The Effects Of Parental Conflict During And After Divorce

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Family problems can be understood within the context of society and the culture in which they appear. The impact of those family problems, including divorce and abuse, is felt not only by the family but also by society at large. When one or both marriage partners decide to divorce, the conflict between parents, and the divorce itself, is the most traumatic for children (Deutsch, R., 2008). In response to an increasing family and societal concern, court-related programs have been developed to provide a three-prong approach to the issue of parental conflict during and after divorce. In addition to assisting children through the trauma of divorce and educating their parents, the reduction in instances of the parents returning to court and prolonging the divorce proceedings, or relitigation as it is termed in the research, is viewed as an overall benefit from the programs (Brewster, K., Beck, C. A., Anderson, E. R., & Benjamin, G. H., 2011).
The effects of divorce on children can being immediately detrimental, as well as have long-term effects on their health and socialization. The effects of parental conflict on children can result in anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior; as adults they are more apt to have higher rates of divorce and maladjustment in their own adult relationships. While adjusting to shifts in the family institution, children are at risk for experiencing increased problems in school, peer relationships, and rebelling against authority. Upon learning of a separation or impending divorce, children tend to suffer more so from the consequences of parental animosity and hostilities than they do from the divorce (Brewster et al., 2011). As found in Fackrell et al., (2011), divorced pa...

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...ograms need to be more sensitive to variability and fluidity over time rather than just to present information as if the process is experienced in the same manner and with the same course by all children and adults. It is unrealistic to assume that parents in the midst of divorce remain living together. Hence, the program should be tailored with the expectation that one of the parents is no longer residing with the family. Lastly, Sigal et al., (2011) found that “Children who have positive relationships with their nonresidential parents may benefit from frequent contact, whereas a high level of contact may be detrimental to children who have problematic relationships with their nonresidential parent” (p. 122). It appears that the nonresidential parent argument is arbitrary, at best, and that parent-child relationship should be based on individual circumstances.

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