Successful Program for Divorced Moms and Kids

Divorce has a real potential to disrupt the children involved. A new study sought to intervene early with the mothers and children and then, over time, follow their progress and measure the effectiveness of the intervention program.  The program was called New Beginnings and targeted 240 high risk

divorced families with children ages 9-12 years old at the time. It worked and the effects lasted. This is what they found 6 years later:

1. Kids had improved educational goals and job plans (although this could just be the effect of getting more mature)

2. The quality of mother/child relationship went UP

3. Better discipline

4. Arguing and acting out DOWN

5. Kid’s self esteem UP

6. Academic competence UP


What was the intervention plan?

1. 11 group sessions (5 specifically for mother/child relationship; 3 specifically for disciple)

2. 2 individual sessions for mom

3. Groups in which the kids practiced role playing, skill building as games, watched educational videos

4. Books for mom.

To me, this seems like a reasonable, simple, cheap plan that has a good chance. Why aren’t we doing it more often?

Source: Amanda Sigal et al in J. of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 41(2) 150-165, 2012.

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