Effects of Divorce on Children

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The Effects of Divorce on Children

The statistics for divorce in the 1990's suggest that nearly sixty percent

of marriages end in divorce. Given this startling figure, the presumption can be made that many children will experience some effects caused by the life-changing event called divorce. What is it exactly about divorce that causes negative consequences for these children? In what ways will these children be affected? Will these effects show outwardly? The unsettling fact is: young children of divorced parents face great psychological challenges due to the environmental conditions and changes associated with divorce (Wolchik and Karoly 45). When we pass the year 2000, we will see two groups of working age adults emerging. One group will have received psychological, social, economic, educational and moral benefits and the other group will have been denied them all. The first group will have grown up with both parents present in the house and the second group will have not had both parents present.

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 real. Often times parents allow their children to get in the middle of fierce verbal fighting between them. Berating the other parent in front of the child is another way of placing the child in an unfair position, which in essence is expecting the child to choose between the parents. Any form of parental conflict, no matter to what degree, lends to a difficult adjustment period for children involved. (Jekielek 1-3).

The deterioration in parent-child relationships after divorce is another leading cause in psychological problems for children. With a divorce comes a parenting plan of some kind. A child may experience shared custody between both parents or custody by one parent with visitation by the other parent. Variations of these plans can be included or added at different times in the child's life depending on special circumstances. More often than not, the mother is awarded custody of the children. The absence of the father on a full time level is detrimental to the healthy development of the children. In the case that the father is awarded custody of the children, the opposite applies as well. Studies have shown that a decay in custodial parent-child relationships may freque...

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...e to try and take the place of my Dad. But sometimes when she's dating one man a lot and he's nice to me, I can't help wishing he was my Dad. I told her that if she did ever want a husband, I have a list of choices and it would be nice if she could pick someone who could help me play with my computer. I wouldn't mind if my Dad got remarried because maybe they'd have another kid and to tell you the truth I would really like to have a younger brother. But I wouldn't want my Mom to have a baby because it would live with us and then I'd have to share all my stuff. Still, what I really really want, deep down, is that my Dad doesn't get remarried and my Mom doesn't, either. What I'm just hoping and hoping more than anything is that they'll get back together again"

Works Cited

Diamond, Susan. Helping Children of Divorce.

Furstenberg, Frank F. "Children and family change: Discourse between social

scientists and the media."

Jekielek, Susan M. "Parental conflict, marital disruption and children's

emotional well-being."

Krementz, Jill. "How It Feels When Parents Divorce."

Wolchik, Sharlene A., and Paul Karoly "Children of Divorce Empirical

Perspectives on Adjustment."
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