Mankwane Daisy Makofane, Olivia Mahlatse Mogoane


A family is regarded as the main social institution that structures the lives, activities and relations of women, men and children (Thornton, Axinn & Xie, 2007:3). It is the basic unit of society that plays a vital role in the lives of all people, especially with regard to the survival, protection and development of children who are below the age of 18 years (Patel, 2005:167). It is against this backdrop that divorce, which is the legal dissolution of a marriage (Barker, 1995:106), is often a painful and a stressful process for parents and children (Afifi, Huber & Ohs, 2006:2; Yu, Pettit, Lansford, Dodge & Bates, 2010:283), especially adolescents. Family disruption is difficult for adolescents to adapt to, as they are going through a developmental stage characterised by changes in their physical growth, sexual development, cognitive abilities and identity development (Barton, Watkins & Jarjoura, 1997:488; Videon, 2002:489). Hines (1997:375) aptly states that parental divorce “promotes growth for some adolescents and developmental vulnerabilities to others”.

Full Text:



AFFIFI, T.D. 2003. Feeling caught in stepfamilies: managing boundary turbulence through appropriate privacy coordination rules. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20:729-756.

AFIFI, T.D., HUBER, F.N. & OHS, J. 2006. Parents’ and adolescents’ communication with each other about divorce-related stressors and its impact on their ability to cope positively with the divorce. Journal of Divorce and Marriage, 45(1/2):1-30.

AFIFI, T.D., McMANUS, T., HUTCHINSON, S. & BAKER, B. 2007. Inappropriate parental divorce disclosures, the factors that prompt them, and their impact on parents’ and adolescents’ well-being. Communication Monographs, 74(1):78-102.

AFIFI, T.D. & McMANUS, T. 2010. Divorce disclosures and adolescents’ physical and mental health and parental relationship quality. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 51(2):83-107.

AMATO, P.R. 2000. The consequences of divorce for adults and children. The Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(4):1269-1284.

AMATO, P.R. & DEBOER, D.D. 2001. Transmission of marital instability across generations: Relationship skills or commitment to marriage? Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(4):1038-1051.

AMATO, P.R. & AFIFI, T.D. 2006. Feeling caught between parents: adult children’s relations with parents and subjective well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(1):222-236.

ARDITTI, J. A. 1999. Rethinking relationships between divorced mothers and their children: Capitalizing on family strengths. Family Relations, 48(2):109-119.

BAILEY, C.A. 2007. A guide to qualitative field research. United States of America: Pine Forge Press.

BARKER, R.L. 1995. The social work dictionary (3rd ed). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Work Press.

BARTON, W.H., WATKINS, M. & JARJOURA, R. 1997. Youth and communities: towards comprehensive strategies for youth development. Social Work Research, 42(5):483-493.

BLESS, C. & HIGSON-SMITH, C. 2000. Fundamentals of social research methods: an African perspective. Lansdowne: Juta Education (Pty) Ltd.

BOIEJE, H. 2010. Analysis in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

BOJUWOYE, O. & AKPAN, O. 2009. Children’s reactions to divorce of parents. The Open Family Studies Journal, (2):75-81.

CARTWRIGHT, C. 2006. You want to know how it affected me? Young adults’ perceptions of the impact of parental divorce. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 44(3/4):125-143.

COREY, G. 2005. Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy (7th ed). Victoria, Australia: Thomson Learning.

CRESWELL, J.W. 2003. Research design: qualitative and quantitative approaches (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

DENNISON, R.P. & KOERNER, S.S. 2008. A look at hopes and worries about marriage: the views of adolescents following a parental divorce. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 48(3/4):91-107.

DONALEK, J.G. & SOLDWISCH, S. 2004. Demystifying nursing research: an introduction to qualitative research methods. Urologic Nursing, 24(4):354-356.

DRAPEAU, S., SAMSON, C. & SAINT-JACQUES, M.C. 1999. The coping process among children of separated parents. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 31(1-2):15-37.

FRANK, H. 2007. Young adults’ relationship with parents and siblings: the role of marital status, conflict and post-divorce predictors. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 46(3/4):105-124.

FREDERICKS, R. 2011. Structural family therapy. [Online] Available: http://www.randi [Accessed: 01/06/2011].

FREEDMAN, S. & KNUPP, A. 2003. The impact of forgiveness on adolescent adjustment to parental divorce. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 39(1/2):135-165.

GIBSON-CLINE, J. (ed) 1996. Adolescence: from crisis to coping: a thirteen nation study. Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd.

GINDES, M. 1998. The psychological effects of relocation for children of divorce. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 15:119-148.

GREEN, J.B. 2003. Introduction to family theory and therapy exploring an evolving field. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole – Thomson Learning.

HENNING, D.H. 2005. Courage under fire: stories of adolescents who survived the destruction of divorce. Pretoria: University of South Africa. (Unpublished MA (Clinical Psychology) Dissertation)

HETHERINGTON, E.M. 1989. Coping with marital transitions: winners, losers, and survivors. Child Development, 60(1):1-14.

HETHERINGTON, E.M. 1993. An overview of the Virginia longitudinal study of divorce and remarriage with a focus on early adolescence. Journal of Family Psychology, 7(1):39-56.HINES, A.M. 1997. Divorce-related transitions, adolescent development, and the role of the parent-child relationship: a review of the literature. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59:375-388.

JOHNSON, B. & CHRISTENSEN, L. 2010. Education research: qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

KREFTING, L. 1991. Rigor in qualitative research: the assessment of trustworthiness. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45(3):214-222.

KRUGER, J. & CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH, 2008. Rural recruitment and retention of social workers: Consulting the field. Report on the qualitative consultation phase of a project to assist the Department of Social Development in developing an index of places where social workers would qualify for rural allowance (Discussion Draft). Cape Town.

KUNZ, J. 2000. The intergenerational transmission of divorce. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 34(1/2):169-175.

KUNZ, J. 2001. Parental divorce and children’s interpersonal relationships: a meta-analysis. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 34(3/4):19-47.

LEON, K. 2003. Risk and protective factors in young children’s adjustment to parental divorce: a review of the research. Family Relations, 52:258-270.

MENTZER, S. 2009. Broken vows: shattered lives. United States of America: Xulopress.

MILEVSKY, A. 2004. Perceived parental marital satisfaction and divorce: effects on sibling relations in emerging adults. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 41(1/2):115-128.

MINUCHIN, S. 1974. Families and family therapy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

PANISH, J.B. & STRICKER, G. 2001. Parental marital conflict in childhood and influence on adult sibling relationships. Journal of Psychotherapy in Independent Practice, 2(1):3-16.

PATEL, L. 2005. Social welfare and social development in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

PECK, J.S. & MANOCHERIAN, J.R. 1989. Divorce in the changing family life cycle. In: CARTER, B. & McGOLDRICK, M. (eds) The changing family life cycle: a framework for family therapy (2nd ed). Needham Heights, Mass.: Allyn and Bacon.

PERIS, T.S. & EMERY, R.E. 2005. Redefining the parent-child relationship following divorce: examining the risk for boundary dissolution. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 5(4):169-189.

RIGGIO, H.R. 2001. Relations between parental divorce and the quality of adult sibling relationships. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 36(1/2):67-82.

ROSE, S.R. 1998. Group work with children and adolescents: prevention and intervention in school and community system. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

SCOTT, M.E., BOOTH, A., KING, V. & JOHNSON, D.R. 2007. Postdivorce father-adolescent closeness. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69(December):1194-1209.

SHEEHAN, G., DARLINGTON, Y., NOLLER, P. & FEENEY, J. 2004. Children’s perceptions of their sibling relationships during parental separation and divorce. Journal of Divorce and Marriage, 41(1/2):69-94.

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA. 2009. Marriages and divorce. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 01/06/2011].

THORNTON, A. AXINN, W.G. & XIE, Y. 2007. Marriage and cohabitation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

VIDEON, T.M. 2002. The effects of parent-adolescent relationships and parental separation on adolescent well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(2):489-503.

WALSH, M. 2003. Teaching qualitative analysis using QSR NVivo. The Qualitative Report, 8(2):251-256. [Online] Available: [Retrieved: 27/06/2011].

YU, T., PETTIT, G.S., LANSFORD, J.E., DODGE, K.A. & BATES, J.E. 2010. The interactive effects of marital conflict and divorce on parent-adult children’s relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72:282-292.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2312-7198  (online) ; ISSN 0037-8054 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2014.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help