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How Divorce Affects Children Essay

987 words - 4 pages

Divorces in the United States are often only thought about from a single perspective, that being the two spouses involved. However, children are severely affected by the aftermath of divorces probably even more so than the parents, especially on the long-term basis. About one third of children experience this fallout, and of those divorces only a third claim to have done all they could to save their marriages (Holst). Based on middle-class cultural norms in modern society, both the psychological and physical effects on children from parental separation constitute many factors during and after the divorce.
Assessing consequences of divorce on children are both subjective and problematic ...view middle of the document...

Intense emotional disturbances in children caught in their parents’ divorce spur from the interplay of stresses that accompany the tumultuous time period. Mental health problems arise where children tend to be less secure, lonelier, and have the need for independence in order to make it through life since trusted support is not present (Holst). They also almost always feel that they suffer from their parent’s mistakes and carry, usually negative, memories and feelings of the divorce into their own romantic relationships (Intro to Sociology).
The long-term scope of divorce for children depends largely on how the parents deal with the process, especially after they are distinctly living two separate lives. Judy Mann found that the way they act towards the children has more impact than the actual divorce and the parents can determine whether the inevitable trauma induced on the children is temporary, in which they learn to cope with their emotions, or long-term where intense mental health problems dominate their lives. “Ongoing parental conflict results in lower academic performance, negative self perceptions of social competence and being less intelligent or popular than peers” (Emery). When parents are harmonious, children function more competently without their development being jeopardized, so it is crucial that they diligently cater to the emotional needs of their children to avoid sustaining the trauma and all that it involves (Karoly).
As a child of divorce, I personally am able to relate on these realms of severe emotional upset. I have since made peace with my parents, but it was a long time coming. Immediate reactions that followed the split were as severe as those that other children experience, and given that it took place my senior year of high school made matters all the more difficult, compared to if it had happened when I was young it would’ve been the only way I knew and seemed normal. As an only child, when my...

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