For Milestone Two, you will submit a draft of your theoretic…

For Milestone Two, you will submit a draft of your theoretical foundations and a draft of your program selection and sociocultural evaluation. For the draft of theoretical foundations, you will apply contemporary developmental psychology research and classic and contemporary theories to the selected developmental issue. For the draft of your program selection, you will research and select a program that targets the developmental issue selected in Milestone One. milestone 1 is attached…

Milestone Two: Draft of Theoretical Foundations and Program Selection

Introduction

In this milestone, we will explore the theoretical foundations of developmental psychology and apply them to a selected developmental issue. Additionally, we will research and select a program that addresses the chosen developmental issue. The selected developmental issue from Milestone One is “The Impact of Parental Divorce on Adolescent Mental Health.”

Theoretical Foundations

To understand the impact of parental divorce on adolescent mental health, it is essential to examine relevant theories and contemporary research in developmental psychology. Several classic and contemporary theories can be applied to better comprehend this developmental issue.

Attachment Theory

One influential theory that can be applied is attachment theory, developed by John Bowlby. According to this theory, a child’s early experiences with their primary caregiver(s) shape their attachment style and influence their emotional and social development (Bowlby, 1969). When parents divorce, it can disrupt the secure attachment that adolescents have formed with both parents, potentially leading to emotional distress and psychological difficulties (Cummings & Davies, 2002).

Social Learning Theory

Another theory that is relevant is social learning theory, proposed by Albert Bandura. This theory emphasizes the importance of observing and imitating others’ behaviors, especially within social contexts (Bandura, 1977). When parents divorce, adolescents may observe and internalize negative behaviors, such as conflict, aggression, or emotional instability, which can influence their own mental health outcomes (Grych & Fincham, 2001).

Ecological Systems Theory

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory provides a comprehensive framework to explore the impact of parental divorce on adolescent mental health (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). This theory emphasizes the multiple and reciprocal influences of various systems, including the microsystem (e.g., family, peers), mesosystem (e.g., interactions between microsystems), exosystem (e.g., community), and macrosystem (e.g., cultural values). Parental divorce can disrupt multiple systems in an adolescent’s life, leading to far-reaching consequences on their mental well-being (Simons et al., 2006).

Contemporary Research

Numerous studies have investigated the impact of parental divorce on adolescent mental health. These studies have focused on various aspects, including emotional outcomes, behavior problems, academic performance, and long-term consequences.

Emotional Outcomes

Research suggests that parental divorce is associated with increased emotional distress in adolescents (Amato, 2001). Adolescents from divorced families are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and lower life satisfaction compared to their counterparts from intact families (Kelly & Emery, 2003).

Behavior Problems

Studies have also shown an elevated risk of behavior problems among adolescents whose parents have divorced (Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1999). These behavior problems can manifest as externalizing behaviors (e.g., aggression, delinquency) or internalizing behaviors (e.g., withdrawal, depression).

Academic Performance

There is evidence suggesting that parental divorce can negatively impact adolescents’ academic performance (D’Onofrio et al., 2005). Adolescents from divorced families tend to have lower GPAs, higher rates of school absences, and a higher likelihood of dropping out of school compared to their peers from intact families.

Long-Term Consequences

Long-term consequences of parental divorce on adolescent mental health have been explored in longitudinal studies. Findings indicate that the negative effects of parental divorce can persist into adulthood, manifesting as higher rates of divorce, lower marital satisfaction, and increased mental health problems (Amato & Keith, 1991).

Program Selection

To address the developmental issue of the impact of parental divorce on adolescent mental health, it is essential to select an appropriate program. The program should aim to mitigate the negative consequences of parental divorce and promote positive mental health outcomes for adolescents.

Based on the research and theories explored, the “Children of Divorce Program” developed by the Children’s Aid Society (more information on the program can be found at www.childrensaid.org) is a suitable program for our selected issue. This program aims to provide support and resources for adolescents dealing with parental divorce. It focuses on helping adolescents cope with the emotional challenges of divorce, develop healthy coping strategies, and improve their overall well-being. The program utilizes evidence-based techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family systems therapy to address the unique needs of children going through the divorce process.

Conclusion

Theoretical foundations such as attachment theory, social learning theory, and ecological systems theory provide valuable insights into the impact of parental divorce on adolescent mental health. Contemporary research supports the notion that parental divorce can have adverse effects on emotional outcomes, behavior problems, academic performance, and long-term consequences for adolescents. The “Children of Divorce Program” is a suitable intervention to address the developmental issue, as it aims to provide support and resources for adolescents experiencing parental divorce. By implementing such programs, we can enhance the mental well-being and resilience of adolescents affected by parental divorce.