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Divorce Does Not Affect Educational Achievement In Children.

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HYPOTHESIS / AIM Divorce does not affect educational achievement in children. My aim is to explore whether divorce affects the academic achievement of school children at GCSE level. My research relies on examining this family relationship against the examination achievement of any child involved. Divorce through my G.C.S.E's wasn't too big a distraction for me and effected me little at school but with increasing divorce rate its interesting to see how far this is true to others. My aim therefore is to find out if this is the case for the majority or the minority of people in the same situation and find out if other factors contribute to my results. CONTEXTS AND CONCEPTS Monica Cockett and John Tripp's research in 1994 at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation named 'Children living in reordered families' is to this topic as it concentrates to a certain extent on the effect of divorce on educational achievement. The authors looked at groups of children rather than individuals to gain an overall view of the effect to children generally using a carefully matched sample of 152 children aged nine to ten and thirteen to fourteen. ...read more.


MAIN RESEARCH METHOD AND REASONS My main research method would be much the same as Dronkers', relying on questionnaires to obtain qualitative results. Dronkers sampled a cross-section of 4,513 people (including people experiencing the death of a parent) over the period of five years using in depth interviews. The time available means I would make my focus much narrower using an age range of British children aged 14 to 16 (the G.C.S.E period) and those affected specifically by divorce to concentrate my research. Given more time and money to conduct a proper research project I would include a larger number sample in my sample to over hundred. I would try to find out how old the person was when their parents divorce, whether the divorce was amicable, the parents' professions, whether they thought it affected them in their education and if they achieved as well as they thought they would at G.C.S.E's. The benefit of using a questionnaire is that names do not have to be included so participants have no need to conceal information. It must not be prying; for example, the reason for divorce is not particularly relevant to my research and need not be asked. ...read more.


The research is time consuming, having to write to schools, getting questionnaires filled, getting them back and analysing them. When carrying out the research I would keep the number of questions to the minimum to gain only essential data. It is impossible to group everyone as being in one situation as everyone has had different experiences within their family so finding the extent of the disruption to a child is difficult without specifically asking them. This is where an in-depth interview would be more appropriate to find out the state of mind of the child. Functionalists put as stress on the beneficial aspects of the nuclear family staying whole and see that damage through divorce is inevitable to a child. A Marxist view is that the nuclear family suffers an emotional overload between members during divorce which directly Affects any children. I can only ask if the child's achievement at school was what she or he had hope for and to what reason they attribute any failure. Ideally, to measure educational achievement official exam results should be analysed for individuals over the period when divorce occurred compared with pervious achievements. Having limited access to such results means I need to go straight to the people who are, themselves, involved. ...read more.

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