Group Work with Nonresidential Fathers

By Glenn Stone.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many nonresidential fathers experience a great deal of pain and anguish as a result of their separation from their children following divorce and/or separation. Studies (e.g., Hughes, 1989; Umberson & Williams, 1993) suggest that nonresidential fathers may be at particular risk for long-term adjustment problems such as suicidal behaviors and substance abuse. In addition, it has been noted that even many never-married fathers seem to be at-risk for higher rates of depression and social isolation. Group work represent a potential source of support and mutual aid for fathers coping with separation from their children and break up of their relationship with their partner. According to Gitterman (1994), group work is an ideal approach for helping individuals get through life stressful life transitions or cope with a vulnerable life condition or event. Fathers undergoing separation from their children as a result of divorce and/or separation certainly qualify as individuals who are coping with a stressful life situation. It is the intent of this paper to demonstrate how groups can be used as an effective strategy for engaging fathers in the helping process. The paper will explore the benefits of group work through its emphasis on mutual aid and support. Special attention will be paid to the effectiveness of this group strategy in helping men overcome the constraints of the masculine socialization process.

Keywords: Group Work, Divorce, Separation, Nonresidential Fathers

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.185-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 678.340KB).

Dr. Glenn Stone

Chair and Professor, Social Work Department, College of Sciences and Humanities, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA

Glenn Stone, Ph.D., is Chair and Professor at the Department of Social Work at Ball State University in Indiana. He was previously the Director of the School of Social Work at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He also served as the Social Work Program Director for the Social Work Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Stone received both his MSW and Ph.D. in social work from The Ohio State University. His research interests focus on the impact of divorce on the family, with a special emphasis on the impact of divorce on fathers, and cross-cultural perspectives on divorce and families. Most recently he has focused on the mental health adjustment issues in men following separation and divorce, including suicide and substance abuse.

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