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Do Children of Divorced Families Perform Lower Academically?

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Do Children Of Divorced Families Perform Lower Academically?

Shaun Golden

EH 1020

Professor Catherine Croston

June 26, 2012

Abstract

In the last 20 years, research has shown how changes in family structure patterns have affected children. For several decades, the patterns of family makeup have changed hugely in the United States. This evidence has sparked concern as well as controversy about the effects these changes have on the well being of the children. Divorce is a heartbreaking experience that changes the lives of everyone it touches in some fashion. Divorce changes the structure and concept of family children have about the makeup of their family. Academic performance sometimes suffers because the child experiences stress from all the turmoil that takes place. Post-divorce education services can be a plus in helping parents and children during the adjustment process after divorce.

Shaun Golden

Professor Catherine Croston

EH 1020

June 26, 2012

Do Children of Divorced Families Perform Lower Academically?

Introduction

In the last 20 years, research has shown how changes in family structure patterns have affected children. For several decades, the patterns of family makeup have changed hugely in the United States. Research says that on an average, children perform better in school when they are reared by parents who are married and have a minimal amount of conflict in their relationship (Mulholland, 1991). Hargreaves (1991), says fewer children of divorce graduate from high school. About 10% fewer children go on to college if their parents are divorced and they are about 30% less likely to receive their college degree compared to children of married parents. This evidence has sparked concern as well as controversy about the effects these changes have on the well-being of the children. There are children raised without both parents who face an increased risk and this is certainly reason for concern mainly because these children sometime display serious problems. An increase in the numbers and proportion of children born outside marriage and a rise in divorce rates has contributed to a three-fold increase in the proportion of children growing up single-parent families since 1960 (Foulkes-Jamison, 2001). Academic performances sometimes suffer because the child is experiencing stress from all the turmoil. Sometimes it's due to the fact that with the divorce, the parent is available less to monitor the child's work at school or help with homework because there is less time. This happens because the parent has taken on more work hours to help support the family (Foulkes-Jamison, 2001). Children who are in intact families tend to have better academic success and are less likely to show evidence of academic and behavior problems in school.

Review of Literature

The days of having a mother to stay home and care for the kids while the father go off to work is almost unheard of in this era. Divorce is one of the culprits to thank for such a catastrophe. Divorce has to be one of the absolute biggest interruptions in a child's life. Although it is not an intended on a family's life, it has a definite effect on them differently and at different times. Literature shows that children from divorced families experience difficult adjustments such as social, academic, and behavioral compared to children of families who are still intact (Doherty & Needle, 1991).

There is research that shows the impact that divorce can have on children and their social life. It will look at the impact on the behavioral to academic relationship. The review of literature will provide an overview of what has already been concluded about children of divorced families perform lower academically than children of intact families.

Lots of children might experience some negative effects of divorce, but some of the effects may be different for some children. This could depend on the child's age, the sex of the child, and how well the parent or parents are involved in the child or children's lives. It is very important for parents to spend quality time with their children because this will help the children know that their parents still love them and no matter what, the divorce is not their fault (Foulkes-Jamison, 2001).

Mulholland (1991) conducted an investigation on how divorce can be stressful for all children, but that the effects can depend on the child. During the investigation, two ideas were formed. One of the ideas was that children who came from a home where divorce had taken place, there were deficits in academic performances compared to some children who came from families who were still intact. The

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