Treatment with Children of Divorce: A Comparison of Two Types of Individual Therapy

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William Wagner

Advisor Department



This treatment study with children of divorce was conducted to compare pretreatment and posttreatment adjustment and knowledge of divorce for children assigned to one of two treatment conditions: a board game therapy that includes divorce information and coping skills training, and a conventional form of play therapy. Participants were 21 children, ages 7 to 17, whose parents have divorced within the last 5 years. Counselors were male and female doctoral students in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Data collection involved pretreatment and posttreatment assessment using the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI; Kovacs, 1992), the Children's Beliefs About Parental Divorce Scale (CBAPDS; Kurdek & Berg, 1987), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991) and the Children's Depression Inventory-Parent Form (CDI-P; Kazdin, French, Unis & Esveldt-Dawson, 1983). Multivariate analyses revealed no significant differences on any of the dependent measures with regard to treatment condition. Multivariate analyses also revealed no significant pretreatment/posttreatment differences on the CBAPDS and the CDI. However, a significant pretreatment/posttreatment difference was found for scores on the CBCL Internalizing Scale, F (1, 18) = 22.68 p $<$.001, and the CDI-P, F (1, 18) = 20.92 p $<$.001. Pretreatment scores were higher than those obtained following completion of treatment for both of these scales, indicating better posttreatment adjustment.