Women who divorce during middle age face age-specific stresses, including loss of long-held social position, the possibility of overdependence on young adult children, a shrinking remarriage pool, socially denigrated body changes, and unfair labor market conditions. In assisting these women, social workers need to focus initially on grief and mourning. However, the overall treatment should emphasize changing maladaptive behavior and adverse environmental conditions. Relevant approaches include structured educational group treatment, task assignment, cognitive restructuring of maladaptive self-beliefs, reframing of the divorce experience as a challenge to growth, family treatment involving inperson contact with young adult children, and advocacy to end age discrimination in the hiring and wages of middle-aged women.
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