• Kobus du Plooy North-West University
  • Esme van Rensburg North-West University




divorce, parental divorce, coping, recommendations, young adults, children, adolescents, phenomenology, retrospective interviews, communication, interactional approach


Parental divorce affects countless families every year around the globe. Literature reveals detrimental effects of parental divorce on families, particularly on children and adolescents. Few studies, however, explored possible recommendations on how to effectively cope with this event from individuals who have experienced it themselves. The present study subsequently inquired practical recommendations from young adults who had experienced parental divorce during their childhood and/or adolescent years. Data was collected through semi-structured retrospective interviews with 15 young South African adults who were selected by means of snowball sampling. The findings revealed 2 sets of practical recommendations for both parents and children to enhance coping with parental divorce with effective communication in relationships emerging as a vital coping skill. It is hoped that these recommendations will enable psychotherapists, social workers and/or any other individual/s involved in assisting families undergoing divorce to cope more optimally with this event.


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How to Cite

du Plooy, Kobus, and Esme van Rensburg. 2016. “WHAT DO THE TRUE EXPERTS SAY? YOUNG ADULTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COPING WITH PARENTAL DIVORCE”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 28 (2):138-56. https://doi.org/10.25159/2415-5829/1477.