also a recommendation by publisher forecast that medium variant is used when planning and analysis.
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In the past 50 years in the United States, marriage has become a more optional, less permanent institution. Marriage is being delayed, rates of marital formation are decreasing, and divorce, births to single mothers, and cohabitation have increased. The divorce rate has more than doubled since 1950, and although in the past two decades it has declined modestly and stabilized, still about 45% of contemporary marriages are expected to fail (Teachman, Tedrow, & Crowder, 2000; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1998). As the divorce rate increased in the 1970s, the remarriage rate for women began to decline. About 65% of women and 75% of men now remarry. However, divorces occur more rapidly and frequently in remarriages, especially in those involving stepchildren (Cherlin & Furstenberg, 1994; Tzeng & Mare, 1995). The general long-term pattern of a rising divorce rate over the past 50 years and a decreasing remarriage rate starting in the 1980s holds for non-Hispanic whites, African Americans, and Hispanic whites, but the absolute levels differ for the three groups. Compared to non-Hispanic and Hispanic whites, African Americans wait longer and are less likely to marry and also are more likely to separate and divorce, to remain separated without a divorce, and less likely to remarry (Teachman et al., 2000). As parents move in and out of intimate relationships, their children are exposed to the changes, challenges, and stresses associated with multiple family transitions.
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The negative impact of divorce is a concern with far-reaching ramifications for children's well-being. This article reviews divorce-related risks and protective factors that provide an empirical guide for the content of effective programs for children. The promising potential of child-focused interventions is highlighted, including examples of programs with evidence of effectiveness. The Children of Divorce Intervention Program is described in greater detail as an example of a preventive program with six controlled studies documenting multiple benefits to children, including reductions in anxiety, behavior problems, somatic symptoms, and increases in their healthy adjustment at home and at school. A vision for future research and practice is discussed, including best practices for adapting children's programs to court-connected services and a paradigm shift involving systematic preventive outreach to all separating parents with minor children, before difficulties become rooted and chronic.
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Psychologists who conduct divorce mediation or child custody assessment must understand the context of such professional practice and the views of other professions involved, such as lawyers. In this study, family lawyers (N = 161) completed a questionnaire about mediation and assessment of custody disputes, indicating positive attitudes toward mediation and recognition of its favorable effects on the family. Lawyers viewed assessment as a desirable alternative to litigation but did not associate it with enhanced family functioning. Lawyers strongly endorsed the need for abuse screening prior to mediation. Distinctions between the roles of lawyers and psychologists are emphasized. The necessity of effective abuse screening is highlighted.
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An evaluation of the first counselling service in Britain for children of divorce is reported. In a previous article, the quantitative outcomes of counselling were outlined, which included such data as the children's self-esteem and perceptions of divorce. Here the focus is on the qualitative outcomes of the counselling evaluation: namely, the children's and mother's satisfaction with the counselling, and the counsellor's opinion of its success. The conclusions of the study and their implications for practice are discussed.
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A representative sample of 3,198 Canadian adolescents in grades 6 through 12 was surveyed about seeking help in the face of parental separation and divorce. Qualitative content analyses of adolescents' responses to open-ended questions were used to identify themes that were reliably coded. In terms of “best” help-seeking options for adolescents in divorcing families, adult counsellors and friends were most frequently endorsed a total of 18 options generated by teens. When questioned about what helps youths to access the help they need, 11 themes emerged; peer support, a generally supportive environment, personal recognition of the need for help, a teen's personal strengths, and family support were most frequently mentioned. Obstacles to getting help were also coded into 11 reliable themes; feelings of being flooded or overwhelmed by negative feelings about the divorce, negative peer consequences, negative view of help options, psychological denial, and negative family influences were most frequently cited. Finally, an analysis of adolescents' overall psychological attitudes towards help-seeking revealed an optimistic/trusting outlook among the strong majority of respondents. A brief analysis of the types and helpfulness of past help-seeking attempts was presented. Sex-related, age-related, and experience-based differences in the adolescents' responses were considered, and implications of the findings for practice and research were discussed.
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The major purpose of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of implementing a reproducible, preventive intervention program to enhance coping outcomes with mothers and their young children following marital separation. A two-group experiment was used with 21 mothers experiencing recent marital separation and their 3 to 6-year-old children. Experimental group mothers received the Creating Opportunitiesfor Parent Empowerment (COPE) Intervention Program, which consisted of audiotaped information and behavioral activities to enhance parenting effectiveness and coping outcomes in their children. Comparison group mothers received information and activities related to normal growth and development of preschool children. Trends in the data and effect sizes revealed positive short-term outcomes over a 3½-month study period on nearly all measures for mothers and children who received the COPE Intervention Program. Afull-scale study is now being planned to determine both short and long-term effects of the COPE Intervention Program.
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An extensive body of research has demonstrated that children in families touched by separation and divorce face considerable turmoil in their young lives. This article describes the results of a pilot study of a group curriculum aimed at ameliorating the negative effects of divorce and family instability for children ages 9 to 12. Based on the ratings of parents, many children benefit noticeably from the program, especially those with less self-expression, low self-esteem, and more behavioral problems before the program. Teachers, however, often observed no difference in the classroom behavior. The limitations of the study are discussed and caution is recommended in interpreting the findings.
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Studies that look at long-term effects of divorce on children show lowered well-being and quality of life for children of divorce. This article describes a model for group work with young adults from divorced families using an eight-session psychoeducational group intervention. The goals of the program are to bring young adults from divorced families together to reduce isolation, establish connectedness, and build a stronger sense of identity and empowerment. Educating young adults from divorced families on topics such as assertiveness, communication skills, and self-esteem may give them some extra tools to build trust, intimacy, and enduring significant relationships.
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Interviews were conducted with 15 recently divorced parents (12 mothers and 3 fathers) about the ways in which their parents and their parents-in-law support them. Divorced parents reported that their parents were important providers of support. The most welcome type of support was emotional or practical in nature. A third of the sample of divorced parents reported receiving unwelcome advice from their parents. Divorced parents reported that their parents-in-law provided very little support; it was more common for . participants to report wanting more support from parents-in-law than they currently receive. We present recommendations for clinicians to help divorced clients to make clear requests from their parents and parents-in-law and to help such clients develop ways of dealing with unwelcome involvement. Finally, we suggest directions for future research.
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Presents basic principles for conducting child psychotherapy outcome research and suggests that a multivariate framework is needed to illuminate important mechanisms of change in effective child psychotherapy. Issues related to type of treatment, therapist variables, child problems, context, research design, and statistical concerns are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)