--Original published at Sydney’s Side
A study, researched by Paul Amato and Juliana Sobolewski, found evidence that children of divorce have more negative outcomes when compared to children whose parents are still married. This is a credible source because the study is published by the American Sociological Review which is an academic journal. “The Effects of Divorce and Marital Discord on Adult Children’s Psychological Well-Being” conducted a seventeen-year longitudinal study to find the consequences of divorce. The researchers claim the stress of divorce is what causes the negative effects on children because they are unable to continue their mental development as well as comprehend what is going on around them. Therefore, they are developmentally delayed, and this problem will follow them into adulthood. Additionally, children of divorced parents are statistically more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status which could be attributed to the children being more likely to drop out of school early or more likely to not attend college. The researchers believe this is because divorce decreases the standard of living for these children as well as less parental involvement. Evidence from the study also shows, when compared to adults with married parents, those with divorced parents have lower quality relationships and report more conflict.
Another study entitled, “Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships: Within-Family Comparisons of Fathers and Mothers” focuses on the child’s relationship with their parents rather than how the divorce affects them psychologically. This study was published by the European Sociological Review which is also an academic journal and therefore is credible. The article shows the relationship between father and child is strongly impacted by divorce. The mother and child relationship is also impacted but not as strongly as the father. The study also found that there was an inequality between the parents, therefore one relationship was stronger than the other. It is concluded with the statement, further research is needed but it clearly shows there is a strong impact of divorce on parent child relationships.
A magazine article published by the Scientific American proposes the idea that divorce may be hard on children, but they can adjust with no damage. The magazine is credible because it presents scientific studies monthly to educated readers and has been doing so for a long time. The article cites multiple studies that conclude divorce has little impact for children. One of the studies states initially children have short term problems with anxiety and disbelief but once they recover, very few have long term problems. The magazine also cites a study from Penn State University in which researchers compared academic achievement and behavior problems between children of different ages with separated or married parents. They discovered there was little to no difference between the groups.
Live Science is website that publishes reviews of recent scientific studies and is credible because it cites the studies it uses so its readers can fact check for themselves. Rachel Rettner recently published an article entitled “Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids” where she provides evidence from multiple research studies to show divorce does not always negatively affect or damage children. The children who lived in high conflict families, but their parents stayed together were proven to have more conflict in their future relationships when compared to children whose parents divorced. Parents who want to stay together for their kids may be causing more harm, it all depends on the situation. The article uses evidence to show that children with divorce parents are only affected for a short period following the divorce but if their parents fight and stay together, they are in a period of distress for most of their childhood.
Divorce is not uncommon in America today, in fact it is relatively normal for peers to have divorced parents or to meet someone who is divorced. There is many different studies that look into the effects of divorce but it is still controversial. Both sides of the issues have fair points, but it really depends on the person. I agree more with the side that there are long term effects because there are many longitudinal studies and statistics show a big difference between children with divorced or married parents. But that being said, they are just statistics and a child can still grow to their full potential, just because their parents are divorced does not mean their life is going to be doomed.
Amato, P. R., & Sobolewski, J. M. (2001). The Effects of Divorce and Marital Discord on Adult Children’s Psychological Well-Being. American Sociological Review. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=16&sid=d56a538b-9545-4992-8875-98aefd963d20@pdc-v-sessmgr02
Arkowitz, H. (2013, March 01). Is Divorce Bad for Children? Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/
Kalmijn, M. (2013). Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships: Within-Family Comparisons of Fathers and Mothers. European Sociological Review. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=24&sid=d56a538b-9545-4992-8875-98aefd963d20@pdc-v-sessmgr02
Rettner, R. (2010, June 30). Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/6648-divorce-bad-kids.html