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Lecture 8

FRHD 3040 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Family Therapy, Metacognition, Ambivalence

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 3040
David Green

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FRHD 3040 Lecture 8 Jan 6th
Parenting and children in varied family structures
One parent families (OPFs) in Canada: Classification
- Deeasig ode of feue, OPF’s eated he
o Separation of couples
o A woman living with her biological child without the presence of father or father
o Widowed father or mother
o Adoption by a single man or woman
OPF’s i Caada
- 16% lone parent families in households
- 78% female
- 22% male
What distinguishes OPFs?
- Parental characteristics
o Never married parents are mostly women
Among divorced parents
10-12% are fathers, majority are mothers
o younger than two parent families
o have fewer assets such higher education, work experience, and good incomes
- economic conditions
o depending on the year and the region between 35% and 65% of OPFs are below
the poverty level
o includes families that are poor for just a few months and others that are for
many years
o overall 35% to 80% poor at some point in their life course
o 1997: mothers of preschoolers
55% lone mothers and 69% married mothers were employed compared
to 85% of lone fathers and 94% of married fathers
o single mothers least likely to be employed with small children
often very young mothers
few marketable skills
less childcare support than a married mother
- number of familial transitions
o more family structure transitions compared to married two parent families
originating from divorce or separation have already experienced one
majority will see a restructuring of family via parental cohabitation or
o never married OPFs (mothers) less likely to experience a marital transition
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Divorce and Parenting
- divorce is one of the most difficult processes a family system can experience
o short and long-term effects
o affects everyone in a family system
Divorce: Parental adaptations
- family metacognition
o recognition that divorce is imminent
reactions (e.g. physical, emotional, psychological)
o acknowledgment of the feelings of others (e.g. feelings of adults and children)
- physical separation
o adults separating causes disruptive effects on family system
dismantles boundaries, rules, behaviour patterns, and roles that were
part of the system operating effectively
o removal of fathers most common
leave children with feelings of abandonment
divorced fathers are more emotionally depressed than divorced mothers
- family system re-organization
o divorced adults create new relationship with new rules, roles, and interaction
ability to resolve issues in healthy ways determines if the new single
parent family system will be reorganized in functional or dysfunctional
o new family structure also adapts by evoking new rules, roles and interaction
pattes that espod to e liig oditios (e.g. o’s house s. dad’s
- family re-definitions
o new single family takes form and assumes higher degrees of effective
system is perceived differently by the members and noncustodial parent
noncustodial parent also reorganizes
interaction patters, boundaries, and rules that govern how they relate to
the single parent family system and its members
children learn two sets of patterns, now members of two single
parent family systems
Co-parenting: Beliefs
- establish new rules and boundaries on parenting
o to deal with emotions
to patiipate i the hilde’s lies
- ways to support adjustment through parenting
o gradual changes
find more resources at
find more resources at
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