A study of social adjustment among children of one parent families

Purcell, Bryan Edward (1978) A study of social adjustment among children of one parent families. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study set out to examine the relationship between one parent family status and the social adjustment of children. The problems was conceptualized in terms of a symbolic interactionist orientation which viewed the child in the context of his interaction with significant others in his social environment. A comprehensive review of the literature concerning children in one parent families revealed considerable inconclusiveness. The formulation of confident inferences was hampered both by the fragmentary nature of much of the research, and by the complexity of the problem itself. However, it did lead to the proposition that one parent family status likely affects children’s’ social adjustment in an adverse manner. Social adjustment was measured in terms of eight aspects of interpersonal functioning – helping agency contact, school adjustment, peer relationships, perceived popularity, club membership, enuresis, discipline problems, and delinquency. – The proposition was tested through the use of inter-group comparisons between randomly selected samples of one and two parent families. Data were collected by means of a modified mail survey method utilizing a questionnaire administered to voluntary respondents. This method achieved an overall response rate of 67 percent. – Analysis of the research findings yielded non-significant differences, tending toward predicted directions, on seven of the eight components measured. The exception was in the area of school adjustment, where children of one parent families showed significantly poorer adjustment. – Further analysis showed that boys did not differ significantly from girls, in terms of their social adjustment. Widows’ children were found to show a significantly better adjustment than children in all other one parent families. However, this is likely due to factors other than the one parent family experience itself. – To conclude, the findings did not support the general proposition that one parent family status, in itself, causes poorer social adjustment in children. However, they did suggest that the one parent family presents a milieu in which factors, such as poverty, disorganization, and interpersonal problems are more likely to be present, and that these, in combination with one parent family status, are likely to affect social adjustment in a negative manner.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11297
Item ID: 11297
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 117-127.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children of divorced parents; Single-parent families.

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