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Children of Divorce and Behavioral Issues

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Over the last 70 years, divorce has become a normal occurrence in homes across the country. Even children whose parents are married can be exposed to divorce in a number of places: television, newspapers, magazines, school, and their friends. Those children who are put through the agonizing experience of a divorce are far more likely to have physical and emotional problems compared to those living in a home with happily married parents. One of the most documented changes in children from before and after divorce are behavioral problems. Children of divorce are more likely to have behavioral issues because of increased financial hardships, parenting discrepancies between homes, and stress brought on by their situation.
When divorce occurs, financial struggles almost always immediately follow. According to the Stepfamily Association, 23.3 percent of all children are living with only their biological mother (Rainbows). Of these female-headed families, one in every four falls below the poverty level despite the fact that these single mothers nearly always work full time (Andrew). When a single parent is having trouble paying their bills, that parent is definitely not going to be able to afford tutors for help with school work, let alone counselors for behavioral and psychological issues that their children may benefit from. Children are also often deprived of simple things on a day to day basis. Katrina Gilbert, a single mother and the star of the documentary titled “Paycheck to Paycheck” recently spoke about her financial struggles as a single mother in an interview. “And then the day-to-day like the kids want a candy bar or, mommy, I want a toy, I can’t- I just tell them I don’t have the money for that. I can’t do that right now,” ...

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...d through the divorce process again. Studies have shown that the more stressful transitions a child goes through, which include parental divorces and remarriages, the more likely they are to exhibit behavioral issues (Amato).
Children who are forced through a divorce are more likely to have behavioral issues because of tighter finances, differences between parents, and stress. Financial hardship can leave children without proper care and tools for their education. Parenting discrepancies can cause children confusion and resentment toward one or both parents. Children who are forced to move and choose sides by their parents are immensely impacted by the stress caused by those occurrences. Although divorce is apparent in every child’s life in one way or another, those children who experience divorce first hand must be resilient to any new challenges thrown their way.
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