ERIC Number: ED328836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
An Evaluation of School-Based Support Groups for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents. No. 195.
In the 1989-90 school year, POINT (Parents and Organizations in North Toronto) and Social Work Services, Toronto (Ontario) Board of Education, conducted six peer-support groups for those elementary school children (grades 5-8) in North Toronto whose parents were divorced or separated. Topics covered in 10 weekly 1-hour sessions included parental fighting, information provided to children by parents prior to divorce or separation, custody, visitation, parental dating, stepparents, and remarriage. The success of the program was evaluated by psychometric instruments to measure children's anxiety; questionnaires, and surveys of parents, teachers, and children in three of the six support groups were used, along with anecdotal information based on group leaders' experiences. Results indicated that many goals of developmental facilitation groups for children were realized, including: (1) normalizing the sense and experience of being a child of divorce; (2) clarifying divorce-related concerns; (3) providing a safe place for children to address emotionally painful aspects of parental divorce and post-divorce life; (4) communicating to parents the nature of children's concerns and conflicts; and (5) helping children share and develop coping skills. While children's measured anxiety did not decrease, their responses indicated that the groups were helpful to them in dealing with divorce and separation issues. Parents also reported positive changes in their children's home behavior, but teachers did not observe significant classroom behavior changes. Twenty-five references are included and instrumentation is appended. (TE)
Descriptors: Child Custody, Coping, Divorce, Elementary Education, Emotional Adjustment, Family Problems, Family Relationship, Fatherless Family, Foreign Countries, Group Counseling, One Parent Family, Peer Counseling, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Remarriage, School Counseling, Social Support Groups
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Toronto Board of Education (Ontario). Research Dept.
Identifiers: Canada; Ontario (Toronto)