The Effects of Divorce on Children
Monique L. Tindal
PSY 496 Applied Project
Instructor: Natasha Vannoy
October 17, 2011
The Effects of Divorce on Children
What happened to the famous words “until death do us part”? Every couple has their personal reasons for making the decision to end their marriage. Within those personal reasons where are the thoughts of the children who became a part of this marriage. Are they concerned with how their children are affected? The intent of my study is not to say that divorces should not take place, my intent is to provide additional information on the topic of children who are challenged as a result of their parents decision to separate. As you continue to read this paper I will address the topic more into detail as to why and how I chose it, others who have studied it, and the type of research approach taken as well as other approaches that could be taken.
“The Effects of Divorce on Children” has been chosen as my topic of interest. I chose this topic based on educational and personal reasons. Breaking my topic down a little further into detail I am focusing on the different ways and areas in which children are affected by divorce.
So, why did I choose a topic such as how divorce affects children and their daily lives? I chose this specific topic of interest because divorce is an ongoing topic of discussion in several parts of the world especially here in the United States. I think that it is important for parents to consider how the impact of their decision to divorce affects their children mentally, physically, and emotionally. The rate of divorce changes from year to year with rates higher in some areas than others. Just as the rates of divorce change by either increasing or decreasing, the numbers of children affected as a result changes as well. These children are faced with challenging transitions that should not go unnoticed.
DIVORCE: A BROKEN DREAM Divorce is now part of everyday American life. The effects of divorce are embedded in our laws and institutions, our manners and mores, our novels and children's storybooks, and our closest and most important relationships. Indeed, divorce has become so pervasive that many people naturally assume it has seeped into the social and cultural mainstream over a long period of ...
What do I find so interesting about the study of children who are affected as a result of their parent’s divorce? I find this topic to be very interesting because I see many children who suffer in many different areas of their lives because they are being placed with one parent after spending years in a two-parent household. This topic has been studied previously by many psychologists and I have been able to apply their findings to children that I know face these challenges based on their parent’s decisions. I cannot personally say that I experienced changes in my life as a child based on a divorce between my parents but I can say that changes in my life as a child have been influenced by the unstable relationship between my parents. Although they were not legally married they were together for the last 25 years. I lived in a household of two parents for many years and when the situation changed I changed mentally and emotionally. Having to go from one parent to the other when all I wanted was to be with them both was very difficult at times at least during my early years of childhood.
Before narrowing down to the topic “The Effects of Divorce on Children” I started with the general topic of divorce. The topic could be further broken down but I want to focus on all areas at once as I address children in these situations.
In today’s society the parent to child relationship changes with both custodial and non-custodial parent. From a personal perspective I have seen the changes children go through first hand. Being engaged to my fiancé who was previously married with two young boys made me want to learn more about the challenges that the children face on a daily basis or will face in the future. He has been out of the home with his ex-wife and boys for almost 5 years, so his kids were very young when things changed. His boys are 6 and 8 years old who are stuck between the love of both their mother and father. The boys went from being in a well stabled home to a home of less stability. The oldest son displays a mixture of feelings. He is currently at the stage of his transition where he tries to please both parents and keeping things neutral between the two. From my personal observation I see that he feels that it his job to make sure his parents get along and are able to communicate without any objections. Speaking of the actions from both of the boys I think that they both love their parents dearly but still wish that they could still have both parents at the same time again one day.
Abstract Currently, 50% of today’s children are affected by parental divorce. Court dockets across the country are rife with angry parents embroiled in contentious divorce proceedings that are often protracted by custody and child support disputes. Children of these broken and failed marriages are stuck in the midst of a traumatic event. Whatever parental strife existed prior to divorce is now ...
Just as psychologists have discovered in previous research studies about children who suffer from the separation of their parents, this can be an overwhelming situation for some. From previous classes of theories I would have to associate this topic with a theory of attachment by psychologist John Bowlby. “Emotional attachment is a universal capacity of all primates and is important for health and survival all through life.” (Wade & Tarvis, 2008) From this it is proven that children gain a sense of security from their caregivers. I used this as an example because once a child has gained that sense of security losing it can feel like the worst thing that has ever happened to them.
In relation to other studies I would say that this is a topic that can be approached from several different perspectives. For example from the perspective a psychological counselor, a behaviorist perspective (psychological theory of behavior), an educational perspective and many more perspectives this topic can be addressed. The type of approach depends on the type of information that is of interest. The type of approach that I would take would be from the perspective of a behaviorist. I chose this particular type of approach because I think that it is all based on the mental, physical, and emotional behavior of the children when they are faced with such challenges.
Regardless of age, race, sex or religion, divorce has devastating, often long-term, consequences. The immediate effects of divorce, such as hurt, anger and confusion, are evident in both children and adults. The longer-term effects are not so easy to pin point. Adults are usually able to articulate their emotions and verbalize their distress, anger, pain and confusion to help themselves through ...
According to an article about the attachment theory, “Attachment and Divorce: Family Consequences” (Eagan, 2004) when children are put in such situations as a divorce they often lose some degree with attachment figures in their lives. Children experience stress that may result in behavior issues. Some of the behavior issues that they may encounter as a result of the divorce can consist of problems in school, low self-esteem, adjusting and re-adapting to a new type of life. (Eagan, 2004) The transitional phase from what I see and experience with my fiancé’s and my soon to be step children is the most difficult stage of the divorce outcome for the children.
Although there are many studies that shows results in which children are affected negatively there are other studies that detect normal behavior as if the changes had no affect. This article or study “Attachment and Divorce: Family Consequences” took both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. The mixed method theory worked well in this case because a lot of the study is based on observations and others are based on actual numbers and statistics.
For this study of choice I would prefer using the mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative. I would use the qualitative method when observing the behavior and social interactions with others as well as their physical appearance. As for the quantitative method approach I would refer to previous research and comparisons to the numerical statistics from years prior. Comparing the ages at which children who suffer from divorces behave compared to others of that age as well as sex or gender.
In Conclusion, I hope you have gained enough information from this paper to understand how children who are victims of a marriage gone bad are affected. Remember and note that everything in life is not always good or always bad just a mere balance between the two. Sometimes we as parents let alone human beings have to make tough decisions and judgment calls when under difficult circumstances. In making those hard decisions we not only affect our lives but others that are joined to us through marriage and life challenges, our children. We must take the time to consider them and their feelings. Also, keep in mind that in making the best decision you should not base your choices on others situation or life style experiences, do what is best for you and your family. Children should not be seen as an object that can be passed from one parent to another. Just like in a game of chess, you have to make your first move your best move and always remember just because the grass looks greener on the other side does not mean that it really is or that it is for all. If ever placed in a situation as such, take the time and make the best decision that will eventually lead you to a brighter future not just for yourself but for everyone as a family. If this is your situation then providing the necessary support and guidance for your child or children as they adjust can be well worth your time.
Children who are brought up in families that do not have large amounts of money are better prepared to deal with the problems of adult life than children brought up by wealthy parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Families have different financial levels and some people think that this variety of the family budgets have an impact on children skills. I believe that ...
Eagan, C. E. (2004).
Attachment and divorce: family consequences. Retrieved from
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Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2008).
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Education, Inc. (Wade, & Tavris, 2008)