This paper considers the effects that divorce has on children under the age of 18. Some of the areas considered are: the emotional impact, the different impact on ages infant to teenager as well as examining the long-term effects that are carried into adulthood. This paper also looks at ways to help children cope during the various phases of the divorce and how to understand if and why a child places the blame upon themselves for what is happening.
The Impact of Divorce on Children
Multiple studies have been completed on the numerous ways that divorce impacts children under the age of eighteen. In one study that began in 1973 shows that at least one million children per year are affected by divorce and this number increases slightly each year (McGuinness, 2006). Considering the fact that one out of every two marriages today ends in divorce and many divorcing families include children, the number of those affected is very high (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012). Emotional Impact
One of the most obvious ways that a child is impacted is emotionally. “Nearly all children and many adolescents initially experience separation and divorce as painful and traumatic.” Communication is very important for children during divorce. Children may become frightened and confused during divorce. They feel a loss of their security and they may even blame themselves for breaking up their parents. In fact, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012 “divorce can be misinterpreted by children unless parents tell them what is happening, how they are involved and not involved, and what will happen to them.” In 2001, Foulkes-Jamison’s article stated that often, children initially focus on these immediate negative effects of the family breaking up, and do not find comfort in knowing that other families that have divorced...