Experiences of Daycare Children of Divorce.

Størksen, I.
Thorsen, A.A.
Øverland, K.
Brown, S.R.
Early Child Development and Care 182(7), 807-825.


The purpose of this study is to investigate five-year-old Norwegian children’s reactions, experiences and emotions during and following their parents’ divorce, both at home and at the daycare facility.


The study shows that children experiencing their parents’ divorce feel more sad, angry and lonely than other children who have not experienced a divorce. The children do not show these feelings and reactions through their behaviour, neither with their parents nor at the daycare facility. Therefore, the pedagogical staff risk overlooking children whose parents have been through, or are going through, a divorce. Moreover, the study shows that children who have experienced a divorce but who are doing well state that they have many friends at their daycare facility.


Data collection and data analysis of the study are based on an alternative method referred to as Q Methodology. A total of 17 children whose parents were divorced and 20 children whose parents were still together from ten different daycare facilities were selected for this study. The children were all five years old or almost five. Data was collected through conversations with the children. The point of departure for the conversations was the Q Methodology which, among other things, uses visual cards/pictures. The stages of data collection include identifying the emotions that may arise in connection with divorce. During the conversations, each child had to relate to questions such as: “If we imagine that this is you, how do you feel inside?” or “How do you think you would feel in this situation?”. Data was analysed using factor analysis.


Størksen, I., Thorsen, A.A., Øverland, K. & Brown, S.R. (2012). Experiences of Daycare Children of Divorce. Early Child Development and Care 182(7), 807-825.

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