--Original published at Site Title
Growing up I’ve had the privilege of having both of my parents together under one roof, however I have always had friends that grew up with divorced parents and have wondered how different my life would be if my parents were divorced. After doing some research I might have found an answer to my curiosity.
Although there are many differences from child to child and family to family, divorce can have some pretty negative effects on children. An article from American College of Pediatricians really gave me some insight on these effects ranging from emotional security to psychological maturation. For starters, in a divorced family, the child will tend to spend less time with either parents whether its due to custodial arrangements or the fact that the mother/father may need to work more hours in order to keep up with a single income lifestyle. The lack of time being spent with parents can lead to weakened relationships between child and parent and leave the child without emotional support. This can be especially harmful depending on the age of the child. This separation can result in less language stimulation and lead to the children doing worse in school and receiving lower GPAs compared to children whose parents are still together. Divorce can also have very negative effects on a child’s physical and mental health according to an article from Marripedia. Physically, there is a substantial increase in injuries linked to divorce as well as an increased risk of asthma, or an asthma related emergency. Mentally and emotionally, children from divorced families tend to suffer from depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, and see themselves as fault for their parent’s separation. From this article it appears that divorce can be most harmful to children between ages 12-15 as they attempt to speed up adolescence, and in that case you see early sexual activity and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. I found both of these sources to be credible since they both were .org, and not .com. They also both have a long list of references at the end of the article that come from various academic journals and studies from different universities that add to their credibility.
On the other side of things, divorce is not always that harmful long term to the children involved. An article from the Scientific American states that some of the effects of divorce such as anxiety and anger are short term and seem to disappear after the second year. A quantitative study done at the Pennsylvania State University followed children with married parents and then those who suffered through a divorce at different ages and compared their academic achievement, emotional and behavior problems, delinquency, self-concept and social relationships. The study showed very few differences between the two groups leaving the only conclusion that could be made was the majority of children handle divorce pretty well. There is no doubt that divorce can cause difficulty in one’s life, and seem like the end of the world when it happens, but in the long run it is usually in the best interest of the family. It is not healthy for a child to grow up in an environment where the parents are constantly fighting and yelling at each other and a child can really benefit from being in a household with one fully, well-functioning supportive parent. There are several benefits that can come from divorce as well. These benefits include children becoming more resilient and adaptable, they become more self sufficient, they develop a greater sense of empathy towards others, they are more conscientious when choosing their own spouse later in life, and they tend to learn more through quality time with their each parent individually. I found both of these sources to be credible because they both reference doctors and studies done to make their claims.
Based on my reading I’d have to say that children can in fact come through divorce without serious consequences. Divorce is such a common thing today that so many children go through and if it caused that much of an issue it would be talked about more. I also have many friends that have divorced parents, even my mom’s parents got divorced when she was a child, but they all have turned out fine and have been successful. If effects from divorce last long term, such as depression, there might be a greater cause of that and it cannot be blamed fully on the divorce.