Divorced mothers' self-perception of their divorce-related communication with their children

Orna Cohen, Ronit Dina Leichtentritt, Netta Volpin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a qualitative study of divorce-related communication between mothers and children, as recounted by 20 Jewish Israeli mothers. We adopt the communication privacy management theory, focusing on mothers' subjective experiences of communication, their management of dialectic tension between concealment and disclosure - namely, not only what mothers choose to disclose to and hide from their children, but also the feelings, concerns and perceptions that drove their communication. The mothers' reports convey the challenges and dilemmas they faced when communicating with their children about their divorce and its repercussions; the main one being their obligation to maintain a good father image and their wish to preserve a strong maternal figure. The 'child's well-being' was the dominant criterion in the mothers' decision to reveal or conceal divorce-related information. Clinical suggestions are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Communication between mothers and children during divorce
  • Communication privacy management theory
  • Post-divorce father's image


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