Depok, 26 January 2022. Perceptions of divorced women and their families in a patriarchal culture tend to be negative. The financial difficulties they experience, pressure from the social environment, and being considered less able to raise children are the problems they face. This stigma gives rise to a picture of a broken home family that is considered unable to provide opportunities for family members to develop. Family dysfunction is often associated with children’s psychological problems, such as juvenile delinquency and children’s mental health disorders.
This negative stigmatization became the background for a dissertation entitled “The Dynamics of Quality of Family Interaction, Social Support, and Family Welfare of Single Mothers Post-Divorce” which was written by Kartika Sari Dewi. This dissertation was successfully defended at the doctoral promotion session of the Postgraduate Program, Faculty of Psychology, University of Indonesia on January 7, 2022.
In her dissertation, Dewi said, “There are several mothers who reveal the environmental stigmatization of divorced widows. He and his son are often seen as a broken home family. This affects their efforts to achieve family welfare because the environment views divorce as a negative event.”
This research with a qualitative approach reveals a picture of family welfare in single mother families post-divorce and the internal factors that support mother-children in facing post-divorce challenges. Furthermore, using analytical techniques: 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 challenges of incompletely structured families to achieve family welfare. The participants of this study were ten mothers (30–48 years) and four children (18–30 years).
Different from the developed understanding, the results of this study reveal that post-divorce family dysfunction is not the result of changes in family structure, but the impact of unhealthy interpersonal interactions. Whether there is a change in structure, the family can still experience dysfunction when there is no quality interaction between members. On the other hand, although structural changes occur, with the adjustment process, divorced families still have the opportunity to function optimally and prosper.
Family welfare 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 the gap in FST by explaining the role of family interactions in achieving family well-being. Divorced families can achieve prosperity when they have protective buffering conditions in the form of mother’s financial independence, openness in positive father-child interactions and relationships, being proactive 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 post-divorce fathers in providing positive relationships with children is still needed. Nevertheless, divorce still has a psychological impact on children related to the meaning of family,
gender schemes, differences in perceptions of extended family support, and the incidence of adverse childhood experiences (ACE).
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.
Source: UI PRESS RELEASE
Depok, January 26, 2022