Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of parental divorce on Korean children's relationships with their parents and God image: A grounded theory study
by Lee, Soo-Young, Ph.D., Biola University, 2014, 506; 3685738
Abstract (Summary)

With the high rate of divorce in modern Korean society, there is an increasing need to understand how parental divorce affects children's emotional wellbeing, parent-child relationships, and spirituality. This qualitative research responds to those needs by exploring the emotional experiences of children in their relationships with their parents and with God during and after parental divorce in the Korean cultural context.

This qualitative study employed grounded theory as a research design and interviews as the main research method. The sample of this study was twenty two young Korean adults (ages 18 to 30), who experienced parental divorce during their childhood (ages 5 to 12), and who ever attended church before, during, or after the parental divorce.

This study resulted in several meaningful findings. First, dysfunctional family environments had negative long-term effects on children, but it seems that divorce became a stress relief from dysfunctional environments. Second, all the participants struggled from short-term and long-term adjustment problems, such as struggling in parent-child relationships, straying from home, experiencing school life maladjustment, having lower academic performance, having low self-esteem, and struggling with social and romantic relationships. Third, the study found some factors that hindered and enhanced parent-child relationships after divorce. The obstacles to the participants' intimate parent-child relationships were vulnerable single parenting, communication difficulties and conflicts with parents, the resident parent's authoritarian and strict parenting, etc. On the other hand, warm parenting, the grown-up children's developing partnerships with parents and love enhanced parent-child relationships. Finally, it was found that some aspects of children's God image reflected their parent-child relationships, and other parts of their God image seemed to have had a compensatory effect on their relationships with parents. Furthermore, intimate relationships with God resulted in some desirable changes in children's own lives and their parent-child relationships.

On the basis of these integrated insights and findings, some practical implications and suggestions were provided for divorced parents, pastors and teachers in churches, church ministries, and schoolteachers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lawson, Kevin E.
Commitee: Carr, Jane L., Finley, Thomas J.
School: Biola University
Department: Talbot School of Theology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Educational psychology, Religious education, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Children, Divorce, God image, Korea, Parent-child relationship, Relationships with parents
Publication Number: 3685738
ISBN: 978-1-321-62143-3
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