This research was aimed at the development, implementation and evaluation of a parenting program for parents with pre-school children, after a divorce, in order to improve the sosio-emotional functioning of the adults, as well as the children. The motivation for this study stemmed from the reality of divorce in many family systems. Intervention research as applied research was utilised. A two-phase research approach was undertaken. A quantitative questionnaire approach as used during phase 1. The following research question was formulated for this phase: What should the content of a parenting program for parents after a divorce with pre-school children be? A needs assessment questionnaire was completed by 20 members of the population and an assessment of child-respondents, was undertaken. This data, complemented the literature study which was undertaken and brought information to the foreground which established the contents of the parenting program. The research question could therefore be answered. A child assessment was undertaken with the children of the parents who would attend the workshop during phase 2, in order to explore the children’s experience of their living environment. The quantitative approach was used in phase 2 as the single system design. The following research hypothesis was formulated for this phase: If parents and their pre-school children attend a parenting program after a divorce, a significant change in their sosio-emotional functioning should realise. Four workshops were implemented, in the following way: Theoretical workshops for the custodial and non-custodial parent respectively and practical workshops for the custodial parent and child and the non-custodial parent and child respectively. A quantitative questionnaire was completed prior to the workshops and thereafter by the 5 family systems involved. This instrument of measurement confirmed the hypotheses. A comparison was done between the literature and the empirical data. Conclusions and recommendations for future research were formulated, as a result of the research study.
Thesis (DPhil (Social Work))--University of Pretoria, 2006.