The rate of children affected by divorce is growing

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Even though this review has shown that children from divorced families are not overwhelming worse off psychologically, anyone who has a conversation with a child or young adult whose parents have divorced will tell you that these young people still seem to experience considerable distress about the breakup of their families and that these feelings linger. Some new work with these children indicates that while children may not be significantly impaired as a result of the divorce, they do carry painful memories. Laumann-Billings and Emery (2000) report that young adults in the early 20s who experienced the divorce of their parents still report pain and distress over their parents’ divorces ten years later. Feelings of loss about the relationship with their fathers was the most common report. Those young people who reported high conflict between their parents were even more likely to have feelings of loss and regret.

There is also some evidence that young adults whose parents divorce feel as if they had little control over their lives following divorce including the transitions between households. Less than 20% of children report that both of their parents talked to them about the impending divorce and only 5% say that their parents tried to explain why the divorce was occurring and were given a chance to ask questions (Dunn et al., 2001). Children report more positive feelings and less painful memories of household transitions when they were given some chance to voice their ideas about visiting or living arrangements (Dunn et al., 2001).

These continuing painful memories and feelings of helplessness help us to further understand the experience of children following divorce and provides some useful ideas about ways to reduce these painful situations.

Overall Conclusions

The overall results of these studies suggest that while children from divorced families may, on average, experience more major psychological and behavioral problems than children in intact families, there are more similarities than differences. The most important question is not whether children from divorced families are having difficulties, but what particular factors cause these differences. Current evidence suggests that the loss of contact with parents, economic difficulties, stress, parental adjustment and competence, and interparental conflict all contribute at least to some degree to the difficulties of children. Some new findings shift our attention from major problems to milder but important long-term painful memories and feelings of helplessness. These feelings can continue well into young adulthood which reminds us that there are many things we can do to help children. These results provide significant implications to practitioners interested in designing interventions for children and adults in divorcing families.

The children are the main aspect of this split relationshipthat are affected, however the severity of the effects are dependent on severalvariables.
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For example, although most children of divorcees donot have teenage pregnancy or drop out of high school, children who havedivorced parents are twice as likely to have a teenage pregnancy or drop out ofhigh school than children who have married parents or parents that are stilltogether (Arnold 1). Statistics also show that children who are involved withthe divorce of their parents are more likely to have severed relationships withtheir parents rather than children whose parents are not divorced.

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A wide array of emergent problems has been observed in children of divorce. According to many psychological studies, such as those of Zill (1993) and Pfiffner, McBurnett and Lahey, et. al. (1999); children from divorced families have higher incidents of behavioral and learning disorders due to factors such as a lack of parental presence, discipline, and guidance during key developmental stages in life. From a sociological perspective, this may also be in part due to lower education and SES, which limits educational and other financial resources. Children from divorced households have also been found to have poor interaction with their fathers and mothers (Zill, 1993). Family interaction, as a whole, may suffer a permanent deficit of communication, as one parent have to make providing for the family a priority over family interaction.

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This researcher hypothesized that one of the effects on individuals from parentally divorce families would be decreased trust towards biological parents, who may be seen as responsible for driving one parent away or disrupting the family unit as a whole.

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This is believed to be the result of having dysfunctional relationship examples set for them. Adult children of divorce, according to available literature, generally seem have lower optimism about having successful relationships and also tend to be more likely to divorce. Parental divorce, for many individuals, still has lingering effect in adulthood that adversely affects opposite sex relationships.

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Ifind this subject interesting because lots of my friends whose parents aredivorced lead relatively normal lives, and it seems like the divorce does notaffect them emotionally or mentally.

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The entire survey was approximately 47 total questions, 4 of which were basic control questions at the end regarding age, race, and gender. The last question was an open ended question that asked how parental divorce had affected the life of participants. This question sought to cover any aspects of the study that may have been overlooked.