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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2022

Soraya Ramezanzadeh, Ozra Etemadi and Faramarz Asanjarani

Divorce has negative effects on children, although emotions that children experience after parental divorce are open to different interpretations. Accordingly, this study was…

Abstract

Purpose

Divorce has negative effects on children, although emotions that children experience after parental divorce are open to different interpretations. Accordingly, this study was conducted to explore loneliness in children of divorce.

Design/methodology/approach

A constructivist grounded theory study was carried out through the lens of definitive guidelines provided by Charmaz (2006). The participants were 15 female children aged 11–12 years, who were purposively selected. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and memos. To analyze data, the authors used four coding techniques, including initial, focused, axial, and theoretical coding. Also, to examine the links between the identified themes, the authors focused on three factors: conditions, actions/interactions, and consequences.

Findings

The analysis of the obtained data through the above-mentioned stages led to the identification of three main themes, including parental unavailability, rejection, and mistrust, which shaped children's experience of loneliness through lack of physical access, lack of emotional access, low levels of parental expectations, lack of supervision, absence of belongingness, being ignored, pessimistic views, and insecure relationships.

Originality/value

As was suggested by attachment theory, children of divorce lost their attachment bonds with their parents that intensified their perception of loneliness and negatively affected their social and academic performance. It was revealed that, effects of divorce went beyond the loss of the attachment bonds in families because our participants talked about their relationships with peers and their position in a society, where divorce carries the social stigma and children of divorced mother are marginalized.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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