Divorce Affecting Children: Primary Research Method

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2090 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

Words: 2090|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

Table of contents

  1. Hypothesis and Introduction
  2. Research Method and Research Instrument
  3. Research Questions
  4. Target Audience
    There are six steps to collecting data
  5. Ethical considerations and Limitations
  6. Conclusion

Hypothesis and Introduction

Divorce is the close of cohabitation, the canceling and restructuring of the judicial tasks and liabilities of marriage, thus destroying the unions of matrimony connecting a married couple beneath the rule of law of the distinct country and state. If a separation of a family occurs, then the initial impact of the divorce will affect a child directly. The social science perspective of psychology applies to this study as it focuses on the way people feel and behave, for growth. Psychologists B.F Skinner and Albert Bandura would emphasize how rewards, punishments, stress, nutrition, attachment, and parenting all motivate a child's education and inclinations. To identify evidence that proves that divorce affects children, a survey will be conducted to determine what the views and opinions on this matter are. According to a study released on October 4th, 2010, reported by CBS News, four in ten traditional marriages in Canada end in divorce (CBC News, 2010). Related studies explicitly examined mother-adolescent, father-adolescent, and youth relations. The research has confirmed that divorce can affect adolescent's relationships, but it is not precisely the divorce but rather the effects of divorce. These can include less time with parents, economic distress, or a move to a different region. The investigation has exhibited that these determinants can sway youngsters as it associates with social, academic, and personal well-being. Young bonds can be transformed in varying ways depending on the consistency and confidence put on the youth following the divorce. Research has also reasoned that it may not be the separation that reshapes the child but other constituents due to the divorce such as inferior socioeconomic status, moving, or conflicts among parents are some examples.

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Research Method and Research Instrument

The method of investigation and research became based on qualitative data. This is the soundest strategy for the study because it seeks to understand a given dilemma or subject from the viewpoints of the confined population it occupies. Qualitative research is especially useful in obtaining culturally specific information about the values, opinions, behaviours, and social contexts of particular communities. It produces data concerning the “human” view of a problem – that is, the often-contradictory responses, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships of individuals. Qualitative methods are also useful in identifying intangible factors, such as social norms, socioeconomic status, gender roles, ethnicity, and religion, whose purpose in the research issue may not be readily apparent. When used along with quantitative methods, qualitative research can help to interpret and better understand the complex reality of a given circumstance and the associations of quantitative data. The data became analyzed through statistical observations and logical inferences.

The research design chosen to investigate the hypothesis based on qualitative data is the use of participant observation and in-depth interview results. The reason this research method became chosen is due to its distinct advantages with regards to this matter. The types of data this method produces are field notes, audio or video records, and transcripts. The benefits of this method with concerns to the topic of divorce are that the results will be essential and culturally prominent to the participant, unanticipated through the researcher, and intense and descriptive in essence.

Research Questions

What impact does familial divorce have on the mother and adolescent relationship?

What effect does familial separation have on the father and adolescent relationship?

What is the initial impact on the adolescent's relationships?

Target Audience

The target audience is males and females above the age of ten. These ranges became chosen because according to research by Rhonda Freeman, manager of Families in Transition, a program of Toronto’s Family Services Association. She states that children younger than ten, with their limited cognitive ability, can develop wrong ideas about the causes and effect of divorce (Hoffman, 2018). Although most children under the age of six are victims of divorce, older children have more excellent knowledge and understanding of the outlining effects of the circumstance and their emotions. Therefore, it makes sense to retrieve information from respondents of the age ten and older. The size of the group sample chosen would be around 100 people; this is because in this process it will be much more manageable to measure results.

There are six steps to collecting data

  1. Recognize the issues for collecting data and generate the models.
  2. Select topics of interest for research and develop surveys to measure.
  3. Plan an approach and method and determine variable manipulation.

Questions are to become answered for step three. Who will be the target audience? Why is this specific target audience chosen? From what locations will the data become gathered? In what ways should the data be collected? Will it be qualitative data or quantitative data? What should sources of data be used to obtain the information? Will it be pre-existing or official data? The data can also be collected through surveys, interviews and focus discussion groups. For what duration of time will the data be collected?

Step 4: Collect empirical data.

Once all the questions in step three were answered and analyzed, and the method of investigation used was determined, the empirical data can become collected.

Step 5: Analyze and evaluate data.

After receiving the data results and information, analyzation and interpretation of the results can occur.

Step 6: Act on the result.

Although eradicating experimenter bias is difficult, researchers must still be cautious to minimize experimenter bias. Constructing valid, reliable, and ethical research designs can do this. There are a few approaches for avoiding experimenter bias in qualitative research.

First, the phrasing of the interviews – interview bias can be ambiguous or conspicuous in a question’s wording. Issues that are challenging to comprehend may lead to bewildering the individual. To eliminate unfairness, it is crucial to remain unbiased in all items no matter the harshness of the issue. Also, it helps if the researcher oversees secondary research to ensure they have a full understanding of the survey they are conducting.

Second, question format and nature. This bias includes the selection of different models of questions and options of survey outlines and answers administered to the respondent. To avoid this bias, it is essential that the researcher can understand the advantages and disadvantages of each question they will be conducting. This way, the questions will be made to contain data with maximum efficiency.

Thirdly, the arrangement of the interview. This bias occurs when the researcher designs an efficiently organized interview. For example, the discussion may have more than ten questions, which can draw away respondents.

Ethical considerations and Limitations

To analyze the effects of marital separation on children, three various research methods have commonly become employed: clinical evaluations; estimates of kids from divorced and whole families; and, in-depth interviews with divorced families. Clinical assessments generally involve examining children of divorce who have become referred to various counseling or clinical programs. For instance, considering the effect of parental divorce by interviewing parents and children related to divorce counseling. Although clinical assessments contribute a vast abundance of data involving children from maritally disrupted families, they focus on advanced cases and, therefore, the conclusions cannot be generalized to the majority of children who experience marital disruption. Also, they present an almost perpetually negative picture of children’s post-divorce adjustment, and it is these studies that predominated in the early years of research. Comparative investigations usually compare non-clinical samples of children from families experiencing marital disruption with children from intact families. These studies typically examine objective, quantifiable outcomes, such as academic achievement, emotional adjustment, and self-esteem, through the use of tests. The third technique involves conducting in-depth interviews with parents and children from divorced families to elicit the experiences from their perspective. Problems associated with this method combine possible bias or falsification of facts by those interviewed. In addition to various research techniques, both cross-sectional and longitudinal research has also become conducted. Cross-sectional involves examining individuals at one point in time – for instance analyzing children of divorce shortly after the separation to see whether they differ from intact families. Longitudinal studies, on the opposite hand, trace a unit of people from a particular point in time with follow-up conferences at numerous times following the divorce. Although longitudinal studies are adequately capable of tracking the causes and effects of marital disruption on children and may involve retrospective data, they are considerably expensive and time intensive and consequently become more infrequently conducted.

While studying the effects of divorce on children is widespread, many of the findings are uncertain or contradictory. One possible reason for these incongruities is that several procedures have become practiced among studies. For example, as stated previously, individuals may base their results on a clinical case of children referred for divorce counseling from a local Community Mental Health Centre. Since these children may not be symbolic of all children experiencing divorce, the findings concerning the obstacles encountered by children of divorce may not be generalizable to the broader population of children. In addition to procedural variations, the definition of "family structure" may lead to differing results. Numerous studies examine single-parent households, which may be a due to divorce, death, and a parent who has never married. Since it became relatively well verified that children of divorce differ from children from other single-parent households, it is necessary to avoid grouping divorced, widowed, and never-married parents. Further, it is imperative to differentiate between single-parent families and those where the parent has remarried.

Studies also vary in the degree to which they measure for potentially mediating factors, such as socio-economic status of families, race or ethnicity, gender, and age of children, thereby making comparisons difficult. Most studies employ Caucasian, middle-class children, from urban areas, making it difficult to speculate to different groups. Psychologists suggest that caution should become used in interpreting studies, which do not control for factors other than marital status. Others also argue that studies which group children from separated and whole families by socioeconomic status are problematic because divorced families tend to cluster at the lower end of these groups. Furthermore, studies that match divorced and non-divorced persons are rare, a study, which uses statistical controls of extraneous factors.

Another limitation of many studies concerns the validity of the measurements used. For instance, information provided by adults about children may reflect stereotypes regarding what children of divorce should be like, rather than the actual behaviour of the child. Parental reports may become biased due to the personal involvement of the parent with the child. In an examination of the adaptation of kids to divorce, the study found that children, mothers, and teachers do not provide similar information concerning children’s divorce adjustment. Clinically observed behaviours in subjects can also be problematic because they are highly subjective and can be difficult to replicate. Even supposedly objective reports may be biased because police may be more likely to charge a child from a single parent than an entire home. Finally, assessment instruments that tap some objectively defined behaviour become often biased by the prevailing cultural norms and values. These values and norms change over time and at any point in time may be disputed.

In addition to these constraints, there is a demand for responsiveness to cohort results. It has become perceived that the results from some of the early studies contrast from more recent studies. It is possible that the older studies became conducted during a period when divorce and single-parenthood became seen as anomalous or socially unacceptable. Therefore, research suggests that the results of these older studies may be time-bound and are no longer prevalent today. Results find that the more sophisticated and recent the study, the more tenuous the connection between parental divorce and well being of the child. This indicates that if the various interacting effects became taken into account, many of the results vanish.

Due to these conditions, it is challenging to form strong results based on the conclusions. However, in recent times, efforts have occurred to examine several of these restrictions. For example, more recent studies attempt to control intermediate variables such as age and gender of the child, socio-economic status, and conflict. Psychologists argue that although there are harsh limitations with some of the studies, the information need not become discarded if conclusions are made tentatively and with full recognition of their limitations. Further, they argue that biases in available details are unlikely to distort the findings if the data is repeatedly replicated and biased in different directions.

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In summary, several different factors affect adolescent relationships between their parents and relationships with partners. Several factors can impact Mother and adolescent relationships; father involvement is one of the reoccurring factors relating to father and teenage relationships. Teenage relationships can also become affected in the present and future.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Divorce Affecting Children: Primary Research Method. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“Divorce Affecting Children: Primary Research Method.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2019,
Divorce Affecting Children: Primary Research Method. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
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