In today’s society the divorce rate has increased immensely. Over time it has become a more controversial topic because some may believe that it is the best and most viable option, while others may believe there are better ways to solve relationship problems. The effect of divorce on children has started to be observed, and both the positive and negative aspects have been addressed.
In a recent article, Sol R. Rappaport discussed that although initially children may seem unstable after their parents’ divorce, their difficulties decrease, and are able to better handle high-conflict issues later in life. In certain situations, divorce may be the better option, if it is able to reduce stress in the family’s home which allows the children to be better adjusted to their home lives. Rappaport also stated that there is no evident difference in children’s emotions or behaviors if their parents are divorced or from their peers whose parents are still married. He also mentions that the 25% of children who do have difficulties after divorce is not the divorce itself but the factors related to divorce. He also mentions that divorce is a painful memory and experience and may be impacted, but so is losing a parent. Neither of these events should mean that an individual will grow up with psychological disorders. His largest point was that divorce does not have a direct effect on children but there are contributing factors. Every situation is different and it depends on the level of conflict, the mental health of the parents, the involvement of the caregiver, and the financial impact and the child’s perception. Overall he discovered that 75 – 80% of individuals do not have significant psychological difficulties. This information was collected from a scholarly journal database and was written by a well-educated clinical psychologist.
Similarly Dr. Shoshana Bennett wrote an article about the positive impact a divorce can have on children. She wrote an article for Huffpost, she used her knowledge in psychology as a psychologist aided her in her research of this topic. She explains how if the parents are happier as individuals, this will make the children happier. If the couple is not happy with one another this could give reason for the children to be upset and sad too. By eliminating the negativity and sadness, this allows the children to live more positively. She also discusses that getting rid of the tension in the air will completely change the child’s behavior for the better. Bennett also explained how some individuals believe that they should stay in a toxic relationship in order to keep their children happy. She rejects this theory and explains that it is better to remove yourself from that situation so that the child can realize that they deserve a healthy and supportive relationship. Lastly, she explains how it is important for your child to see you happy and healthy which will impact your child’s life immensely.
In another perspective, and most commonly thought, individuals like Keenan M. believe that divorce can have a negative impact on children’s lives. Divorce can cause pain, loneliness, and anxiety. The beginning may be an adjustment period, but for many this can because long term affects. He explains how for younger children and toddlers, they tend to feel abandoned or confused and will later have separation anxiety. For teens, they may feel angry and distance themselves from their family which leads to them reckless actions like skipping school, experimenting with drugs and alcohol and committing crimes. This is also problematic when there is ongoing conflict in the household causing children to have a more difficult time at home. This is because children do better with a routine rather than a constant back and forth between homes and different schedules. The information written by the author seems to be credible because the article was published on an online database with scholarly articles.
In a similar study, the author described the effects of divorce on older children and how they’ve been affected in the long term. The author explained a situation where divorce heavily impacted younger adults and composed it into a scholarly article. The author explained that older children might feel abandoned or betrayed since they had no expected this outcome. It may seem that older children can cope better with the divorce but in reality they are blocking it out but are really being impacted by it. Divorce has also caused an issue with older children because they often get in the middle of the situation and serve as the mediator or have to start taking on parental control. One of the effects on children the author mentions is that they have to plan a family event which is a great burden since they are not used to this additional stress. The most significant effect is that when children witness a failure of their parents’ marriage they question their own relationships and are afraid of commitment.
Collectively I believe that divorce can play a major role in a child’s life and can negatively impact a child however it may not be as extreme in certain cases. A child who has witnessed their parents’ divorce have observed many negative aspects. In most cases the child will be stuck in the middle or have to choose a side which adds additional stress. Additionally, a child bears a lot of pain during this time and in some cases this feeling could worsen. One of the largest points is that when a child has to go through the pain of their parents’ divorce, they tend to lose hope in marriage. They also become less confident in themselves and are afraid of commitment which could prohibit them from getting into a relationship or not take them seriously.