Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Psychosocial Implications of Early Father Separation for Adolescents and Their Mothers

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Psychosocial Implications of Early Father Separation for Adolescents and Their Mothers

Article excerpt

Mothers and fathers are both important for the healthy upbringing of adolescents (Meadows, McLanahan, & Gunn, 2008). Divorce creates distance from one parent from home, usually the father figure. As time passes, frequency of contact between children and non-custodial parents often decreases, and lower level of contact create emotional and social problems in adolescents (Fursternberg & Cherlin, 2001). Parents play a vital role in easing the outcomes of divorce (Sturge, Davis, & Cummings, 2006). According to Dykeman (2003) parents can help make a smooth transition for their children during a divorce. After divorce if mother adjusts well in environment than children experience fewer emotional, social and behavioral problems (Averdijk, Malti, Ribeaud, & Eisner, 2012). Father's role is very important in child life (Elgar, McGrath, Waschbusch, Stewart, & Curtis, 2004). Father is perceived as a more powerful, as a more dominant and as a less nurturing (Crow & Crow, 2003). The separation of father and child often begins at the fall of the gavel (Hilton & Frye, 2004). According to the context and situations, children's contact with their father and the level of contact differ greatly. Some children meet their father on weekly basis, few meet once a week and some children only see their fathers every other weekend (Faber & Wittenborn, 2010) and some children do not meet with their father (Chang, Schwartz, Dodge, & Chang, 2003). After divorce process, the positive involvement of father produces greater scores on self-esteem (Hilton & Desrochers, 2000; Gadalla, 2009), and positive father involvement also decreases behavioral problems (Acock & Demo, 2010; Peters & Ehrenberg, 2008).

According to Islamic perspective Children are a central theme in Islamic family law and their multitude necessities have been tried to compensate in the custody process. Islam has given more credit to mother in case of child custody and suggested mother as the first person to be awarded custody of the child. In Islam divorce is not forbidden but negative stigma is attached with divorce in our culture (Ahmed, 2001; Amin & Farooqi, 2009).

As children become emotionally maladjusted after divorce, mothers also become depressed, anxious and feel stress. Mothers start devaluating their selves, start losing their temper and become more vulnerable to stressful situations as compared to married women (Strohschein, 2005). Single mothers suffer from a feeling of loneliness and start experiencing social interaction anxiety (Magnuson & Berger, 2009). In many divorced women, feelings of rejection, shame, aggression, anxiety and anger about future are common (Lansford, 2009). Financial crises after death or divorce of husband are major issues with most of the single mother. It becomes difficult for the single mother to afford all expenditures of children even basic needs such as food and paying fee for school (Aughinbaugh, Pierret, & Rothstein, 2005). Single mother is also unable to participate in much community, social organization (Rogers, 2004). All these mothers' problems are associated with child future problems such as emotional, social, physical and behavioral (Kotwal & Prabhakar, 2009). Mother's emotional and mental wellbeing is very important for complete and healthy development of child (Johnson & Wu, 2002). Children of emotionally maladapted mothers are at increased risk of developing emotional problems in future than children living with intact families (Hetherington, Cox, & Cox, 1981; Spillman, Lorenz, & Wickramma, 2006; Weis, 2001).

Ample research evidence showed that divorce women experience more emotional and social problems as compared to married mothers and parental divorce have impact on children (Amato, 2001; Kelly & Emery, 2003; Spillman, Lorenz, & Wickramma, 2006).

Thomas, Forehand and Neighbors (2005) investigated relationship between depression of mother and child maladjusted functioning. …

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