Cause and Effects of Divorce on Children.

Topics: Marriage, Divorce, Emotion Pages: 6 (1705 words) Published: March 5, 2004
Divorce in today's society is very common. Divorce also has terrible and lasting effects on children.

In today's society, marriages are less likely to last as they did 20 years ago. There are over 1 million

children that suffer each year because of the divorce of their parents. There are usually children involved

in almost all divorce cases. "Moreover, half of all children born to married parents this year will experience

the divorce of their parents before they reach their 18th birthday. This fact alone should give policymakers

and those whose careers focus on children reason to pause." (2) When things are not working in a

marriage, it is usually because of a breakdown of communication, common goals, or trust, and often this

starts the process of a divorce. A divorce is a very painful process with detrimental effects on children that

are involved. Depending on the childs age when the divorce takes place, depends on how much trauma

that child will endure. ""Social science research reveals that the effects of divorce not only impact a child

into adulthood, but they also affect the next generation of children as well."(Linaman)."

There are three common effects on children, they are depression, behavior problems and economic hardship. The psychological effects are normally considered long term and the hardest to deal with for children involved. The easiest of all effects of a divorce is a child is behavior outburst normally displaying aggression and a feeling of not caring about anything or anyone anymore. When parents are going through a divorce, they feel the need to protect their children from pain and anguish. Unfortunately, this is impossible. Divorce causes children to go through a number of mixed emotions. Some of the different emotions are fear of abandonment, feeling of hopelessness and fear of fault or guilt.

When one of the parents leave, it is hard for children to understand the concept of the situation. This causes children to fall prey to the fear of abandonment. The fear of abandonment and losing one of the parents is devastating on a child. How a child perceives their homes normally sets the level of damage children are going to have to cope with throughout the divorce and thereafter. If a child perceives the home as stable, they may handle a divorce well, but if a child perceives a home as freighting and scary place, they may try to avoid dealing with it at all. The trauma that a child endures will probably be worse than a child in a stable household environment will. The most important issue that affects the level of perception and a level of damage is the age of a child when the parents divorce. Younger children will normally take a divorce of their parents more personally and handle it worse than an older child would. Children always feel that since one parent has abandoned them, the other will leave also.

Children also go through feelings of hopelessness. This is caused by not being able to better the situation. They become stressed because they cannot bring their parents back together. Another feeling that children deal with when going through a divorce is feeling of fault. They feel that it is there fault or that they had done something wrong to make that parent leave. There are many things that go through a child's mind that make them become depressed during a divorce. The psychological effects are more categorized as long-term effect that leave the children feeling responsible and blaming themselves for the guilt of a divorce everyone going through. Most children exercise a sense of loss during a divorce that can only be compared to as lost of a loved one. Feeling of rejections and loneliness normally confuses a child to the point of depression and some times suicide. "The single best predictor of teen suicide is parental divorce and living in a single parent household." (2). The struggle as a child try's to keep in contact with the absent parent without offending...

References: Internet resource:
World Wide Web:
(1) Linaman, Dr. Todd E. "The Effects of Divorce on Children and Families ' '. Healthy
Family Living article - Marriage. [].
(2) Fagan, F. P. & Rector R. (2000). No. 1373 "The Effects of Divorce on America".
Produced by the Domestic Policy Studies Department. Published by The Heritage
Foundation. [].
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