INTRODUCTION fact that most of the marriages are arranged.


This research study is
a course requirement for technical writing in Psychology assigned by instructor
Mam Nasreen Sayeed. The topic of the research is Children experiences of
parental divorce which mainly encompasses of experiences of the separation
process and the change in child’s relationships after the parent’s divorce.

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The number of divorce
cases in Pakistan is growing, which raised the concerns faced by the child who
experience this sort of change in their lives. The goal of this research study
is to explain how parental divorce affects children’s lives, from their positions,
including their feelings regarding the changes that take place in their lives
due to their parent’s separation.

divorce rate in Pakistan has increased even though the
divorce rate in Pakistan is relatively lower than the regional and western
countries due to the fact that most of the marriages are arranged. Even if a
girl is not happy and composed with the marriage, she have to compromise and
stay because of the prevailing cultural taboos but still, it isn’t as low that
could be neglected. Divorce, not only leave a lasting impact on the couple but
leave an enduring impact on their children. These children are at risk for
developing a myriad of negative outcome from their exposure to divorce.  Children exposed to prolonged inter-parental
conflict tend to suffer from variety of emotional, behavioural and
physiological problems that can continue into their later life. Experience of
such conflict threatens a child’s emotional security, can increase a child’s
risk of internalizing and externalizing disorders and can negatively affect the
parent/child relationship.


The purpose of this
research study is to gain insight, from children’s own particular viewpoint, of
the effect of parental divorce on their lives and relationships. Additionally,
our purpose is to explore uncovered experiences of a child due to parental
separation. Parental divorce brings about a series of modifications in a
child’s life, such as changes in family arrangements and most importantly, in
relationships with parents that brings worry on both parents and children. As
everything carries both positive and negative connotation so, in this scenario,
Sometimes, The separation of parents brings positive changes to child’s lives
as well.  

Divorce usually leads
to decline in the quality and frequency of children relationship with their
parents. Contact with the other parent becomes less and it eventually leads to
diminish ties with that parent. Children engage into more distant relationship
with that parent which leads to a negative change in their bond. Their
relationship with their parents usually get worsen after the divorce, they
demand reassurance as they have already faced one parent leaving them forever
without explanation. Some children realized that separation had happened
already when a parent left home and did not return.


How parental divorce
affect children?


How Children’s
relationship with their parents changes after parental divorce?

What are the Children’s
perspectives of the impact of parental divorce on their relationship with their

What are the positive
aspects of parental divorce?

What are the children’s
experiences of the divorce process, and those aspects which adds, negatively or
positively, to children’s adjustment to the course of divorce?



The purpose of the
literature review is to develop a background of information about past studies
regarding the effect of parental divorce on their children. Parental clashes is
one feature that has a substantial effect on children. Parental clashes creates
conduct issues in their children. These unfriendly practices intensity parent’s
dissatisfaction and end up influencing the parent-kid connections. The nature
of the family relations and the dedication of parents to alleviate the dangers
from divorce are fundamental in helping children adapt and adjust to their new
life. Keeping away from Child’ exposure to parental clashes and keeping up a
powerful parental bond ease a child’ adjustment to divorce. (Chavez, 2010) According to the Studies in psychology amid the last 25 years, father
significance in the life of his child is no less than that of the mother. Many
studies have featured the absence of the Child’ fulfilment and of the lesser
visits with their father. The kids who had great Connection with their fathers
felt seeing their father so little was not tolerable, and usually children
develop a feeling of fear that their dad relinquished them. (Motti Haimi, 2016)

Another research indicated that divorce is not
always associated with having a negative outcome yet sometimes it has positive
outcomes as well which makes it a good divorce. He concluded that not all
youngsters with separated guardians encounter long haul issues. (Amato, 2011)   There
are evident reasons why separation might be a positive choice, for example,
leaving a distressing and abusive relationship. (Roper, 2016)
William Roper further concluded that parental separation is a typical
event that has both positive and negative impacts. There are chance and
defensive elements related with experience of parental divorce. (Roper, 2016)


The methodology we used
was qualitative to understanding the importance of parental separation for
children, focusing on their subjective experiences. The use of qualitative
methodology is significant to comprehend the lived experiences of children of
divorce as well as to reveal possible new outcomes that cannot be depicted by
fixed quantitative procedures.  Four
respondents from the Divorced sample agreed to participate in one-to-one
interviews. The interviews were semi-structured, consisting of 8 core
questions. Respondents were informed before the session that their contact
information will remain confidential and that the interview would be
audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for quality data analysis purposes.

Design of
the Study

The research was conducted by using the case study
method which encompasses of one-to-one interviews and observation. Interviews
were designed keeping in a way which focus on the representation of particular
context in the eyes of interviewee. While coding, Researcher looked at obvious
meaning, remaining close to the participant verbatim.


The study explores the
experience of parental separation for children aged 18-22.


The sampling included 4 participant. Participant, with ages 18-24
years, attaining higher education from University of central Punjab, took part
in the research study.

collection procedure

During the data collection, the participant engaged in a
semi-structured interview session. Each interview was led by a verbal consent
to record the session, which lasted for 20 minutes. During the interview, the
participant responded to 8 open-ended questions that shed light on their
experiences of their parent’s divorce. In response to the participant’s
replies, follow up questions were asked to get a proper answer that fulfils the
research objectives. The data recorded was later transcribed verbatim by the



This section
narrates the finding of the study. Four themes emerged from the data. These
themes are (a) Post Divorce Adjustment (Compromise) (b) Blaming father for separation (c) Maternal Attachment (d) Positive outcomes of divorce


Theme No.1: Post
Divorce Adjustment

Divorce is not a
pleasant experience for anyone obviously but it takes different time for
everyone to get adjusted after it. When we asked this thing to our participants
we found one thing common that all of them has somehow adjusted to the post
divorced setup they compromise somehow because they wanted stability in their
lives when we asked them have you got adjusted to the post divorced setup one
of the participants said:

“It is not easy but somehow we did
because there is no other option left but it took long time”

It seems like they have
accepted it anyway as there was the only thing they could do. Life is unfair
sometimes that is what they elaborated when asked about it when they also agree
on this point that whenever they see their friends with their parents happily
they feel void, gape and that space in their own family.

One of the participant

“Life is unfair sometimes,
(sarcastic laugh) everyone has to adjust eventually. I haven’t accepted it yet
but I have accepted life. As I live with my grandfather’s home. I have adjusted
with it but obviously it is just a compromise. And life of my mom is full of
such compromises and still it is.”


Theme No.2. Blaming father for

In our findings the
most common thing that we encountered was that all the participants were blaming
their fathers for divorce. Something was wrong with their fathers that thing
leaded towards the divorce and they all were very much assured about it.

One of the participant
added that:

“I am living with my father because
my mother was not in a position to support us this is the only reason otherwise
my father is always angry and a strict man that’s why it all happened.”

And maybe it’s a
universal phenomenon that children experience more attachment and love towards
their mothers rather than fathers and we all see father as a prominent figure
when it comes to any financial support and in all of the four cases we had they
all had some financial issues as well that’s why they blame their fathers that
he should haven’t done this to us.

The one thing which we
notice in our findings was they were not attach to their fathers as I discussed
it above, as they used to spend more time with their mothers rather than their
fathers and they were blaming their fathers for all this.

The one mature answer I
got from one of my participant was

“My father is responsible for all
this as he used to live in abroad he lived there for like 10-13 years and he is
very much conservative and overly religious person and y mother is open minded
but when my father came back he forced us to change our living style according
to him and we couldn’t do that and he used to fight on this reason daily it was
the big reason for that.”

And most of them faced
financial crisis as well and for that they blame their fathers as their fathers
could support them but they didn’t.

So they all concluded
our fathers is responsible for all of sufferings of our mothers.


Theme No.3: Maternal Attachment

Our findings clearly
depicts that all of these four participants are closely attach to their mothers
as compare to their fathers as they were clearly saying this that after and
during all these things the that happened to our family the person who has
suffered a lot is our mom .

One of those
participant clearly said that:

“The most difficult thing I
encountered during the separation of our parents was seeing my mother crying I
am closely attach to my mother and I cannot see her crying but I saw her crying
like anything and I couldn’t do anything.”

They all were aware of
their sufferings and claimed that our mothers had done a lot for us that’s why
we are here otherwise we couldn’t be able to stand on our own feet.

One of the participant
added that:

“My mother was the only person who
suffered for her children. We were not financially strong at that time but my
mother didn’t give up she has done everything for us for her children and she
still is doing that ”

The main reason maybe
that they are closely attach to their mother is that they have seen her mother
fighting for their livings as in our society it is not easy for a women to
raise her children alone and their children recognizes her efforts that’s why
and they have considered their father a strong personality who could even
support them but they didn’t.

One of the participant
told that they have spent more time with his mother as his father used to live
in abroad and they were totally dependent upon their mother.


Theme No. 4: The positive outcomes of

divorce is a ground-breaking experience for children. It turns their world
upside down. They don’t comprehend the divorce exceptionally
well. All they know is that everything will be entirely different from now. Divorce
does abolish a family life. We all agree on this point yet once in a while by one means or another we begin discovering
positive outcomes in it. Possibly it’s our own coping style with this harsh fix
or something to that effect.

to make us satisfy we may conclude some of the positive aspects out of big
negative event in life. Same is the case was with our participants they pointed
out some positive aspects of divorce when they were asked about it that is
there any positive aspects of divorce on them?

One of
the participant said:

“There are many
positive aspects of it, we have got stronger than we were. Previously we used
to think how we are going to survive alone.*her voice shivers and she even
stopped explaining for a while). We have learned many things from our mother as
she has done so many things just to make us happy, in the beginning we weren’t
financially strong after all this even all of my siblings left school including
me but now we are established enough it is just because that life has taught us
so many things so as this separation made us stronger.”

they are happy somehow as they learned so many things after this separation and
they concluded it as a positive aspect. And who wants to live in such a
depressing environment the other aspect we got to listen was this

“The major thing I
consider positive is all those little fights arguments and tensions and those
tensed environment that we used to suffer every single day has ended and this
separation made me mature earlier then my age this  is really positive in nature for me at

As all
of them was very much close to their mothers they concluded that our mother had
suffered a lot while having this relationship but now we are at least happy
that she is free from it now. She cries now sometimes but it is a way more
better then crying daily.

annihilates lives. Even threatening divorce in front of children has enduring
effects however in some cases it gives them life time lesson. Separation isn’t
a pleasant ordeal for anybody, but much can be done to intercede the harming
effects. If parents are dedicated to the prosperity of
their child and limit negative experiences, children can lead composed and
happy lives.



The experiences
individuals with divorced parents have faced were different from experiences of
an individual who has both parents.  They
live a life where they see one parent fulfilling responsibilities of both
sides, one parent giving them care, love, affection. Their way of portraying
emotions, solving problems, schemas and seeing life is greatly influenced.                                                                               
                                                                                            The participants
were experiencing mixed emotions at the time of divorce of their parents,
initially being shocked over such a change was common, some of them said they
could never think of any such thing others said they were witnessing conflicts
between their parents from a long time but getting divorced and being separated
from one parent was something they could never think of, but after divorce they
got adjusted to the current life they were given ,hardships were there but they
all compromised to the new life some of them happily and others had no choice
so they accepted the fate and learnt to adjust with it.

Giving negative
attributes to oneself, life and future in the initial stages of post-divorce
phenomenon was observed and noted it could be because when such tragic thing
happens to an individual where one  has
to lose one of the two most important people 
one`s  life attributing the
surroundings and people for quite a long time post trauma is obvious because
for them their whole world has been turned upside down, in  most cases with the passage of time and with
new experiences most of them started attributing life as positive but for
others idea of life and future is same but they have learnt how to live with

All participants have
had trust issues at one point in their lives, either they were having
difficulty in trusting people overall  or
in trusting an individual of opposite gender in a romantic way and why not when
the two people an individual put his/her most trust on is not with them or has
broken the trust for them once, individuals find it difficult to trust anyone
from outside of their small world, for some these trust issues were resolved
when they grew up and met new people, good social interactions played a role in
changing ones beliefs about humans other than their siblings and mother but for
others the struggle to learn how to trust others  is still there. In terms of parent child
relationships, the present study found that there is a significant relationship
between parental divorce and the regard children have for their parents. Those
who experienced parental divorce were more likely to have lower parental
regard. This finding provides support for previous research. Generally, in the
event of a divorce, the relationship between the child and the parents is
adversely affected. It is unknown exactly why this damage to the parent child
relationship occurs; however, one explanation may be that the damaged
relationship is mainly a result of the level of trauma the child experiences
before or after the divorce. This lack of parental regard and quality of
relationship between parent and offspring has additional negative implications (William
study showed maternal attachment has highlighted aspect, participants were more
attached to their mothers then fathers, because most of them were living with
their mothers and they have seen their mothers struggling and suffering  more than their fathers, all four
participants blamed their father for divorce and not mothers natural biasness
towards mothers could be reason to explain the phenomenon because generally if
any such thing happens kids usually take mothers side and blame fathers easily,
but here the parent you live more with, you are more attached with, living
every moment, sharing every part of their life, seeing that one parent which
here is mother being there for them every time and  getting affection of both parents from the
mother only, all these factors contribute in maternal attachment. 

Most importantly
participants mentioned some positive aspects of divorce such as their parents
are happier as compared to before, their mothers are suffering less than before
or not suffering at all and living with a single parent has made them stronger,
more independent and have made them learn how to face difficulties in life.
There are obvious reasons why divorce may be a positive decision, such as,
leaving an abusive relationship, infidelity, and severe addictions. However,
there are also other positive outcomes for some divorced families that are less
noticeable such as, economic success, increased confidence, and learning how to
become more independent (Amato, 1991).


The limitations we
faced during the study were majorly associated with collection of data because
divorce or separation is an extremely sensitive topic so the participants were
not able to give deep and complete description of phenomenon. Shortage of time
was also a limitation as it didn’t allow us to have a full-fledged knowledge of
experiences people faced. Another limitation is generalizability, the data was
collected from students of a single university and the data was more of subjective
in nature and one individual’s experiences might not be same as some other
individual’s experiences facing same phenomenon as divorce.


Although the
methodology we chose was best to study this phenomenon but another methodology could
be i.e., Case Study, where focus will be on one individual’s life and that
individual’s experiences and how the phenomenon has played role in his/her
achievements or failures throughout life. These findings could be useful for
individuals whose parents have been divorced and are having difficulty
adjusting with it to learn how to cope up with such situations, for the parents
who are undergoing or thinking to take any step in the same context to consider
their children more and for educationists, counsellors and psychologists in
order to develop intervention strategies.


Experiences of
individuals having divorced parents vary from being vulnerable to being strong
and stubborn enough to face such a phenomenon, individuals who have had
experienced such phenomenon of parents separation see life from a completely
different perspective. The cliché about divorce is that it holds negative
aspects only but divorce can be seen as positive step too when it becomes hard
for two people to live together and living under the same roof with a person
causes harm to one’s mental health then divorce might be considered positive


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