Post-divorce Level of depression, Living arrangement and coping mechanisms of teenagers: the case of Yeka First Instance Court Child Justice Project Office, Children’s Legal Protection, Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The study was conducted in the capital city, A.A. with the aim of assessing the level of postdivorce depression level, living arrangement and the coping mechanisms that are used by the teenagers. Sixty adolescents was selected by purposive sampling aged from 13-17 years were participated to collect data using Beck Depression inventory, which is structured questionnaire, was used as a tool to measure the level of depression in teenagers for quantitative approach. On the other hand in-depth interview was used to elaborate the questions in more clear way for qualitative part. SPSS version 21 was used to analyze participant socio demographic profile as well as association and relation between the dependent and independent variable. Out of which 11 male (18.3%) and 49(81.7%) female. Twenty three (38%) adolescent were found to have normal and the rest were in the other categories (mild, moderate, borderline, severe and extreme) of depression level. In this study, 4 statistical tools(correlation, T-test ,One way ANOVA and regression ) were run. Bivarate analysis showed that there was a moderate, positive correlation between BDI score and age of the respondent, which was statistically significant (r═ 0.480, n ═ 60, p< 0.01) and one way ANOVA result indicate that there was a significant mean difference, F(2,57) =5.046, (P<0.05) among the three educational background of the respondent groups, while there was no significant mean difference between religion. According to an independent sample T-test finding , there was a significantly mean difference in the post –Divorce level of depression between adolescent living with father (M = 10.33 ,SD=4.888) and mother (M =18.71,SD= 9.930 ) adolescents (t(58)) -4.385,p<0.05). The post –Divorce level of depression among adolescents living with father was lower than mother While there was no a significantly mean difference in the post –Divorce level of depression between male (M =7.64,SD =2.803) and female (M =17.22,SD=7.921) adolescents (t(58)) - 2.546 ,p>0.05). In addition to this, the post –Divorce level of depression among male was lower than female adolescents but there was a significantly significant. Similarly, there was no a significantly mean difference in the post –Divorce level of depression between age group below 15 (M =9.91 ,SD =4.766) and age group between 16-17 (M =16.11 ,SD= 9.070 ) adolescents (t(58)) -3.400 ,p>0.05).No significant difference observed in Multivarate analysis of this study. As it was indicated from in-depth interview, teenagers used informal support system and formal support systems were able to cope up with their depression. Teen with their mother as custodial parent, had positive relationship unlike their father. Finally, residential change, educational performance, and attitudinal change toward marriage were found to be major experiences of teen after parent separation. Conflict was a major cause of separation between their parents which before make them depressed and most teenagers replied that mood swing is now what they feel but as they said they prefer their parents' divorce than bad marriage friendly intervention could resolve the problem if initiated early .As social work implications, support programs have to be developed to deal with the need of children and families on parental separation and after. Research should be done on Children’s experiences of court processes in connection with parental separation and divorce. Social work education curriculum should consider to create different ways to children cope with effect of divorce. Family policy should be child centered to reduce the effect of divorce on children



Depression; divorce; teenagers