The Impact of Divorce on Children

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Divorce, once unheard of among most people, is now a commonplace occurrence in families when the adults have decided that they can no longer work out their differences. Unfortunately, divorce tends to have a negative impact on the children in the family, particularly affecting children who already have psychological or emotional difficulties, such as ADHD (Patten, 1999). Problems that arise in children of divorce run the gamut from behavioral problems to later relationship/trust issues. Children of divorce more often display behavioral problems at school than do children from intact families, except when abuse is present in the home (Corcoran, 1997). Children of divorce also have more academic trouble than children from intact homes. This holds true no matter how their academic achievement is scored, whether by grades, standardized tests, or dropout rates, children of divorce tend to have poorer scores than children in a two parent home (Patten, 1999).

The problems faced by children of divorce vary depending on the child’s age at the time of the divorce. Very young children (under age two) may not experience problems at all but from age three to age five, children may become more aggressive, tearful, and regress to younger behavior, such as going back to difficulty with independent toileting or needing the comfort of a security blanket (Patten, 1999). Preschool age children may withdraw, preferring to spend time alone rather than playing with other children. They may also seek out the attention of adults more often or become more anxious or angry (Patten, 1999). Young children are also often given to fantasies about their parents’ reconciliation (Corcoran, 1997). Older school-age children tend to try and cope with the situati...

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Works Cited

Corcoran, K. (1997, June) Psychological and emotional aspects of divorce. Web. 20 March 2015

Foulkes-Jamison, L. (2001, January 1) The effects of divorce on children. Gainesville Family Magazine. Web. 20 March 2015

Patten, P. (1999) Divorce and children part I: An interview with Robert Hughes, Jr., PhD. Parent News Web. 20 March 2015

Shaw, D and Ingoldsby, E. Children of divorce. Web. 20 March 2015

Temke, M. (2006) The effects of divorce on children. University of New Hampshire publication. Web. 20 March 2015
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