Child Development And Divorce Essay

848 words - 4 pages

The dissolution of a marriage, or ‘divorce’ as it is known, was once an unusual occurrence and considered the failure of a wife to maintain a happy marriage [CITE]. Following a change in legislation in the 1960s that allowed partners to end their marriage without having to provide justification, in conjunction with the sexual liberation movement, the incidence of divorce more than doubled [CITE EVOLUTION OF DIV]. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics [CITE], the number of marriages ending in divorce has continued to rise, however, despite an increase in social acceptance, the negative impact divorce has on children has remained prevalent [CITE]. It is imperative for researchers to ...view middle of the document...

Using Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development [CITE], I will examine the negative and positive impact divorce has on different developmental stages, such as early childhood while the individual is learning basic trust and autonomy, middle childhood when the individual is learning to use their initiative and keep up with their peers, and adolescence when the individual is determining their own social roles and developing a sense of self [CITE].
From infancy to early childhood, Erikson suggests children are developing the capacity to trust their parent/s, due to their total dependency upon them [CITE ERIK]. If a parent is consistently available to attend appropriately to the child’s needs, the child will develop a sense of trust, which Erikson [CITE] believes allows the child to feel safe and secure. Conversely, if the parent is inconsistent in their provision of care, whether it be physical care such as feeding, or emotional care such as bonding, the child is likely to develop a sense of mistrust, which can lead to the belief that the world is inconsistent and unreliable, a perception that could potentially persist throughout development [CITE]. The transition in lifestyle created by divorce can contribute to feelings of intense stress and emotion [CITE]. Issues such as depression, anxiety, and insecurities both emotional and financial may arise, all of which have the potential to prevent the parent from sufficiently providing for their child, leading to feelings of mistrust [CITE]. As research suggests, the child may begin to question the permanency of their caregivers, particularly if one becomes absent from the family home following a divorce, which can further contribute to...

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