Women and Mental Health

By Elizabeth Howell; Marjorie Bayes | Go to book overview

32
Divorced Women

EDNA I. RAWLINGS

DIANNE K. CARTER

Recent divorce statistics suggest that counselors can expect to see increasingly more clients going through the crisis of divorce. According to Hetherington, Cox, and Cox (1976), if the divorce rate in the U.S. stabilized at the 1974 level, 40 percent of all new marriages would end in divorce. The fact is, however, that divorce has been increasing at an exponential rate during the past decade (1976). Therefore, it is imperative that counselors of women be competent in helping women deal with the unique problems that arise for them following divorce.


Problem Areas

Three of women's major problem areas precipitated by divorce are autonomy, financial hardship, and loneliness (Carter 1977). An additional stressful problem facing about 80 percent of divorced women is that of being a single parent (cf. Brown et al. 1976; Hetherington, Cox, and Cox 1976). Women going through divorce often need practical information concerning their legal rights, economic resources, and sources of social support. Counselors should have up-to-date information and women-oriented referral sources and contacts to deal with these reality concerns. Douvan (1976) provides much useful information for single parents.

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