The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension explains that the effects of a broken family on a child’s development depends on numerous factors, including her age when her parents separation, and on her personality and family relationships. Although infants and young children may experience few negative developmental effects, older children and teenagers may experience some problems in their social, emotional and educational functioning. Emotional
After a divorce, children from pre-school through late adolescence can experience deficits in emotional development. Children of all ages may seem tearful or depressed, which is a state that can last several years after a child’s parents’ have separated, explains psychologist Lori Rappaport. Additionally, some older children may show very little emotional reaction to their parents’ divorce. Rappaport explains that this may not be developmentally beneficial. Some children who show little emotional response are actually bottling up their negative feelings. This emotional suppression makes it difficult for parents, teachers and therapists to help the child process her feelings in developmentally appropriate ways. Educational
Slowed academic development is another common way that divorce affects children. The emotional stress of a divorce alone can be enough to stunt your child’s academic progress, but the lifestyle changes and instability of a broken family can contribute to poor educational outcomes. This poor academic progress can stem from a number of factors, including instability in the home environment, inadequate financial resources and inconsistent routines. Social
Divorce affects children’s social relationships for several ways. First, some children act out their distress about their broken family by acting aggressive and by engaging in bullying behavior, both of which can negatively affect peer relationships. Other children may experience anxiety, which can make it difficult for them to seek positive...
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