--Original published at Zachs College Blog
Over the past few decades, divorce rates have dramatically increased to in-between 40% and 50%. Divorce has shown that the children of their families are usually impacted the hardest. Although parents splitting up might be the best for the family, a debatable argument presents on the effects it has on children as a whole. Before a divorce, many parents contemplate the results it could possibly have on their family and most important children. In this debate, it will help you grasp an understanding on how harmful divorce can be on children and how some divorces will have no consequences on children.
As divorces rates have dramatically increased in the past decades, it has gradually became more and more of a normal thing. Divorce happens very frequently as the divorce rates are nearing a whopping 50% or half of marriages end up in splitting. The biggest result of divorce on children is change. “Research has found that kids struggle the most during the first year or two after the divorce.” It has been proven that kids will experience stress, anxiety, and anger following the divorce. It will take time for these changes In their kids to slowly diminish. Many children fear the fact of losing contact with one of their parents or even their relationship as a whole. Amy Morin states that “Decreased contact affects the parent-child bond and researchers have found many children feel less close to their fathers after divorce.” Even the relationship with the mother, usually the primary care giver after divorce is affected as the mother often shows less support and affection to their children after such a traumatizing event. Kids also gain stress with having to move schools, move houses, live in an empty house with a single parent and financial hardships will all contribute to the negativity the child will experience. Morin also states “In the United States, most adults remarry within four to five years after a divorce”. This provides many kids with ongoing changes to their family orientation. Introducing a step-parent and kids can be a big modification for the kid and can show negative effects on the child’s behaviors and attitudes. The failure rates of a second marriage are even higher than the rates for first time marriages so these children will have a larger chance of having to go through multiple separations. “studies have also found depression and anxiety rates are higher in children from divorced parents”. It has been shown that children have an increased risk for mental health issues regardless of what age the child may be. Other issues may include behavioral issues and decreases in academic performance.
According to Jane Anderson, “Each child and each family are obviously unique, with different strengths and weaknesses, different personalities and temperaments, and varying degrees of social, emotional, and economic resources, as well as differing family situations prior to divorce.” Divorce has shown to lower a Childs future success in education, emotions, behaviors, and most importantly family relationships. The child may lose economic support as now only one parent is bringing in income for the whole family. In most cases, kids will live with their mothers, and see their fathers on the weekends or whatever the parents agreement states. Loss of income will increase work time, which means children will be away from their parents more often which will diminish the parent-child relationship and leave the child with very little support. Anderson states that “Children living with single mothers are much more likely to live in poverty than children living with both married parents.” stated by Anderson. Children also witness a loss of emotional security involving both of their parents. Children state that they feel a weakened relationship with their mothers and they lack emotional support. As for the relationship with the father, it usually diminishes as well. With most kids living with their mothers, children will receive less time with their fathers. Divorced children believe their fathers are less caring and trustworthy after a divorce. Anderson provides a strong argument for each different effect a divorce has on children with supported research from other articles and studies provided.
Although divorce usually has a negative effect on the kid, sometimes in certain situations the results aren’t as harmful. Three common themes preside on explaining why divorce is easier for some kids than others. The first theme is that some kids simply are more sturdy when it comes to stress whether that is from past experiences or simply being born with the abilities to handle stress. These kids manage stress by doing things that will keep their mind off of everything going on, or maybe they even have a special someone to talk to and help get everything off of their minds. Secondly, all kids come from different backgrounds, all kids have witnesses and have seen things that could make them mentally tougher than others. You can not assume that all problems stem from divorce as it could be anything else that might be affecting these kids. The last and most important theme is how divorce and how everything plays out varies from family to family. How the divorce process goes will affect the kid the most. According to a Canadian resident, divorce in her family taught her to be more adaptable as the following months and years of her life following the divorce would be filled with good/bad changes. According to Dr. Lisa Ferrari, “A natural byproduct of going through divorce is that you are required to be more adaptive.” Divorce can also help a child realize their own strengths and ability to do things by themselves. When having a single parent, who is more than likely working a lot to help provide for you and the family, you have to begin to become more independent. Divorce will also help children gain a sense of appreciation towards other, and helps divorced children grasp a better understanding of what might be going with the children around them. Dr. Ferrari says “When their peers have family problems, it’s very relatable for them.” divorced children have a better chance of relating and helping other children out when the same type of situations happen for them.
The information in all of these articles are scholarly as it has been taken from thorough research studies and has been measured by studying the actions/behaviors of children who went through a divorce In their family. I believe a divorce can effect a kid very negatively in all aspects of life but it will all depend on what this kid has been through before the divorce and his/her capability to deal with stress and anxiety of their family differences.
Cherlin, A., & Furstenberg, F. F., Jr. (1989, March 19). DIVORCE DOESN’T ALWAYS
HURT THE KIDS. Retrieved from The Washington Post website:
Anderson, J. (2014, November). The impact of family structure on the health of
children: Effects of divorce. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/