The emotional and behavioral impact of divorce on children Dynell Lee Argosy University
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN In our present time, divorce is something that many families might have to endure at some point in time. More than 1 million children each year experience their parents’ divorce (Cohen, 2002).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN The dynamic of the family unit is changing and not for the good given the divorce rates around the country (Adams & Coltrane, 2007).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN According to Huurre, Junkkari & Aro(2006), more children today are raised in divorced families or single parent families than two-parent families.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Children of divorce often have difficulty in adjusting to the change in their family dynamic. A child of divorce might struggle academically, struggle emotionally or act out toward authority after experiencing their parents’ divorce.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN According to Brown, Frederico, Hewitt & Sheehan (2001), children who are often put in the middle of a divorce or separation might be faced with emotional problems due to the added stress from their parents’ separation.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Children may also act differently to their parents’ divorce depending on their age range. According to Cohen (2002), children of school age might appear to be moody, show more aggression and preoccupied; adolescents might endure decrease self-esteem, experiment with substance use, partake in promiscuous behavior, depression and delinquent behavior.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Cohen (2002), also indicates that children of all ages might feel a sense of guilt or personal responsibility for the separation of their parents. They might also feel obligated to be the one to put their family back together.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN When a child observes conflict between their parents, they might react to the conflict with fear, anger or the inhibition of normal behavior (Amado & Cheadle, 2008).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN A study (Malone, Lansford, Casellino, Berlin, Dodge, Bates & Pettit, 2004) indicates that a child’s gender and timing of divorce can determine the development of behavioral problems. The study indicates that girls externalizing behavioral problems was not affected by experiencing their parents’ divorce while for boys their parents’ divorce did affect their externalizing behavioral problems.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN The study by Malone et al. (2004) also indicated that for boys their externalizing behavioral problems increased over time if the conflict continued with their parents after the divorce.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Children of divorced families might also endure emotional problems which sometimes carry with them through adulthood. Crossman & Adams (1980) state that children from divorced families show poor patterns of social development. They may have difficulty making new friends or lack interest in participating in extracurricular activities as a result of some of the emotional distress from their parents’ divorce.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Children from divorced families are sometimes thrown into a new life such as relocating to a new home or having to move back and forth between their parents’ homes. This might cause the inability to participate in activities which they had previously enjoyed while in their stable two-parent household which can affect them emotionally (Huurreet al. 2006).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Compared to a child from a two-parent family, a child from divorce is more likely to be oppositional, aggressive, distractible and demanding (Crossman et al. 1980).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN According to Piemont (2009) a child from divorce will often have difficulty developing a healthy attachment style and managing uncontained drive energies along with feeling overwhelmed by feelings of powerlessness and insignificance when it comes to developing relationships.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Parental divorce has been associated with maladaptive academic and behavioral outcomes for children such as depression, anxiety, school drop out, drug and alcohol use and poor academic performance (Thomas & Gibbons, 2009).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Thomas & Gibbons (2009) also indicate that children from divorced families often demonstrate remarkable resilience in that they often bounce back successfully from a traumatic event such as divorce.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Children today have different resources of assistance when it comes to coping with their parents’ divorce such as counseling or peer groups. Parents should be more open-minded when dealing with their divorce with their children involved because they could be incidentally be putting the child in an uncomfortable place in making them feel they should choose one parent of over the other (Brown & Gibbons, 2009).
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Marital conflict and divorce show a greater risk in behavioral problems in children (Amado & Cheadle, 2008). Children can interpret the conflict between their parents differently which can cause an imbalance in their development depending on the nature of interactions which they are exposed to.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN The impact of divorce on a child weighs heavily on the nature of their parent’s separation. Based on the research conducted, it would be valid in stating that there is a relationship between deviant behavior and emotional problems in children who come from divorced families.
IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN It might be important for families who have to deal with divorce to look into support systems which can help a child with the transition from a two-parent family to a divorced family.
References Adams, M., Coltrane, S. (2007). Framing divorce reform: media, mortality and the politics of Family. Family Process, 46 (1), 17-34 Amato, P. R., Cheadle, J. E. (2008). Parental divorce, martial conflict and children’s behavioral Problems: A comparison of adopted and biological children. Social Forces, 86 (3), 1139 1161.
References Brown T., Frederico, M., Hewitt, L., Sheehan, R. (2001). The child abuse and divorce myth. Child Abuse Review, 10 (2), 113-124. Cohen, G. J. (2002). Helping children and families deal with divorce and separation. Pediatrics, 110 (5). Crossman, S. M., Adams, G. R. (1980). Divorce, single parenting and child development. The Journal of Psychology, 106, 205-217.
References Huurre, T., Junkkari, H., Aro, H. (2006). Long-term psyhosocial effects of parental divorce. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256 (4), 256-263. Malone, P. S., Lansford, J. E., Casellino, D. R., Berlin, L. J., Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. E., Pettit, G.S. (2004). Divorce and behavior problems: Applying latent change score models to life event data. Structural Equation Modeling, 11 (3), 401-423.
References Piemont, L. (2009). The epigenesis of psychopathology in children of divorce. Modern Psychoanalysis, 34 (2), 97-115. Thomas, D. A., Gibbons, M. M. (2009). Narrative theory: A career counseling approach for adolescents of divorce. Professional School Counseling, 12 (3), 223-229.