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Psy 210 - Effects of Divorce on Children

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Effects of Divorce on Children

Psychology 210


The purpose of this paper is to show the effect of divorce has on children. The divorce rate has significantly increased over time in America. The effects of divorce have a great effect on the development of child. There are many long term effects that reach farther than just a few years into a child's life. Divorce does not happen; it deeper into a child psychological development. To help decrease divorce rates people need to be held accountable to their children along with their spouse. Several methods to prevent divorce are pre-marital counseling, waiting periods, and mandatory counseling before finalization of divorce, or America regaining a focus on God. A method to help when the divorce is inevitable is maintaining a healthy relationship with the custodial and non-custodial parent. Through all stages of divorce shows major negative impacts on children's lives.

Effects of Divorce on Children

America has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. The purpose of this study is to look at the effects divorce is having on the following generations. It must be determined whether or not we are effecting future generations negatively. The divorce rate has significantly increased over time in America. According to Spratling (2009) "It is estimated that 40% of all marriages have ended in divorce as of 2008."(p.9a) This is nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce. With such a significant amount we must look at the impact we are having future generations.

Wallerstain (1991) showed in that even six years after a divorce, children had tendency to feel lonely, unhappy, anxious, and insecure. This is a problem. If children are feeling this way a solution must come that will help parents and children in the event that a divorce is necessary. Measures need to be put in place that will help prevent divorce. Our nation is in a moral decline. No longer is marriage a promise it is just a relationship with one person. The view of marriage is becoming blurred and need to be taken seriously. Not just for yourself but for your family.

Divorce is becoming an epidemic that is diseasing our nation and our world. The ideology, when things get hard between my husband and me, that it's ok to run, needs to change. For us to have a great effect on children and adolescent's development we need to take look at methods that can help treat this. A Biblical prospective should be taken when looking at divorce. When our country was formed we said one nation under God. Our county has a Biblical founding therefore, Biblical methods as well as modern day counseling methods should be used to help treat this epidemic. According to Eleoff (2003) 10% of children had support from adults other than relatives.

We can see that divorce has a major impact on children and adolescents. Eleoff (2003) found that divorce is an event that has long term consequences on psychosocial of children, adolescents, and young adults. The most frequent indicator centering around anxieties and fear. We are not to be a people of fear but of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7 KJV).

Demo and Acock's (1988) study showed that:

"Children of divorced families and intact families when compared show children's emotional adjustment, gender-role orientation, and antisocial behavior are affected by family structure, whereas other dimensions of well-being are unaffected" (p.619).

Creating a generation of people who have antisocial behavior and are confused on their gender-role will never allow our country to progress forward. Antisocial behavior not only affects them while they are children but continues on into their adult life. With this type of behavior it is hard to relate to people and have friendships due to the fact that you are afraid you will be abandoned again.

There are several methods that could be put in place to help with the issue of a divorce. The state of North Dakota has a divorce bill that is currently taking a lot of heat. If the bill is passed it will make families filing for divorce wait one year and attend 10 one hour counseling sessions. While this is an effective way to force people to consider what they should do in the case of their children it is not effective in preventing it. Another method to look at is pre-marital counseling the state of Minnesota gives a discount on marriage license if the couple attends 12 one hour counseling sessions. While these methods are government imposed with no real Biblical backing the only true way to eliminate divorce is to get our country's focus back on God.

While divorce will continue there should be was set up that will help children develop into functioning adults. Children must be nurtured by both parents. Even if a child is from a divorced family it does not mean it has to be a broken family.

Hess and Camara's (1979) study showed that:

For divorced and intact groups combined, the relationships among family members appeared to be more potent influences



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