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By sbarbas
It is a commonly known fact that divorce and separation is on the increase. As such, much attention has been paid to an array of physical, emotional and psychological consequences that can often be associated with relationship breakdown for lone parents and their children. In particular, concern has been raised that parents may not be well equipped to help their children cope with separation and divorce due to the impact such an experience has on parents themselves.

Unfortunately, attention given to parents has focused largely on their shortcomings. Therefore, there is currently little or no information directly related to how mothers successfully overcome the adversity of separation and divorce to go on to lead happy and healthy lives for both themselves and their children. So, what about what mothers are doing right? What specific factors help mothers cope with this difficult time?

My name is Sarah Barbas and I am a PhD researcher (Clinical and Forensic Psychology) currently conducting a new study investigating how mothers cope following separation and divorce. I hope that learning about recently separated mothers experiences of separation will assist in eventually formulating programs, policies and strategies aimed at helping other mothers and their children who are faced with such an experience.

I am inviting you to take part in this wonderful new research. To take part you need to be:
• Either a custodial mother (MORE than 50% custody of child/ren); a non – custodial mother (LESS than 50% custody of your child/ren); or shared care of your child/ren (50/50) with your ex-partner;
• Separated from your partner or husband within the past two years; and
• Have at least one child less than 17 years of age.

Interested mothers will be asked to complete a 60 – 90 minute telephone interview or face-to-face interview at a location that is convenient for them.

If you are interested in taking part, or require any further information please contact me on 0439 936 277 or email Please also feel free to pass this information on to friends or family members you feel may be interested in participating in this research.

This study has been approved by the Edith Cowan Human Research Ethics Committee. All interview information will be treated as strictly confidential. Participation is entirely voluntary and you may withdraw from the study at any time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sarah Barbas
PhD Researcher (Clinical and Forensic Psychology)
School of Psychology and Social Science
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup, Perth WA