Statistics show that couples with children are 26% less likely to get a divorce than couples without children. About 40% of couples with children get a divorce while 66% of couples without children get a divorce (Divorce Statistics). Every year an average of 1 million divorces occur in the United States, and women initiate the divorce 65% of the time. The leading causes of divorce are lack of communication and indisputable differences. Often times children that have parents who go through divorce are mentally and emotionally unstable. Children that have parents who are divorced or who are in the process of going through a divorce respond and react differently.
There are four major effects that divorce has on a child: stress, risk, resilience, and painful memories with ongoing worries (Emery). Most children do not want to see their parents' marriage end in a divorce unless there is major conflict or they are arguing constantly. Children often blame themselves for their parents' divorce. Hetherington, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, found up to 25 percent of children with divorced parents "have critical long term social, emotional or psychological problems," compared to 10 percent of children from intact families (James). Children benefit from having their parents together.
Stress is one of the biggest effects that divorce has on children. Children are often torn between parents. Some families have a routine of one week with one parent and one week with the other, which is referred to as joint custody. In some cases the child will choose or the court will determine that the child is to live with one parent. Children find the most stress from this situation because they aim to please both parents, but the children are often not happy when they have to choose between one parent or the other. As children grow into their teen years they are constantly occupied with homework, extra curricular activities, and their social life. As they grow older it becomes more of a hassle to transport all of their belongings back and forth every week, leading more teens to decide to live with only one parent. Frequently, children will blame themselves for their parents' divorce even when it was just the parents inability to communicate effectively and clearly.
The second largest element that affects the child is risk. Children will become more at risk of anger, disobedience, and rule violations. Some children will be sad for a prolonged period of time which creates anxiety, depression, and mood swings. On the other hand, there are children that will become exceedingly responsible and comfort their parents as if they were the responsible adult. However, many children do poorly in school, become introverted, and/or lose interest in daily activities when their parents get a divorce. Frequently children get angry and take their anger out on others and act out much differently than they previously had.
Often times children display resiliency when...