Academic research has shown that 41% of all marriages end before their 30th year of marriage (Battams, 2013). Many studies dispute the fact that divorces only effects children psychologically, but this paper will focus on other important factors including emotional and behavioural effects along with short and long term effects a parental divorce will have on children. The purpose of this paper is to present the various types of ways that children cope with the stress and depression of a divorce. Of these various ways in which children cope with the stress of divorce, their are coping strategies that are proven to treat children effected by a divorce.
Girgis, George, & Anderson (2011) define marriage as the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together. These marriages are intended to last eternity and are partially accomplished by raising children together, yet four of every ten marriages lead to divorce and of these divorces, 35% involve children (Ambert, 2009). Children tend to blame themselves for the divorce and are usually caught in the crossfire. These divorces lead to both stress and depression for children and without a strong sense of family, children will have a huge disadvantage over children with a stable healthy family (Arreola, Hartounian, Kurges, Maultasch, & Retana, 2013). Without the ability to cope with the stress of a divorce, children can be effected in multiple ways including a change in mentality, unacceptable behavioural traits and both short and long term emotional factors that will ultimately lead to a critical issue in child development.
Mental Development of Children
Between the ages of nine to twelve are the most crucial ages for the mental development of a child. When a child’s parents decide to divorce it is very stressful and ultimately causes a lot of harm to the mental development of the child. Divorce is considered a termination of marriage which involves legal issues including alimony, child custody, child support, and the distribution of property. These issues tend to lead to larger risk factors for children involved.
A study conducted by Hetherington, Kelly, Mnookin, Moxnes, and Smart, (2002) showed that the majority of children they interviewed agreed that they now live in households with a much lower income. These children also had to change residence and almost every mother won custody of their child. These risk factors lead to a large amount of stress and even though every child handles divorce differently, statistically, they are more likely to have increased anxiety around being abandoned (Hetherington et al, 2002) as well as mental and academic difficulties (Pehrsson, Allen, Folger, McMillen, Lowe, 2007). It is also explained by Pehrsson et al. (2007) that the reaction and mental ability to cope with a divorce varies by age. A preschooler with...