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Essay: The Effects of Divorce on Children

Effects of Divorce on Children essay example

❶Every child reacts differently depending on his or her age group and gender, so no case is predictable. Children look to their parents for comfort, strength, support, and stability.

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This paper considers the effects of divorce on children ranging in age by summarizing and analyzing existing research. There have been numerous studies and piles of research done on this topic since the beginning of divorce and more so now due to its rising numbers in our society. Parents and professionals are becoming much more interested in the effects of divorce on children.

It is definitely known that divorce is a very stressful time for children. Many of the resources that I have read have stated that parental divorce produced a moderate, long-term negative impact on their mental health as adults.

The negative effects of divorce on mental health operated indirectly through higher emotional problems and lower levels of school achievement and family economic status. I have found that there have been several theoretical perspectives created, that I have read about, that try to explain some of the effects of divorce and other types of explanations for some of the behaviors. Some of these include the socialization perspective of divorce, interparental conflict, the divorce-stress-adjustment perspective, etc.

These theories choose different ways of looking at how divorce may affect the child experiencing it. One of these that I discussed, as an example was the divorce-stress-adjustment perspective, this views divorce as a very long-term event, beginning with the arguments and other behaviors that occur while the couple lives together and ending long after the legal procedures have been completed.

This perspective also goes into the different emotional, behavioral and health issues connected with divorce. Many researchers are looking at divorce as an easy way out or selfishness on the part of the parents.

Parents are not thinking about the lifelong and traumatic effects that they might be creating for their children by making the permanent decision to divorce. In most cases, unhappily married parents staying together for the sake of their kids, will be found as beneficial for them.

Research has found that children of divorce are more likely to develop mental and emotional disorders later in life. These children are also likelier to start sexual activity earlier, abuse drugs, turn to crime and even as fateful as committing suicide.

They additionally will find themselves facing problems in their future intimate relationships as they may not have had the proper model for one through their parents due to their split. These emotional problems may not appear right away that is why they have been given the title of a "sleeper effect".

Their parents divorce hangs like a cloud over their lives haunting them later on as adults. In researching my objective I do hope to find more precise descriptions on divorce than I presently have knowledge of. I think that I will have excellent results due to the fact that I will be studying numerous studies that have already been completed rather than just one or creating my own new study.

My plan was to use more of a qualitative analysis through my research as opposed to a quantitative analysis. This is because I want to have a better sense of social observations that have previously been made. This is in hopes of finding any of the kinks that I may come across by reading so many different research projects and then summarizing and putting all of the information together to make my final conclusions.

In looking up grounds for divorce one will find many different variations including but most certainly not limited to, adultery, desertion, physical or mental cruelty, habitual drunkenness, incurable mental illness, conviction of a crime, nonsupport, etc. Given this startling figure, the assumption can be made that many children will experience some effects caused by this life-changing event called divorce.

This unsettling realization that is being made through the collections of research being done is that young children of divorced parents are facing various types of psychological challenges due to the environmental conditions and changes associated and brought about by the event of divorce.

I have a particular interest in this topic because my parents were divorced when I was thirteen. This experience was very hard on me and I feel that it still affects me today in certain aspects of my life. I also believe that it may have had a lot to do with molding me into the person that I am today. I would like to research this topic to see what has been found thus far through research so that I can develop a better understanding of my own personal situation and the millions of others in this similar situation.

When compared to children of never-divorced families, researchers have agreed that children and adolescents from divorced families show poorer adjustment in numerous aspects of life. After following more than kids whose parents had recently divorced, Judith Wallerstein concluded that the effects of a break in the family unit can be life-long and traumatic for a considerably large enough group of children and adolescents for us to have concern.

In interviews, many expressed a profound pessimism about their future" Kantrowitz, Adolescents and children also battle with anxiety, and self blame and anger, which then transform into the undercurrent for making bad decisions in their future relationships, and giving up hastily when any new kind of problems present themselves.

Part of this struggle is said to be due to "the loss of the powerful mental image of the intact family inflicts the crucial harm" Leo, Later as adults, these young people become frightened of failure, commitment, and terrified that they might end up following in their parents footsteps. Such emotional hardships only set the stage for misbehavior and delinquent activity. Recent studies have shown that children of divorce are more depressed, aggressive toward parents and teachers, more likely to develop mental and emotional disorders later in life, start sexual activity earlier, have more children out of wedlock, have problems with drug abuse, crime and even have been lead to suicide Leo, The anxiety battles they face are brought with them most everywhere, including the classroom where numerous problems are being displayed.

Additionally, these problems in the classroom may sooner than later appear on the streets and neighborhoods in some form of delinquency or violence. One of the concepts developed to describe an aspect of these problems caused in children of divorce is the "sleeper effect". It is because of the "sleeper effect" that so many children of divorce are later in life finding themselves having different problems with numerous aspects including intimate relationships that they become involved in.

Divorce is a difficult thing for a child of any age to be forced to face as their reality. Understanding what may be the necessity of the divorce is never the problem, it is learning how to deal with the consequences of it that they will find themselves facing later on down the road.

Parental conflict appears to have a pronounced effect on the coping efforts of children. The intense anxiety and anger between some parents in the early stages of divorce is all too real. It is common behavior for the parents to allow their children to get in the middle of fierce verbal confrontations that may be occurring between them. Criticizing and belittling the other parent in front of the child is another way of placing the child in an unfair position.

This, in essence, is leading to putting the pressure on the child to feel as if they must choose between the parents. A less tangible example of parental-conflict is the way in which the two opposite genders relate to one another in the presence of children.

Mothers may treat fathers as if they are less important and undeserving of respect, just as the opposite can apply. Any form of parental conflict, no matter to what degree, leads to more confusion and a difficult adjustment period for the children involved. The deterioration in parent-child relationships after divorce is another leading cause in psychological maladjustment for children. With any divorce comes a new parenting plan of some kind. Divorce is an unfortunate event for any family, particularly those with children.

For the most part, research on divorce focuses solely on divorce in the immediate aftermath, usually a two to five-year window, so nothing is set in stone. Nonetheless, it is crucial for parents who have decided on divorce to keep in mind that their separation is not only about them. Their children are in just as deep. One major concern is that the children of divorce will come to the conclusion that their parents no longer love them.

If one parent moves out, some children will assume responsibility for the separation and respond accordingly. Other children will feel abandoned and betrayed in some fashion, as though their parents have divorced them as well. Without any reassurance, these children may develop fears of abandonment. On occasion, the children involved are too young to understand the goings-on, but regardless of age, they need their parents to support them and their feelings to show them that they are not completely powerless.

Conflicts of loyalty can also come into play. Particularly if the divorce is messy and full of conflict, a child may feel obligated to choose a side.

This can be extremely traumatic for children; they love both parents dearly and do not want to choose between them. Divorces are difficult for everyone involved, but divorces full of anger, resentment, and acts of spousal revenge can cause more harm to the child than anything. Children need support systems. They thrive on structure and the stability offered by the individuals who raise them, giving them the security of certainty and predictability. When a young girl wakes up in the morning, she will have comfort knowing that when she goes downstairs for breakfast, she will see her mother and her father waiting for her.


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Many children who suffer in the aftermath of divorce recover and avoid the long-lasting psychological effects. Nonetheless, parents should take steps to reassure their children. Reassurance and nurturing can go a long way toward helping children of .

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Essay on The Effects of Divorce on Children - The Effects of Divorce on Children Divorce is a process that many people in America go through. The divorce rate continues to escalate over the years. Divorce is a serious problem, it is a gradual process that ultimately results in families breaking up.

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In conclusion, divorce certainly brings detrimental effect on children emotionally, psychologically and financially, and the effects are long-term. Couples with troubled marriages, especially those who already have children should try all means to make the relationship work. Divorce might be the easy way out for the parents but is an open door to tragedy inside the children’s psychological and social health. I hope none of you have to go through something so difficult in your life whether it is your parents going through it or you and your spouse when you get older.

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The effects of divorce can be detrimental to a family, but the causes of divorce can be just as bad. In this essay we will cover one of the main causes of divorce and one of the main effects. One of the main causes that marriages are . The Effect of Divorce on Children Essay examples Divorce affects children of every ethnic background, religion, and socioeconomic status. Approximately 50% of all first marriages will end in divorce, with over 1 million children being affected per .