The aim of the study was to examine and describe how divorced biological fathers in reconstituted families give form to the educational relationship with their non-resident young children, to achieve an understanding of fathers’ perceptions of their parental roles as well as the functionality of the relationship in practice. A multiple case study using semi-structured interviews was conducted. A meta-analysis of the emergent themes indicated that the field within which understanding of the phenomenon should be constructed, ranges beyond the context of the fathers reconstituted families who participated in the study. The literature review confirmed that the relationship between former marriage partners plays an important part in fathers’ ongoing relationship with their non-resident child/ren. Findings: • The interaction in the mesosystem between the primary and secondary micro family systems of the two parents with and without custody influences the way in which the biological fathers endeavour to establish/maintain a relationship with their non-resident child/ren. Within this unique mesosystem various obstacles and potential traps exist that could prevent fathers from giving form to their educational relationship with their non-resident child/ren. • By identifying and mobilising assets and strengths the focus could shift from fathers’ feelings of frustration and powerlessness to feelings of empowerment and self-determination that could promote optimal relations.
Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.