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The Dynamics of Quality of Family Interaction and Family Welfare of Single Mothers After Divorce

Universitas Indonesia > News > Faculty of Psychology News > The Dynamics of Quality of Family Interaction and Family Welfare of Single Mothers After Divorce

Perceptions of divorced women and their families in patriarchal cultures tend to be negative. Financial hardship, social pressure, and being perceived as incapable of parenting are all issues they face. This stigma has led to the image of broken home families that are considered unable to provide opportunities for their family members to develop. Family dysfunction is often associated with children’s psychological problems, such as juvenile delinquency and mental health disorders.

This negative stigmatization became the background of a dissertation entitled “Dynamics of Family Interaction Quality, Social Support, and Family Welfare of Single Mothers after Divorce” written by Kartika Sari Dewi. This dissertation was successfully defended at the doctoral promotion session of the Postgraduate Program, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia on January 7, 2022.

In her dissertation, Dewi mentioned, “There are several mothers who reveal the environmental stigmatization of divorcees. She and her children are often seen as a broken home family. This affects their efforts to achieve family well-being because the environment views divorce as a negative event.”

This qualitative approach research reveals a picture of family welfare in post-divorce single-mother families and the internal factors that support mother-child in facing post-divorce challenges. Furthermore, using the analysis techniques of categorical aggregation, pattern matching, and explanation building, this study focuses on the dynamics of family interactions, social support, and the role of post-divorce fathers in facing the challenges of structurally intact families to achieve family welfare. The study participants were ten mothers (30-48 years old) and four children (18-30 years old).

Different from the prevailing understanding, the results of this study reveal that post-divorce family dysfunction is not the result of changes in family structure, but rather the impact of unhealthy interpersonal interactions. Whether or not the structure changes, families can still experience dysfunction when members do not have quality interactions. On the other hand, even though structural changes occur, with the adjustment process, divorced families still have the opportunity to function optimally and prosper.

Family well-being in post-divorce single mothers is understood as mother-child togetherness in warm interactions and the fulfillment of family needs. Not only that, the novelty of this study fills a gap in FST by explaining the role of family interactions in achieving family well-being. Divorced families can achieve well-being when they have protective buffer conditions in the form of maternal financial independence, openness in positive father-child interactions and relationships, proactivity in seeking social support, and positive spirituality in mothers.

The concept of maternal gatekeeping plays a key role in the quality of post-divorce family interactions. The role of the post-divorce father in providing a positive relationship with the child is still needed. However, divorce still has a psychological impact on children in terms of family meaning, gender schema, different perceptions of extended family support, and the onset of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

This doctoral promotion is led by Dr. Bagus Takwin, M. Hum., as Chair of the Session, with Dr. Adriana Soekandar Ginanjar, M.S., Psychologist., as Promoter, and Dra. Fentiny Nugroho, M.A., Ph.D., as Co-promoter. Meanwhile, the Examiner Team was chaired by Prof. Dr. Guritnaningsih with members consisting of Prof. Dr. Juke Roosjati Siregar, M.Pd., Psychologist, Prof. Dr. Faturochman, M.A., Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Kristi Poerwandari, M. Hum., Psychologist, and Dr. Fivi Nurwiyanti, M.Sc., Psychologist.


Author: FPsy PR | Editor: Sapuroh

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