Spotlight Post #1

“The most important question is not whether children from divorced families are having difficulties, but what particular factors cause these differences,” (Hughes). As the vast majority of studies has proven over the past few decades, divorce has effects on the children within the family. These effects, however, vary from child to child which may give off the impression that divorce doesn’t affect them all.

“Current evidence suggests that the loss of parents, economic difficulties, stress, parental adjustment and competence, and interparental conflict all contribute at least to some degree to the difficulties of children,” (Hughes).  With the numerous changes going on in the child’s life, it’s hard to believe that that anyone could be unaffected. Not every child is going to show all the negative effects that divorce has been known to have, which when looking at case studies, may seem to diminish the impact divorce has on children. Over a million couples get divorced in the United States annually, so it only makes sense to view the largest sample possible as each case will be very different. As Fagan and Churchill explain, “there is no way to predict how any particular child will be affected nor to what extent, but it is possible to predict divorce’s societal effects and how this large cohort of children will be affected as a group.”

After decades of studies, there is no doubt that divorce has negative effects on the children of the family. There are numerous reasons for this, and there are numerous ways in which these effects are shown, but as each child reacts and adapts differently, the results have to be looked at generally. One reason for this powerful impact may be because “as of the latest data from the 2009 American Community Survey (shows), only 47 percent reach age 17 in an intact married family,” (Fagan and Churchill). As we know, childhood and adolescence are where the majority of our development as people occur, and the changes which divorce brings on, such as the ones mentioned by Hughes, can alter that development. This may play bigger or smaller roles for each child, but overall, divorce has been proven to have a negative impact.–1995.pdf?sequence=2


Spotlight Post- Caleb C

Divorce is such a controversial topic, though we see many more divorces than ever. The question sometimes should not be about the parents, but about the children being dragged through such a difficult time at such as young and important part of their life. Through this post I will be examining 4 articles, 2 which defend how divorce is not so bad for children, and 2 which argue that a child can’t come out of a divorce unscarred.

First, let’s examine an article done by Huffington Post, written by Brette Sember, who titles her article, “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids.” Sember, being a former Divorce Attorney has much experience in the field dealing with divorced parents, thus can shed a lot of insight into how families are impacted. Sember starts off with a strong central message stating, “while there is no question that divorce is hard for kids, it is a far cry better than raising your children in a violent, abusive, angry, or deeply resentful marriage.” She does have a point here, considering that sticking through with a bad and harmful relationship could have an overall negative impact on your children instead of separating and having them live in two peaceful homes. Sember continues to then comment “if you stay married for the sake of your children, you expose them to daily arguments, negative undercurrents, shouting, possible violence, and an atmosphere that is in no way calm and peaceful.” Overall, Sember makes an argument that within the family, if the parents are not at good terms, then forcing a marriage can overall impact a child more negatively than simply divorcing. Also, what I find compelling about Ember’s article is how she addresses the other side of the argument, stating, “while the research is clear that divorce does have an impact on children, it fails to take into account the permanent emotional damage children suffer when they stay in one home with parents who can’t get along.” She continues to say how a divorce frees a family from such a hostile environment.

Secondly, we have another article from Psychology Today, written by Susan Gadoua. She titles her article “Divorce Doesn’t Harm Children – Parents Fighting Harms Child.” So, here we have a second article from another credible source making an argument that divorce itself doesn’t harm the children, what does is the fighting. Right off the bat, Gadoua shows her main message of the article stating, “regardless of whether parents stay together or split, if there is fighting going on between them, the children will suffer.” This is a similar argument made by Sember in the previous article, focusing more on the psychological aspect of fighting and a bad marriage, than the divorce itself and how it impacts the children that way. Gadoua also comments on the other side of the argument who say that divorce is bad for children, by commenting and discrediting a book titled “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce,” written by Judith Wallerstein, which the main premise of the book is that divorce overall hurts children. Gadoua comments how “any longitudinal study on families like this can’t possibly yield accurate results because you have no way to compare these families to the alternative.” Gadoua is saying here how after studying a family long term, and how the divorce impacts the family, you can’t compare this to the same family if they did not get in a divorce. The closest you can come to comparing divorce factors is by comparing a divorced family and one that stays in tact. She then goes on and says how every family is unique and has their own factors such as, cultural differences, age of children, economic status, degree of tension, and so forth. So overall, you cannot generalize how a divorce can be always bad for the children when there are many unique aspects at play. This is then commented by Gadoua stating, “every situation is truly unique and a myriad of factors need to be weighed such as timing, age of your children, safety for you and your children, financial ability to split up as well as other resources on hand.” She sums up the article by saying how staying with your children can seem like the right thing to do, though that isn’t in every case and when you and your family is in a more happy situation, so will your children be.

Now, coming from the other side, an article written by Harry Benson for Institute for Family Studies, titles his article “When, and Why, Divorce hurts Kids.” He starts off the article by referencing a recent study done stating the study “came out earlier this month concluding that whether parents cooperate or not makes little difference to how children cope with divorce.” This is opposite to the other two articles I analyzed, because both Gadoua and Sember argued that divorcing from a bad environment helps the children, though this study says that doesn’t matter for the children because they still have to cope with the divorce itself. Benson does give the other side some credit though by saying how sometimes there is no other option but divorce considering how toxic the environment is at home. Benson does go on to say though how “in many other cases, however, divorce does damage children, especially where the parents had relatively low levels of conflict. According to one U.S. study, that description applies to about half of divorcing couples.” Benson goes on then to talk about two main reasons why the break up hurts children. First, after a divorce, there is usually fewer resources to pay for life related things, thus the family sometimes has to receive government aid, and also how one parent ends up becoming displaced, typically the father who then “needs to make an extra effort to remain in regular contact with his children.” This doesn’t always happen, and reduced father day-to-day contact typically has a negative impact on children. The second point Benson makes is how the children view the divorce different than the parents. Benson refers to certain questions which go through kid’s minds, such as “what on earth happened? Was it me? Or is that how relationships are? They just go pop for no apparent reason?” This type of thinking can then end up hurting the child’s perceived thought of relationships and impact their relationship life negatively as adults.

Finally, an article written by Tricia Goyer, for Family Life, titles her article “It Hurts to be a Child of Divorce.” She begins the article by talking about personal experiences with divorce as a child as well as her own experience, being 18, when her parents divorced. Overall, as a child, she thought that divorce “didn’t seem right. More than that, it seemed wrong.” Going further into her experience as a child, Goyer thought how weird it was to go to two Christmas Gathering, and two Thanksgivings. To her it seemed unnatural and things never seemed “right” after the divorce. She also comments on the psychological impact the strenuous relationship of her parents had on herself. She references how there will always be a sort of guilt in her mind associated with her parents, always thinking that it was her fault somehow and “if I’d been a better kid it would have been easier for my parents to work it out.” She then sums up the article stating “the best thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to give your marriage a second chance. Don’t think that walking away from your commitment will come without consequences. Don’t think you’re not going to break your children’s hearts.”

For the 4 sources, I believe they were all credible, though some had more of a convincing stance than others. For example, in my opinion, the two best sources came from the Huffington Post article, and the Institute for Family Studies article, both which are very credible sources, defending opposite stances. These are both very credible because they come from well known sources, and one references many studies done on divorce, while the other was a past divorce attorney, thus automatically has some credibility when talking about how divorce impacts families. I believe that based on my research that there are some cases where divorce is necessary for the well-being of both the parents and the children, though I believe that is only the case in extremely toxic situations where the divorce ends up only positively impacting the children. Though, overall, as noted in Benson’s article, half of divorcing parents have relatively low levels of stress, thus the children in those families end up confused and question themselves as to why the divorce occurred because it wasn’t too obvious. So, my consensus would be that in most cases, the children end up being negatively impacted, and I believe that in all cases, every child is scared somehow by the split.


Spotlight Blog #1

Spotlight Blog #1


Divorce is becoming more and more common in more recent times. Although being looked down upon in the past, the rate of divorces has risen dramatically. This in turn can affect children in these relationships. The controversy with parents getting a divorce is that many people believe that getting a divorce can negatively affect a child’s emotional well-being and can cause behavioral issues, but others believe a divorce can be positive for a child to relieve tension and arguments from the household.


An article from Huffington post describes how a divorce can positively benefit a child contrary to popular belief. The author, Dr. Shoshana Bennett, explains the different ways that children can prosper from a divorce. She states that when the parents are happy, the child in turn will be happy, no matter if the parents live in the same house. The tension that will disappear with a divorce will also help the child to be more relaxed. Getting a divorce lets the parents be their own person and be the best parent that they can be for their child.


Another article from PsychologyToday also talks about the benefits of a divorce and how children can still be happy even after their parents separate. The author states that “80 percent of children of divorce adapt well and see no lasting negative,” and that the child will be better off when the parents are getting along and the child can have a good relationship with both caregivers. They also discuss that the necessary resources that a child needs can be provided even if the parents do not live in the same home.


The opposite belief is that divorce can hurt the health and well-being of children. Jane Anderson wrote a journal titled “The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effects of Divorce” in which she talks about the negative effects of divorce in children. The child would lose time with each parent in the midst of joint custody. Also, the child can develop trust issues which would cause the child to not have a close relationship with one or both parents. Children can be traumatized easily and they are at higher risk of emotional stress.


Another article that talks about the negative effects of divorce is “The Psychology of Divorce: A Lawyer’s Primer, Part 2: The Effects of Divorce on Children” written by Dr. Sandford M. Portnoy. Some facts he stated in the article were “The divorce rate in the United States hovers around 50 percent. One-half to two-thirds of those who divorce remarry.” Children of divorce are more prone to depression and anxiety after going through that loss. It was also found that children of divorce are more likely to engage in more delinquent behavior than those whose parents are still together.


In my opinion, I do believe that marriage is always a great thing to have in a family, but sometimes it is in the best interest of the child to get a divorce to remove the stress and tension in the household. If the two parents are civil and are able to determine a plan that works for both of them to be able to be kind and be the best parents that they can be for their children, that would be the best way that the children can flourish and work past the stressful times. This will also help the relationships between the children and both parents stay intact.




Anderson, Jane. “The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effects of Divorce.” The Linacre Quarterly 81.4 (2014): 378–387. PMC. Web. 23 Feb. 2018.



Portnoy, Sandford M. “The Psychology of Divorce: A Lawyer’s Primer, Part 2: The Effects of Divorce on Children.” American Journal of Family Law, vol. 21, no. 4, Winter2008, pp. 126-134. EBSCOhost,

Spotlight Post #1

As stated in the prompt, divorce is a catastrophic event that can happen in someone’s life, and especially in younger children. It is a major decision that definitely should be discussed and planned between the two adults before coming to this decision, as its aftermath could lead to multiple possibilities and it all depends on the two involved. Many researchers have been debating about whether or not this has a heavy psychological effect on children who suffer from this decision will either struggle growing up (with behavior, emotional, developmental issues) or will they end up being relatively exceptional moving forward.

I would first like to start off with the negative aspect of this argument

In the first article I found that it really discusses the negative emotional toll it takes on a child when going through divorce. The author, Jayna Solinger, made a very strong statement that describes divorce perfectly. She said,” Divorce, in any circumstance, rips a child apart, tossing him/her from one house to another, limiting time spent with his/her parents, and confusing him/her.” This description really gives the reader the perspective of what challenges a child is faced with while going through divorce. Then Solinger brings up what she thinks is the biggest problem that occurs during the divorce time period, which is whom the child is going to reside with. She further discusses in detail the effects of the custody battle and why both options (joint & split) are harmful to a child. Nearing the end of the article, she then introduces a statement that was said by a psychologist at the University of Michigan and a divorce expert. The paragraph discusses what his beliefs of divorce are and how they affect children as well. Solinger also added a refutation paragraph stating that not every divorce ends in an ugly matter and “isn’t always a terrible thing.” Following that, she then ends the article with a very heavy paragraph that generalizes her thoughts on the topic. “It generally proves to be more beneficial for a child if his/her parents stay in an imperfect marriage rather than getting a divorce. The various activities that are involved with a divorce severely damage a child.” I would say this is a credible source because it has many reliable resources that she used to construct her article, and it was also published by the Iowa State University.

In the second article I found, It strictly addresses the aftermath effects to children that happen with divorce. The author, Kristen Moutria, states 4 major problems: Difficulty coping, Trouble with Schoolwork, Dealing with Changes and Perceived Loss of a Parent. She separates those topics into four sub-paragraphs and discusses research or statement made by credible people about those topics, and then she briefly discusses why what they said or the research that was done about divorce and how those 4 subjects show how it is detrimental to a child. I feel that this is a credible source because all her statistics, or facts that she used were said or analyzed by reputable institutions and/or people.

In the third article, It is more of an academic journal that was based on research conducted and written by an undergrad at the University of Central Florida. Mainly the research journal discusses how most people have the belief that divorce is a horrid event that psychologically discombobulates children for the rest of their lives. but now, it was time to see if there truly are any positive outcomes. The author, Grant Mohi, discusses how he conducted an experiment to test this theory. Mohi used a multi-method research design, and surveyed data from 233 college students from divorced and intact families. He then randomly selected 10 of those who responded saying that they were from a divorced family, and had a face to face interview with them. His results ended up showing that “many young adults do experience positive outcomes after the divorce and that these outcomes are dependent on a variety of familial and social factors that shape the divorce experience.” It all depends on how an individual specifically reacts. I would definitely classify this article as a credible source because it was published by a reputable institution, has very factual evidence and statistics and seemed professional.

For the final article, I found an article that somewhat relates to the second article structural wise. In this article, the writer discusses the benefits of divorce to children and breaks those ideas into 4 sub paragraphs (communication skills, organization skills, time management skills and relationship building skills) about the skills that they possess because of a divorce situation. He goes into depth about how the skills benefit children, and some kids who don’t go through a divorce situation made lack in these skills. At the end of the article, there was a chilling statistic,”An estimated 40 million American families are living apart these days.” This statistic made me truly realize how common divorce is in society today. I would say this is a credible source because there were multiple statistics and factual-based evidence that supported the claims of the article. Though it is a .com website, it still seemed to be pretty credible

After reading all four articles, I would say that I still feel that divorce affects children in a negative way. Although, the positive side presented arguments that were some-what convincing, I have just seen multiple cases where it has destroyed families and individual people emotionally and physically. From personal experience, I have watched some of my closest friends go through divorce from all ages, from elementary to high school and almost all of them reacted in a negative way. They changed as a person and become someone who they or i never thought they would become, it was truly sad to experience.



Spotlight Post #1

For the first spotlight post of the semester, I chose to look into the first option; the topic of divorce and the effects it does, or does not leave on children. Divorce is a very controversial subject in today’s society, especially with the divorce rate continually inclining. There are many different opinions as to how divorce can leave an effect children, and I have found four different articles that share some of these opinions.

The first article I found is titled The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents by Carl E. Pickhardt Ph.D. Pickhardt firmly believes that divorce does leave negative effects on children. Pickhardt claims that when parents get divorced, their child’s, or children’s, trust in dependency upon their parents is effected. This is because there will now always be one parent absent, and they will have to learn to live between two different environments. This creates unfamiliarity, instability, and insecurity for the children. Due to these drastic changes, the child is also left with a great amount of anxiety. Children are often left wondering what might happen next, who will take care of them, and if it is possible for their parents the lose love for them just like they did for each other. Not only does Pickhardt have a Ph.D., but he is also a practicing psychologist and author which is why I am confident that his findings are credible.

Similarly to Pickhardt, Jane Anderson, author of the article The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effect of Divorce, feels that divorce does indeed leave negative effects on children. Anderson says that almost three decades of research has concluded that children who are living with both of their married, biological parents have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being compared to children who come from split families. In addition to this, a valid point that Anderson makes is that children may have to deal with a sense of economic insecurity after their parents divorce. Custodial parents on average lose anywhere from 25% to 50% of the pre-divorce income. This means that children have to cut back on many things without understanding why. All they are aware of is that they are no longer receiving as much as they used to which may cause anxiety for many young children. Jane Anderson is an author who is employed through the University of California. All of her information is properly cited, and she included research from a Harvard study. For these reasons I find her article to be trustworthy and credible.

While Pickhardt and Anderson do hold a strong case, there are still many who disagree that divorce leaves harmful effects on children. Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W. wrote an article to say that divorce does not harm children. In her article Divorce Doesn’t Harm Children – Parents Fighting Harms Children, Gadoua says that there is no real evidence that can support the opinion that divorce leave negative effects on children. This is because you cannot compare individual families who are getting divorced while they are also not getting divorced. You can however compare a family who is going through a divorce to a family who is not going through a divorce, but the results will essentially mean nothing because different people react to situations differently. She says that every family is unique, and there are many factors that need to be considered such as the timing of the divorce, the age of the children, the safety of everyone involved, and the financial status of the family. Susan Pease Gadoua is a licensed social worker, and she uses research from credible sources which is why I have found her research to be credible.

Similarly to Gadoua, Randy Dotinga, the author of Parents’ Fighting Has Long-Term Impact on Kids, feels that it is not the divorce itself that leaves negative effects on children, but the fighting that is often paired with a divorce does. Dotinga has collected research that states that children can sense when their parents are angry with one another, and it causes them to lose on average 30 minutes of sleep every night, which comes along with other effects such as irritability, behavioral problems, physical health issues, lower academic performance, and so on. Dotinga says that many parents do not divorce each other because they believe it is what is best for their children, despite the way they feel towards each other. He explains that this however may actually be worse for the children because they are now constantly living in an environment of hostility. Dotinga says that is often actually serves as a relief when their constantly bickering parents finally split. Dotinga collected much of his research from sources including the University of Notre Dame, Auburn University, the University of Rochester, and Brown University. For these reasons, I believe that his work is credible.

Based upon the information that I have gathered from reading these four articles, I personally believe that divorce does have negative effects on most children. Although both sides of the argument do make valid points, and it is true in some cases that a divorce may be better for a child, I believe that the uncertainty a child faces when their parents get divorced is very negatively impactful. This is especially true in the cases of younger children who cannot yet fully understand what is happening, why it is happening, and how to cope with the dramatic changes within their lives.   


Spotlight Post: 1

Divorce is a situation that is neither pleasant nor easy to deal with, for both the parents as well as their children. Previously, divorce was seen as a taboo and an act that was to be avoided at all costs. However today, divorce rates seem to climb higher and higher with the passing years, the phenomenon appears to be commonplace, and almost expected in some cases. However, the impacts of such a drastic change on children have two very strong and very different viewpoints. Some say that divorce has little effect on children, while others claim that divorce enacts irreversible damage. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a nonprofit group of over 8,700 licensed and experienced child psychiatrists, children who have parents in the midst of a divorce have the potential to become more vulnerable to poor mental health after suffering the traumatic experience of a divorce. These children face physical and social distress as aggressive tendencies, self-esteem issues, trouble with relationships and deep-set sadness and guilt tend to ensue (2013). Dr. Catherine Lee and Karen Bax of the US National Library of Medicine also support this claim stating that children that have parents going through a divorce experience emotional and behavioral changes in the ensuing months. The distress that the children face is many times connected to feelings of guilt and responsibility for the situation, as well as ultimately being separated from a member of their family unit (2000).

On the other side of the spectrum, Brette Sember, a former divorce attorney, mediator and Law Guardian from the Huffington Post, claims that divorce has the potential to actually save children from harm. In her 2015 article, “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids”, she states that an unhealthy marriage can expose children to extensive violence, abuse, and emotional trauma. She levels that divorce certainly has permanent effects on children, however, the argument still stands that two positive and healthy homes are better than one unhealthy and toxic one. While not every home environment that is considering or going through a divorce is abusive per say, the toxicity of the situation hinders healthy outcomes for children. Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld, advisors for Scientific American Mind, as well as associate and professors of psychology at University of Arizona and Emory University respectively, counter that children recover from the effects of divorce at a rapid rate. In their article “Is Divorce Bad for Children?”, it is stated that children that are exposed to less toxic relationships within the family unit are after better off than children that do experience it in a pre-divorce family. Stress brought about the situation can cause short-term struggle and ultimately may only affect the child seriously in childhood and adolescence. “Scientific research does not support the view that problems in adulthood are prevalent; it instead demonstrates that most children of divorce become well-adjusted adults” (Arkowitz, H., & Lilienfeld, S., 2013).
The varied stances on the effects of divorce tend to stand on a slippery slope. After compiling the information regarding each side, I have come to the conclusion that divorce is the healthiest choice in some cases and does not completely set the child up for failure in the future. This is not to say that it is the end-all-be-all answer, but rather if the situation is toxic and no other option can save the marriage divorce could serve as a viable last resort. Ultimately, the best outcome would be to keep the family unit intact to allow the child or children to have the best chance of developing properly and positively; yet, we do not live in a perfect world. In situations where the parental relationship causes obvious mental and emotional distress on the child, or in cases where the child’s safety and well-being are in jeopardy, a separation of the parents could prove to be the best option. In situations where divorce is used, the needs of the children should be taken care of first and foremost. The disruption of the family has clear effects on the child, and without proper attention from the parent and even counseling or therapy, the negative social and behavioral tendencies can become more concrete. The transition can be more traumatic if the situation is not handled with care; ensuring the child does not feel as though the sequence of events is connected to his or her actions, and that any concerns regarding self-esteem or acting out through aggressiveness and withdrawing are taken seriously, to promote greater outcomes. The physical and mental health concerns associated with children of divorced parents can be addressed in a manner that empowers the child and creates a healthy environment for him or her to grow up and become a well-adjusted adult.

Spotlight Blog Post #1

Learning styles are a range of different theories that claim to enable your brain to retain the most information. Each brain is different and that goes the same for their learning styles. Two common learning styles are kinetic and auditory. Kinetic learning involves hands on procedures and acting out examples to better understand content for learning. Auditory learning is being able to hear content being taught and be able to effectively learn. There have been many debates as to what type of learning styles are best for teaching students. Both are common learning styles are used in the classroom and both have been seen to be effective(PBS Learning).
Kinetic Learning as said before involves hands on work to facilitate learning. Students who are kinetic learners tend to be very fidgety when sitting still and seem to always be active and moving. Most times auditory and visual learning are not very effective for kinetic learners who often use movement to concentrate. According to Sarah Lipoff, kinetic learners need to be taught certain ways in order to keep their attention and effectively activate the brain to store information long-term. One way commonly used, is taking notes. Most classes require students to take notes to help them actively study terms and information, this gives the students an opportunity to stay active in a focused manner. Also, highlighters and colored markers are often offered to children to get them visually interested in note taking. The next, tactic for kinetic learners is simply keeping them active. Integrating physical games can be very enjoyable and beneficial to keeping children and even older college students excited about learning. A common method for this is incorporating quizzes and tests into downtime activities. The last tactic Lipoff uses is taking breaks. Kinesthetic learners can often be distracted by their environment and often tend to zone out during class lectures. By creating breaks where they can relieve any feelings of being overwhelmed or distracted. Stopping lectures to review or take a minute to just sit and recuperate. This is often used during longer lecture classes where teachers and professors may stop in the middle of lecture and ask the class to stand up and move around a bit to ensure they would be staying active and not falling asleep or losing focus. Kinetic learners are often said to be disruptive and a pain for teachers during class when really, they just need a little assistance to interact with the content they are learning (Lipoff).
Auditory learners are students who retain information more thoroughly when content is reinforced through sound. These students usually prefer to listen to lectures and hearing teachers rather than reading assigned texts. They could struggle with reading information or feel overwhelmed by complex diagrams. They can gain a full understanding of the information from hearing the teacher or professor explain the content for students to better understand. One way technology has been adapted to help auditory learners is by using the speech recognition tool for cell phones and computers today. Which can read content to the student without them having to cognitively decipher the complex information by themselves. These types of students tend to be good at picking up on verbal tones and rhetorical techniques used by instructors. This helps them better understand them meaning of the readings and lectures. Auditory learners usually like to repeat information orally and enjoy acting or being on stage. Group studying for these students tends to be more effective than individual studying since they can talk through problem sets and use different viewpoints of the content (Fleming).
Kinetic and auditory learning styles are both very common and effective for students. Teachers and professors have adjusted their own learning curriculum and lesson plans to accommodate for any learning style the students may have.


Spotlight Blog Post 1

Divorce is defined as the legal dissolution of a marriage contract. Divorce has a negative connotation because it is two people separating. One of the most frequently asked questions after a couple announces their divorce is where will the children go? Will they be okay? This is because divorce in some form will have an impact on the children whether it be negative or positive. Some sources believe divorce has a negative affect on children because of increased levels of stress or the possibility of later problems they could potentially face. Other sources disagree and believe the divorce does not have a strong effect if the parent’s happiness would increase if they were apart.

The rate of divorce has been increasing each year and now about one million children in the United States have divorced parents. Research has shown some children have increased stress due to their parents separating. This is due to any changes made to the home after the divorce meaning a new environment or less resources. The change may also have emotional stress put on the child. Often a child will “lose” a parent after a divorce because they may not see them regularly or one parent could have totally custody. The child may also be subject to arguments between the parents. If the adults do not get along, the child may feel caught in the middle of problems they face, or the child could constantly be hearing one parent degrade the other. The divorce may also place unnecessary pressure on the child as the parents could be fighting over custody thus causing the child to feel responsible for any conflict. Research has shown not only emotional issues during the divorce but also for the individual’s entire life. The rate of depression and behavioral problems increases significantly if the child has been through a parent’s divorce. The future relationships the individual may encounter is also a factor because it is shown children have lower self-esteem.The sources on the negative effects are credible because they provide little pathos when explaining the research conducted. Also, they show the counter argument because the research cannot apply to everyone involved in this situation. It is mentioned how the research was conducted and on what types of people though they could include more information about their statistics.

Though it is seen in some research, the negative effects outweigh the positive, this is not true for every situation. For many years before divorce has become popular, parents would stay together for the good of their children. This can be detrimental to the parents because they are miserable and the children because they are not experiencing their parents in a good state of mind. Abuse is also considered because it may not be safe for one parent to live with the other parent so if they stayed together this would put the child at higher risk for abuse. Also, according to the American Psychological Association, most children adjust to the separation within two years. This is not an extended amount of time. Although the children may suffer lower self-esteem as a result, only a small percentage of children with divorced parents also encounter marital conflicts in their personal lives. There is also research surrounding “The Good Divorce” which is a way for parents to meet all the needs for their children while not being married. In this, the parents put aside their personal feelings and focus on the well-being of the child. This theory works when the parents have good communication and a mutual understanding. These sources on the positive effects are credible because they provide the counter argument to a widely believed fact divorce is only harmful to children. It also provides many real problems including abusive situations.

I believe divorce is not good for any part of the family whether it be the parents or the children. It is a separation of the family unit and causes tension between family members. I do not have personal experience because my parents have been married for twenty-eight years but I have seen some of the effects it has had on my friends. Some of my friends have been through rehabilitation, counseling, and have suffered from depression stemming from their parent’s separation. They also suffer in their romantic relationships as they have not seen marriage play out well in their home. Others of my friends are thankful their parents have been divorced. Whether it be an abuse situation, absent parenthood, or general happiness that has been restored. They believe their parents are better off apart than together. Due to the situations I have walked through with my friends the research I have read has reaffirmed what I have known about divorce. Overall, I believe divorce is a sad thing but the effects of divorce on children depends on the individual and their situation.






Spotlight Blog 1

For years there has been a debate as to whether or not divorce is harmful to the children of the couple.  With different outcomes in every situation that occurs, it seems that more often than not the children are affected more than they let on.

In an article by Dr. Jann Gumbiner, she points out that so many things, not just the household suffer at the hands of this divorce.  For Gumbiner, she gives her own personal story of her parent’s divorce.  She talks about how she began to let her grades and studies slip because it was her way of rebelling against the decision.  Extra-curriculars between herself and her brother failed to continue because her father was gone, and her mother was too depressed to leave her bed, let alone leave the house (Gumbiner 2011).  Other articles, like one from Harry Benson, state that the financial aspect of the family can also suffer.  With one parent in the house, or one having to find somewhere else to live, it really hurts the family.  They may not be able to afford all of the things they were once able to, like yearly family vacations or cars for each child.

Divorce pulls the family apart, quite literally.  Say you have a family of four: mom, dad, daughter, son.  Mom and dad have been together for about sixteen year, and decide to get divorced.  The mother then takes the kids away from the father and moves into a new house down the street, when they had only been in this house together for about three years.  Dad wants to spend more time with the kids but cannot take them during the day because he works full time as a teacher, whereas the mother does not have a job.  He picks them up after school and takes them back to their new house, the one where he doesn’t belong.  The young son, who has Asperger’s, does not understand why dad does not live with them.  Why did they move to a new house and dad stayed behind?  They go over occasionally, to bake cookies, or to decorate the Christmas tree, or maybe just to hang out.  For the most part, though, he lived in this five-bedroom house by himself.  It broke the father down so much that he sought out the comfort of someone much younger than him and got himself in trouble.  The mother cut ties with the father and everyone he knew and turned many people against him.  The son did not understand what was happening, but the daughter understood everything and cried about it every night.  She tried to quit every activity she was in because of how upset she was.  The divorce tore the family apart and there is never anything that will put them back together.

On the other hand, there are people who say that divorce, although painful for everyone, can be planned out in a way that lessens everyone’s pain.  The way that Mark Banschick sees it, you can put a label on each of the parents, knowing which is the “healthier, more mature” parent.  Often painting the wife as taking the victim role, Banschick gives a list of ways to make the divorce clean and how to try to keep everyone as happy as possible.  It does say that therapy may be necessary for all those involved, including the children.  This article says that children will eventually grow and accept the circumstances.  It will not affect them the way it once did.  “Some will hurt forever while others will emerge stronger because of the experience.” (Banschick 2011).  Brette Sember of The Huffington Post says that “a good divorce is better than a bad marriage for kids” (Sember 2015).  She believes that children with happily divorced parents are better off than those in bad marriages.  There will be two separate but happier homes, the emotions in each house will not be as high, and the life skills that come from each parent once they learn to parent on their own.

I believe divorce hurts children tremendously.  Even the thought of divorce can take an emotional toll on a child.  When I was young, my parents got in a huge fight that ended in my mother threatening to call a divorce lawyer and her getting in the car and driving away.  She came back a few hours later after she calmed down and they sat down and talked about what had happened.  In those few hours, I cried at the thought of my mom leaving my dad.  They were a power couple and superheroes in my eyes, and I couldn’t lose one of my superheroes.  Years later, I still think about that day, that fight, that moment my mother turned the key of her car.  Divorce hurts, and the effects do not just go away.



Spotlight Blog Post #1

The extent to which a child is affected by divorce is a widely controversial topic. While no child goes through the divorce of their parents without experiencing any change at all, (for example, they would typically no longer be living with both of their parents anymore) the extent to which the child is affected is frequently debated. Psychologists have conducted extensive research in order to figure out whether divorce is typically detrimental to the state of the child, or if it really has no significant effect. One such experiment was conducted by the Clinical Psychology Laboratory at University of Chieti in 2015. Four hundred and seventy adults, who were products of a divorced household, were given anonymous surveys. These surveys measured the amount of feelings of alienation and issues with self esteem that surfaced later in life. They measured how many of the participants experienced neglect and other commonalities associated with divorced parents, a prevalent example being feeling as if one parent was trying to turn them against the other make the child choose a favorite. An association was found in self-esteem being positively correlated with parent care and negatively associated with overprotection. Meaning those that felt neglected developed feelings of low self esteem and those that felt crowded by the single, overprotective parent, also developed lower self-esteem. This study concluded that children who experience divorce, developed statistically significant levels of self esteem later in life.

Another study, also conducted in 2015, by psychologists Kathryn Lynn Modecki, Melissa Hagan, Irwin Sandler, and Sharlene Wolchik. This specifically looked into the effects that the absence of a father figure due to divorce has on the child. Statistically, in most cases, mothers are awarded custody over fathers. It was found that more mental health issues were reported by children that claimed to have little contact with their father. This was heightened in situations where the father was seen more often due to the increased amount of conflict that occurred between the parents. Those who are not exposed to their father as much following the divorce also had poorer psychosocial adjustment. These results supported the idea of a divided household being worse for the child.

Another study was conducted by Grant W. Mohi in 2015. This focused on offspring of divorced households and their success in romantic relationships later in life. Interviews found it to be statistically significant that the success of relationships did not correlate with divorce in early life. Despite conflict between their parents being reported, it was not found that this conflict was mirrored in the child’s adult life.

A personal account from sociologist Christine Carter also supported the idea of divorce. The overall message was that divorce was better for the children than remaining in a marriage that created a bad environment for the children. It was emphasized that the divorce had to be a ‘good’ divorce. Meaning, the parents remained in contact and conflict was avoided as much as possible. Healthy relationships were maintained between both parents and the child. It was supported that a more positive environment, whether divorced or not, is what’s best for the child.

In my opinion, divorce is ultimately bad for children. The evidence was overwhelming during my research. There were numerous articles and experiments conducted that supported there being significant negative effects on children that go through divorce. While a ‘good’ divorce was mentioned by a few sources, the chances of this happening are slim and it seems rare that it is achieved. I concluded each source above to be credible because they were scientific experiments that were reviewed and published. The last account was an example of primary research in how the experiment was conducted by the sociologist herself. It was supported by other cases that she researched. Overall, I find that there is a large amount of evidence supporting the theory that divorce causes negative effects on the children involved.



Verrocchio, M. C., Marchetti, D., & Fulcheri, M. (2015, November 03). Perceived Parental Functioning, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Distress in Adults Whose Parents are Separated/Divorced. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from

Elam, K. K., Sandler, I., Wolchik, S., & Tein, J. (2016, March). Non-Residential Father-Child Involvement, Interparental Conflict and Mental Health of Children Following Divorce: A Person-Focused Approach. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from  

Mohi, G. W. (2015, September 22). Positive Outcomes of Divorce: A Multi-Method Study on the Effects of Parental Divorce on Children. Retrieved February 20, 2018, from

Carter, C. (2012, March 19). The “Good” Divorce. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from