Divorce is a significant and mounting problem influencing children’s social and academic development. It has been found to be one of the most traumatic events that can occur in the life of a child (Beverly, Molloy, Hart, Ginsberg & Mulvey, 2007). Support groups have been found to have a positive effect on students by helping them deal with the situation constructively and mitigating their attention back onto their academic performance and positive peer relations (Beverly et al, 2007). Corey, Corey and Corey (2014) highlight the first step in planning a group is to come up with a proposal. This purpose of this paper is to put forth that proposal for implementation of a divorce support group in a particular school setting.
School Guidance Counseling Group: When Parents Divorce
A significant portion of children in the United States are impacted by divorce. Empirical investigations verify that children of divorce are at a heightened risk for the development of psychological, social, behavioral and academic issues (Amato, 2000; Amato, 2001). Amato and Keith (1991) studied the welfare of children of divorce compared with that of children whose parents are still married to each other. Children from divorced families scored considerably lower on a range of outcomes and it was shown that these problems can persist into adulthood. Given the high rate of divorce and the negative effects it has on our youth, the implementation of effective prevention programs has great significance (Wolchik, West, Sandler, Tein, Coatsworth, & Lengua, 2000).
When considering the implementation of a school based counseling group it is important to consider the evidence. The use of data-based practices in such groups requires that we learn more about the students and interventions and how to plan, evaluate and improve the program (Meier & Comer, 2005). It is essential that counselors examine and use research to ensure that best practices and interventions are being put to use (Carey & Dimmitt, 2008). Dimmitt, Carey & Hatch (2007) propose that guidance counselors use data to identify a problem, find effective interventions and then evaluate the results.
In every school there are students who are affected by divorce in some way. Statistics show that about fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce (Kim, 2011). Whether a child is currently going through the strife of their parents’ divorce or have in the past there will be a varied of adverse effects that it has on a child’s wellbeing, growth, and academic performance. This provides a definite need for intervention and for many children, school is the only place where they can obtain counseling to address their emotional needs (Hoagwood, Burns, Kiser, Ringeisen & Schoenwald, 2011).
There are two specific areas where children are affected. Some children will feel the effects of going through the divorce with their parents. The turmoil and adjustment period can have great adverse effects (Hughes...