English 110 Section 41
12 November 2012
Divorce is an ever-increasing event in many relationships. The widespread impact of divorce cannot be understated. However, research studies on divorce generally focus on its causes, economics and legal ramifications. Rarely is the primary topic of study the impact of divorce on the children of the dissolved marriage. In this paper, I will explore some of the concerns and issues faced by children, particularly young children, of the broken home. Historically, since the 1960’s, the rate of divorce has risen. In 1972 alone more than a million families have been directly entangled with the unpredictability of divorce. Unfortunately, for the family, the odds greatly increase for a second divorce to take place after the first (Zinsmeister, Karl 1978). Which means even more disruption within the house, which can be especially hard for children to understand on a subsequent occasion of divorce. Children are needy, vulnerable and view their parents as being the almighty. Parents are usually put on a pedestal because kids naturally thrive on the affection, discipline and acceptance of their mother and father. It is inescapable that a child’s life will be influenced by life at home, whether positive or negative.
“In highly conflictual marriages, divorce may actually improve the emotional well-being of children relative to staying in a conflicted home environment.” (Jekielek 1998). Divorce can be constructive tool to getting a life on track and getting a family out of misery. It also has been known to instill healthy fear into the children so that they will review their choices cautiously regarding marriage (Dennison and Koerner, 2008). However the end of the marriage is potentially devastating to the child who often thinks it is his or her fault that their parents no longer love each other. The parents my unwittingly promote this unfortunate belief by making the child a pawn, weapon or object fought over (MacQueen, Ken). This type of solution for an unhappy couple may be the groundwork for a troubled emotional upbringing. Many children would aspire the parents to reevaluate, years later, and their final decision; revisit their motives, and learn to understand the aftermath of divorce. Unless the non-custodial parent takes special time out for the children, the relationship between the child and that parent will be subjected to pain. The expense of maintaining contact is one of the most common reasons given for lack of contact, in addition to geographical distance and interference with a parent’s new relationship. Furthermore, expert Sociologist Cherli, Andrew mentioned, “For most men, children and marriage are part of a package deal. Their ties to their children depend on their ties to their wives.” Evidently, once a caretaker makes the choice to remarry, they are seemingly known to neglect the child even more since the previous divorce. Consequently, if a parent is not the primary guardian, they may tend to malign the other parent in some cases. Dossett #3
Judith Wallerstien’s landmark study provides further evidence of the extensive and deleterious ramifications of divorce. More than half of the study population performed badly in preschool and demonstrated increasing emotional instability into adolescence. The group showed signs of bizarre appetite and attention-seeking behavior as much as five years post-divorce. This study establishes the long-term impact of divorce on the developing child. In another study, Wallerstiens found that two- thirds of the study showed signs of added stress and the other third ended up getting sicker with diagnosed sociological problems. Dossett #2
In a recent study, social aspects, poll was taken of ten-divorced families. Nine of the ten children where relinquished to the mother for full custody. Systematically one of the ten only saw the other parent as...