What happens to a child’s sense of belonging when growing up in a family of divorce?

Many children grow up in divorced or blended families, in which the family members do not all share the same household. Frequently, questions arise about the psychological and ethical aspects surrounding these modern families. After all, our sense of belonging originates from the first relationships with our primary caregivers. But what happens when children grow up in multi-resident families, are not raised by both biological parents, or live in two different homes and neighbourhoods?

Kind op de bank

In this project, we will examine how the quality of communication and family interactions in multi-resident families of divorce affects children’s feelings of belonging towards each parent and the family as a whole, as well as children’s adjustment.

Our team will combine and integrate knowledge from different disciplines, including geography, linguistics, family law, pedagogical sciences and computer science. Combining our expertise will result in new insights which will not only provide scientifically interesting knowledge, but also give direction to legislators, policy makers at state level, municipalities at a local level, schools and the judiciary.

For example, how does the law on parental legal recognition, responsibilities and contact rights affect these family processes and children’s belonging? How do visiting rights affect children’s course of daily paths through time and geographical space, and subsequently children’s sense of belonging? And how can serious gaming facilitate the development of sense of belonging in children, by creating a (partly) virtual environment where children feel safe and can stay in touch with their parents if they don’t live in the same household?

Dynamics of Youth needs you

Interested in this project? Please get in touch. Because for our new interdisciplinary projects to thrive and the Child Expertise Center to work we need you. Contact our executive director Petra van Dijk for further information: +31 30 253 67 80, P.M.vanDijk@uu.nl