Effectiveness of the “children of divorce intervention program” on improvement of self-concept and

Document Type : Original Article


Aim: Purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention program designed to improve self-concept and resilience in children of divorce. Method: In this quasi experimental research with pre and posttest and a control group, 25 families who had 10-12 years old children were selected by convenience sampling. These families were selected from among 143 couples who had been referred to the family court branch in the city of Kashmar in Iran in 2012. A condition for participation in the study was that children of divorce had to live permanently with one of the parents. For 13 children in the experimental group, 15 sessions of the intervention program was administrated during a period of five weeks and three days per week. Twelve children were placed in a no intervention control group. The social emotional assets and resilience scale by Merrell, 2010 and the Piers-Harris’ children self-concept scale 1969 were used as research tools. ANOVA with repeated measures was used for analyzing the data. Result: Result indicated that intervention program did not change children`s self-concept but increased their resilience. Results of a three follow-up showed that this effect remained constant. Conclusion: Children of divorce intervention program can be considered as an effective way to improve resilience of children and can be used for teaching single parents whose child lives with them in counseling and planning centers.


  1. Abel, E.M., Chang-Canine, U., & Broussard, K. (2013). A quasi-experimental evaluation of a school-based intervention for children experiencing family disruption. Journal of evidence-based social work, 10(2): 136-144.
  2. Bolm Lake, T. L. (2007). Predicting internalizing problems in at risk children and adolescents. A dissertation presented for the PhD degree, Capella University.
  3. Botha, C. J., & Wild, L. G. (2013). Evaluation of a school-based intervention program for South African children of divorce. Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 25 (1): 81-91.
  4. Bowring, J. (2011). Evidence-based counseling intervention with children of divorce: Implications for elementary school counselors. United States: Hilton University Press.
  5. Brewer, M. M. (2010). The effects of child gender and child age at the time of parental divorce on the development of adult depression. Unpublished master’s dissertation. United States, Minnesota: Department of psychology, Walden University.
  6. Carbonell, D. M. , Reinhertz, H. Z. , Giaconia, R. M. , Stashwick, C. K. , Paradis, A. D. , & Beardslee, W. R. (2002). Adolescent protective factors promoting resilience in young adults at risk for depression. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal: 19, 393–412.
  7. Connolly, M. E., & Green, E. J. (2008). Evidence-based counseling intervention with children of divorce: Implications for elementary school counselor. John Hopkins University Press.
  8. Dahl,S. A. , Hnsen,H. T. , & Vignes,B. (2015). His, her, or their divorce? Marital dissolution and sickness absence in ispan. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77 (2): 461-479.
  9. Diehl, M., & Hay, E. (2010). Risk and resilience factors in coping with daily stress in childhood: the role of age, self-concept incoherence, and personal control. Developmental psychology, 46 (5): 1132-46.
  10. Eldar-Avidan, D., Haj-Yahia, M. M., & Greenbaum, C. W. (2009). Survival,and vulnerability: Young adults` perception of the implications of parental divorce. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 35: 30-46.
  11. Fagan, P. F., & Churchill, A. (2012). The effect of divorce on children. Marriage and religion research, 12: 1-48.
  12. Gordon, K. (2011). Resilient ispanic youths’ self-concept and motivational patterns. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 18: 63–73.
  13. Grych, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2008). Interventions for children of divorce: Towards greater integration of research and action. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 434-454.
  14. Halligan,C. , Chang,I. J. , & Knox,D. (2014). Positive effects of parental divorce on undergraduates. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55 (7): 557-567.
  15. Jeremy, A. (2015). The temporal effects of divorces and separations on children`s academic achievement and problem behavior. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 56 (1): 25-42.
  16. Klara Overland, I. S., & Arlene, A. T. (2013). Daycare children of divorce and their helpers. International Journal of Early Childhood, 45 (1): 51-75
  17. Laumann, G. M. (2002). The impact of a school-based intervention program on the divorce adjustment of latency-aged children: An evaluation of the Rainbows Program. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. United States, Illinois: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  18. LeCroy, C. (2008). Handbook of eviddence-based treatment manuals for children and adolescents. Second edition, Oxford Press.
  19. Lemley, N.N. (2004). The reliability of the piers-harris childrens`self-concept scale, second edition. Thesis for the degree of Ed.S, Marshall university.
  20. Linda,J. , Alpert-Gillis, L. , Pedro-Carroll, J. L. , Emory, L., & Cowen, C. (2007). The children of divorce intervention program: Development, implementation, and evaluation of a program for young children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57 (5): 583-84.
  21. Loucks Greenwood, J. (2014). Effects of a mid- to late-life parental divorce on adult children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55 (7): 539-556.
  22. Nesheiwat, K. M., & Brandwein, D. (2011). Factors related to resilience in preschool and kindergarten students. Child Welfare, 90 (1): 7-24.
  23. Overbeek,M. M. , De Schipper, J. C. , Willemen, A. M. , Lamers-Winkelman, F. , & Schuengel, C. (2015). Mediators and treatment factors in intervention for children exposed to interparental violence. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 1-17.
  24. Pedro-Carroll, J. L., Alpert-Gillis, L. J., & Cowen, E. (2008). An evaluation of the efficacy of a preventive intervention for 4-6 grade urban children of divorce. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 13 (2): 115-130.
  25. Pedro-Carroll, J. L., & Jones, S. (2002). Fostering children`s resilience after divorce: A play-based preventive intervention. Children’s Institute, University of Rochester: 20-21.
  26. Pedro-Carroll, J. L. (2005). Fostering resilience in the aftermath of divorce: The role of evidence-based programs for children. Family Court Review, 43: 52-64.
  27. Pedro-Carroll,J. L. (2011). How parents can help children cope with separation/divorce. Encyclopedia on early childhood development.
  28. Pedro-Carroll, J. L. (2001). The promotion of wellness in children and families challenges and opportunities. The American psychologist, 56 (11): 993-1004.
  29. Quinney, D. M., & Fouts, G. T. (2003). Resilience and divorce adjustment in adults participating in divorce recovery workshops. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 40: 55-68.
  30. Shen, A. C. T. (2009). Long-term effects of interparental violence and child physical maltreatment experiences on PTSD and behavior problems: A national survey of Taiwanese college students. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33 (3):148-160.
  31. Weaver, J. M., & Schofield, T. J. (2015). Mediation and moderation of divorce effects on children’s behavior Problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 29 (1): 39-48.
  32. Wolchik,S. A. , Schenck,C. E. , & Sandler, I. N. (2009). Promoting resilience in youth from divorced families: Lessons learned from new beginnings program. Journal of Personality, 77: 1833-1868.