The Effects of Divorce on Children

Topics: Marriage, Divorce, Family Pages: 7 (2629 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Back in the day, divorce wasn’t what it is today. It was never just a “thing”. Divorce was, in a sense, a taboo. But if they did, society would look down upon them, and the women would be left with nothing. The husbands would take the house, the money, and in most often cases, leave the kids. There were no divorce laws, stating that each side gets fifty-fifty. Or joint custody. Nor was there any alimony. Society was extremely unfair to both men and women, stripping them of their basic human rights. It’s now looked at as an overly-fair, easy way out of a marriage one does not care for anymore. However, in the world we live in today, most couples choose not to divorce, whether it is because of the money, or because they do not want the children to have to go through the difficulties of a divorce. Though divorce has clear negative repercussions on children, including stunted cognitive and social abilities and stressed family ties, the complete dismissal of divorce could harm children even more severely, due to the constant conflict and possible abuse. In actuality, if parents properly guide their child through the divorce, it can result in a stronger bond between the child and each of his or her parents. The average divorce rate in America is about 3.4. That’s more than twice the amount it was ten years ago, in 2002, when it was 1.4. According to The Daily Beast, “if you’re a married American, your marriage is between 40 to 50 percent likely to end in divorce.” 50% of all North-American children will witness the divorce of their parents. Almost half of them will also see the breakup of a parent's second marriage. 40% of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. 50% of all the children born to married parents today will experience the divorce of their parents before they are 18 years old. Children that are living with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent physically healthier than children from broken homes. Children of divorce tend to be more aggressive toward others. This is especially the case for boys. While so much attention is given to the negative effects of divorce on children, what about the effects of children living in a broken home? Many studies have examined the effects of divorce on children, specifically young children, and the some of the most common results found were that the children had problems with cognitive and social abilities, behavior, attachment to mother, emotional adjustment, and gender-role orientation. Children with non-intact families did not perform as well on tests of cognitive and social development at 15, 24, and 36 months old, than those with intact families. At 15 months old, children with divorced parents were less securely attached to their mothers and showed less positive behaviors when interacting with their mother. Furthermore, these children had poorer social abilities and more behavior problems at 24 and 36 months old (Baer, Hoffman, & Mooney). Other studies have also shown that about 20-25% of children from non-intact families have serious problems with their cognitive and social abilities, whereas only about 10% of children in two-parent households share the same issues. These problems with their social and cognitive abilities later on cause the children to have issues in their intimate relationships. Also, gender-role orientation is a problem that arises at a very young age for the children with separated parents, due to the fact that they are missing a certain parental role in their lives, whether it is their mother or their father. Even if they do have split custody, children need to have both parents around at all times during the crucial early stage of development, because they learn from the people they are around the most. Divorce also has its major effects on older children. Most of the older children have already grown out of the vital early developmental stages; therefore, they are more prone to...
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