Children’s experience of separation: a study of separated families in Nateete Parish, Rubaga Division, Kampala City
Nankinga, Catherine Carol
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The study described children’s experiences of separation in Nateete parish, Rubaga Division, Kampala City. Specifically, the study examined the psychological, social experiences and coping mechanism of children in separated families in Nateete Parish, Rubaga Division and Kampala City. The study employed a purely qualitative approach, using in-depth interviews and key informant interviews. The participants included children aged 14-17years who narrated their experiences and coping strategies, as well as parents and teachers who spend significant time with the children. The study findings indicated that children in separated families often experience psychological issues such as sadness, loss of interest in activities, low mood, confusion, frustration, anger, and aggressive behavior towards their peers. They may also have attachment problems with the parent who left. In terms of social issues, these children may struggle to open up to their parents, miss the parent who left, and feel lonely, isolated, or have strained relationships with the parent they live with. If these children are not given proper attention after separation, they may turn to negative coping mechanisms such as drug use, transactional sex, or theft. In conclusion, psychosocial support is crucial in aiding children who have experienced parental separation to manage the psychological and social challenges they face. This support can help these children cope more positively and effectively with the changes. It is important to provide this support at any stage of the child's life, as the effects of parental separation can be long lasting.