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Impact Of Divorce On Adolescents Essay

2957 words - 12 pages

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2011 there were 2,118,000 marriages in the United States and almost half as many divorces (2013). The CDC also reports that only half of all first marriages will reach their twentieth anniversary. Divorce is a topic everyone is familiar with and it has almost become a normal part of life. While it is assumed that more divorces occur now than in the previous generation, the CDC actually reports that divorce rates have dropped over the past twenty to thirty years, though this could be due to the increase in individuals who live together without ever getting married or those who simply separate and cannot afford to become legally divorced. However, it has become a more talked about subject. Individuals will tell an engaged couple that half of all marriages end in divorce and then inquire why they are bothering to get married in the first place with only a fifty percent chance that it will last. They will joke that marriage is a life sentence and that the number one cause of divorce is being married; but divorce is not a joking matter. Those who have not witnessed or been involved in a divorce do not understand the impact it has on all those involved, no matter the age range, but particularly those who are in adolescence.
In Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law, divorce is defined as “the dissolution of a valid marriage granted especially on specified statutory grounds (as adultery) arising after the marriage” (1996). While the definition is technically correct, and it does supply one of the more common reasons for a divorce, it makes divorce seem like a very straightforward matter and does not even hint at the turmoil everyone involved goes through. For some couples, particularly those without children, if both of the individuals wish to get the divorce, it can be a fairly straightforward process, though not necessarily as quick as some may believe. However, if one of the individuals in the marriage is resisting the divorce, or situations are complex, such as children being involved, then divorces can take a long time to finalize and can become extremely messy affairs. The constant arguing, disagreements, snide comments and hateful words that occur during this time frame, which most likely started before the topic of divorce was even brought up, can take a toll on not just the two individuals whose marriage is ending, but everyone else who is involved, no matter how little their involvement is.
Adolescence is defined as “the period of transition between childhood and adulthood that involves biological, cognitive, and socioemotional changes” (Santrock, 2012, p. 16). This time period can be very stressful in itself with all the changes that are going on physically, socially and emotionally. Not only is an individual experiencing physical changes as they enter puberty but his or her social roles are also changing and that can be difficult to adjust to. It can be hard enough for a...

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