Date of Conferral







Terri L. Edwards


Parental divorce has profound negative effects on children's performance in school. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore Nigerian early childhood educators' perspectives on the effects of divorce on children's academic achievement and strategies or suggestions for working with these children. The conceptual framework of this study consisted of three theories: Bowen's family systems theory, Piaget's theory of cognitive development, and Vygotsky's theory of social constructivism. Two research questions focused on educators' perspectives on the effects of divorce on children's academic achievement. Data were collected from 12 educators who are the participants using the inclusion criteria and analyzed through in-depth interviews, which were hand-coded using open and axial coding to identify emerging themes. Three themes emerged in the data analysis: children are better off when divorce takes them out of a toxic environment, emotional distress reduces social and academic functioning, and resiliency of children depends on nurturing adults. The results of this study suggested that parental divorce has a negative impact on children's academic achievement and that different strategies are useful when working with children affected by divorce. The study participants asserted that stakeholders provide educators with training, seminars, and workshops about different strategies on how to handle children of divorced parents. Positive social change could occur as school officials establish professional development using strategies specific for children of divorce, thereby improving teachers' pedagogy and nurturing of these students