Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Polly Peterson


Divorce USA, Children of Divorced Parents, Educational Counseling, At Risk Students, Middle Level Education, Junior High Education, Drop-Out Prevention, Counseling, Young Adolescents, Communication Skills, Self-Esteem.


This practicum was designed to discuss divorce issues in a group counseling setting with young adolescent children of divorce to improve their basic knowledge of divorce issues and their self-esteem. The absence of such a program in the school setting resulted in a demand for individual counseling time which the counselor with a ratio of 1/700 students was unable to provide. The literature review strongly supported a need for group counseling to provide a safe environment for young adolescents to discuss divorce issues. The writer's goal was to improve the self-esteem of selected young female children of divorce. In addressing this goal, group counseling sessions were developed composed of directed activities and information sessions. Topics discussed were causes of divorce, processes and basic states of divorce, the child's role in the divorce process and conflict resolution skills needed to succeed in a divorced home. Analysis of data revealed both that parents believed the program to have been extremely positive and requested it to be continued and expanded and that participants perceived the program as valuable, educational and useful. Children who participated in the group exhibited increased problem solving skills and were referred for disciplinary reasons fever times than before their group experience. All participants raised their self-esteem as measured on the pre and post. Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale.

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