Presentation on theme: "Stress & Divorce Diathesis-Stress Model –Diathesis = predisposing vulnerabilities –Stress = environmental factors/stessors that can contribute to the development."— Presentation transcript:
Stress & Divorce Diathesis-Stress Model –Diathesis = predisposing vulnerabilities –Stress = environmental factors/stessors that can contribute to the development of a disorder
Diathesis stress heuristic Heuristic = aid to learning 100 units to become schizophrenic Units come from 2 sources –Individual (diathesis) –environment
Heuristic cont’ stressors can have cumulative effect Stressors in childhood are often grouped together Implies that anyone may develop a disorder
Genetic Studies Twin studies “Double-whammy” effect Adopted children
Childhood stressors Mandatory school attendance Required for all children Majority of referrals Age 6 peak for referrals What makes school a stressor?
Implications 1.Child referrals often involve school- related difficulties 2.Child interventions may need to take place in school 3.Clinicians may need to mediate 4.School environments are not the same 5.Need to know about legislation
Marital conflict and divorce Possible stresses associated with divorce:
Problems assoc. with divorce 1.Increases in aggressive and noncompliant behavior (boys) 2.Girls – findings less clear. May have delayed problems 3.Gender differences – WHY? 4.Marital conflict is key, not just parental separation
Developmental status & divorce Preschoolers Early school age Older school age Adolescents remarriage
Child characteristics that may impact adjustment 1.Temperament 2.Marital precursors Block et al. study Longitudinal study Assessed kids at ages 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 14 Interviewed mothers Collected measures from teachers Compared divorced and intact families at age 14 Cause & effect???
Cause & Effect Recent Gottman study –Babies & marital conflict –Possible hypotheses
Hetherington et al. (1988) What factors make a difference in divorce/marital transitions and child adjustment? 1.Individual risk & vulnerability –Child characteristics –Adult characteristics 2.Family composition 3.Parental stress and strain 4.Family process
What to say to children Set aside time to meet as family, tell together to reduce blame. Tell child it is not their fault. Tell child it is final (avoid false hopes) Provide reassurance –Basic needs –Continuing relationship with both parents, siblings, etc.
How to help children through divorce Both parents stay involved Stop fighting; get along Support time with each parent Communicate directly between parents Say nice things about other parent Self-care/address own mental health issues
Tasks for children of divorce 1.Acknowledge marital disruption 2.Regain sense of direction and freedom to maintain routine 3.Deal with loss and feelings of rejection 4.Forgive parents, work through anger 5.Accept permanence of divorce 6.Resolve relationship issues