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How Does Divorce Really Affect Children?

959 words - 4 pages

How Does Divorce Really Affect Children?

Divorce rates have risen in recent years. Right now 50% of American marriages end in divorce. While the causes are varied, the effects on children can all be categorized into four major groups including stress, maladjustment, long-term psychological and behavioral problems, and relocation with a stepparent and step siblings.

Divorce is pretty much always stressful for children. Most children don’t want their parents to get divorced unless the marriage is a bad experience for them due to conflict and strife between parents. That is probably the only time when divorce is a positive occurrence for children. Most children also have a difficult ...view middle of the document...

If their relationship was good, then problems after the divorce are not as bad. Some other examples are the parents not being able to separate their roles as parent and spouse which causes them to not be agreeable about making decisions about their child’s welfare, continued conflict between divorcing parents and the larger the conflict the bigger the risk for children to have stress, and the child’s perceived loss of the parent who does not have custody. Care must be provided by both parents to strengthen the relationship between the parent not in custody and the child. If not, the child may experience feelings of loss and possible abandonment (Matthews, 2).

All of the above risks show there can be short-term and long-term effects on children of divorce. These effects can have a remarkable and life-altering impact on a child’s well-being. The consequences of divorce affect almost all areas of a child’s life. This could include the parent-child relationship as stated above, their behavior, emotions, coping skills, and their psychological development. Children of divorce are likely to have more problems than children from intact families while growing up such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, bad behavior, dangerous behavior that includes early and careless loss of virginity possibly causing STDs and teen pregnancy. Children of divorce are more likely to drop out of school as well. Children of divorce also feel anxiety that they may repeat their parents’ mistakes leading to failed love or marital relationships (Eleoff).

Children of divorce can also go on to have problems with their parents’ remarriages and dealing with a stepfamily. The challenges started by step situations can be hard to get through. The child may like the new spouse but then feel guilty he/she is possibly betraying one of...

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