Family breakdown

Topics: Family, Mother, Extended family Pages: 7 (1961 words) Published: November 25, 2013
There are many different issues associated with the breakdown of a family, and various factors that contribute to the issues the arise from this. The cause of a breakdown could vary from mutual separation, financial stress, and poverty to domestic violence, Abuse, imprisonment or even death (Utting, 1995). Families vary culturally, financially and geographically. Research into how such issues effect the wellbeing of a child suggests that, depending on a families make up, depends on how the issues associated with family breakdown effects them. Some of the key issues identified from a family breaking down are; the cost it has on society, a child's wellbeing, mental health issues in children continuing into adulthood, severe anti-social behaviours, emotional and psychological stress, lack of educational achievement and lack of social competence (Jeynes, 2002). Due to there being a vast array of issues, this artefact will review the issues of mental health, anti- social behaviours, lack of educational achievement, all with regards to children and the cost of family breakdown to society.

Demographic and social changes over the last three decades have resulted in a more diverse, complex family situation. There are many more couples choosing to cohabit and become parents nowadays instead of marrying. Due to there being a higher proportion of parental separation within this group, there is a higher probability of a child experiencing being part of a step family or having a lone parent then was previously the case (Wallerstein,Lewis & Blakeslee, 2002). Over recent years there has been growing interest with regards to the impact this experience has on children. This is a key issue for policymakers since although the government wants to support stable relationships between parents, where they break down there is a responsibility to provide support to ensure positive outcomes for children (Miles & Stephenson, 2000).

Results Gathered from a public opinion poll commissioned by the Children's Society as part of their ongoing Good Childhood inquiry revealed in 2008 that mental health issues in children were increasing at an alarming rate. The report identified that 10 per cent of boys aged 11 to 15 and 13 per cent of girls had mental health issues at that time. this amounted to 300,000 young sufferers in total (Benson, 2010). It is estimated by professionals that more than a million children between five and 16 have a clinically recognisable mental health disorder. when questioned as to what pressures were causing them distress not only did the children identify family breakdown as a cause, so did 29 per cent of adults. Also identified as being problematic were poor family relationships, emotional distress and poor parenting, either by a lack of affection or the failure to show authority and set boundaries (UK failing to meet).

Children who are exposed to conflict between their parents prior to or following separation, or who feel themselves to blame for it, are particularly at risk of negative outcomes ( Harne, 2011). There is some evidence that age and gender are variables altering the impact of conflict on child outcomes, and that boys and adolescents are generally most affected (Buchanan, Hunt, Bretherton, Bream, 2001). Children as a result of such experiences are more susceptible to having a higher likelihood of anxiety, behaviour problems or withdrawal. It is suggested that youth of today are forced into a situation of having to grow up too quickly due to family dynamics and demands of society. Jeynes 2002 suggests that as a result of these factors, child and youth anti social behaviours and crime rates have dramatically risen According to the Youth Justice Board it costs the country on average 455 million pounds a year with regards to young offenders (Minister backs greater).

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said chaotic home lives and poverty made children unable to learn. Due to this, some...
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