Effects of Divorce and Poor Parenting on an Only Child Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

As a result, the child's threshold for withstanding teen relationship challenges is reduced in future.

These personality traits are especially developed during adolescence because this is the period to which the boy would be defining ideologies behind relationships. It is also during this time that the boy's mental faculties would best comprehend attributes that define the relationship between a man and a woman. When the child is in the age group of 10-12/13, the impact might not be so domineering on the child's development as compared to later stages (14-18) in the life of the child (Livaditis, 2002).


Children brought up by narcissistic mothers are more likely to have a low self-esteem than those brought up by caring mothers. Narcissistic mothers make their children feel bad about themselves, thereby making the boy less confident, especially in his young adult life (between the ages of 13-18) (Chen, 2005). It is imperative that the child becomes less confident during kindergarten and early adolescent life when he compares himself to other children from caring parents.

The situation varies because children noted to live with caring fathers after divorce are more likely to avoid the negative impact of non-supportive mothers (Hopper, 2001).

When the boy is under 12, he is inclined to think there is something wrong with him because one parent is absent. Because a majority of kids have both parents, the boy is also likely to believe he is a minority. This situation is compounded by the narcissistic mother who would never bother to demystify this perception. She is likely to assume the child would grow out of it (Chen, 2005). The impact of this kind of psychological thought is reduced if a caring father showers the child with attention.

At about 10, the boy is likely to believe he is the cause of the separation. This then creates guilt in the child because he blames himself for the happenings that surround him. This is seldom the truth because divorces are usually a result of parental misunderstanding. This is usually unknown to the child. Nevertheless, the child develops fear out of guilt and this rubs on other social aspects like the ability to create formidable teen relationships with both sexes in future (Xiaosong, 2007).

Sexual activity

Normal child upbringing is affected by social, economic, family, and cultural factors. These factors also affect a child's sexual conduct especially through adolescent life. Research has affirmed that children brought up by narcissistic mothers are more likely to engage in risky sexual activity than children brought up by caring parents. The situation may be different if the boy's childhood life is dominated by the father. However, future relationships by the father with other women, other than the boy's mother are more likely to fuel promiscuity.

The boy is less likely to take caution in his adult life because he grows in an environment that disregards the sanctity of marriage. The situation is however different for children brought up in tight-knit families because they grow up in an environment of respect for both partners. These children also enjoy the support of extended families (on the side of both parents) thereby developing strong personalities, likely to see them sail through their adolescent lives, fairer than children from divorced families.

The situation may be complicated for the boy because separation would sometimes bring economic constraints when the father or mother leaves (depending on who is the bread winner). Adolescence is the most vulnerable time the boy could fall into the vice of sexual promiscuity because of biological and physical changes. The boy is also more likely to associate with detrimental peer groups and equally likely to engage in substance abuse, thereby increasing his likelihood of being an early teenage parent (Fine, 2003).

Aggressiveness and Disobedience

From the age of 10 to about 17/18 years, the boy is likely to be more fearful but disobedient. The boy may exhibit tendencies of immaturity, especially through his adolescent life. Though this personality complexity is also observed in children from complete families, the impact is much higher for children from divorced families. Fearfulness however stems from hostility by the narcissistic mother and disobedience would be brought by a rebellion from the mother's opinions for the father's (Fine, 2003).

In teen life, the effects of aggressiveness last much longer, with teachers noting increased tendencies of aggressiveness and disobedience among such youngsters. The boy is also more likely to run higher chances of breaking the law and experiencing arrest. In addition, such adolescents resist parental advice especially from mothers and the female sex (Hetherington, 2002).


Though divorce causes a varied number of detrimental effects on a child's development, the effects of a narcissistic mother doesn't affect all children. This is usually because some children emulate good patterns of behavior from their fathers. However, the effects of divorce and poor parenting are much more extensive than previously thought (Fine, 2003). Children coming from divorced families with poor upbringing are twice as likely to experience challenges in human psychological development right from early childhood into adult life.

Statistics pit children bound to experience such difficulties at around 20%-25% (Fine, 2003). Poor parented children are therefore more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies. As a result, they are more likely to rub shoulders with the police and the school administration the wrong way. When compared to their counterparts from complete families, these children are more likely to be sad, have low self-esteem and more depressed. Future relationships are also strained, with poor relationships experienced between such children with their peers, siblings, and parents. These children are also more likely to pose poor relationships in future and experience divorce. Research studies have also affirmed that early sexual activity is likely from this category of children during their teenage years. In early teen life, relationship intimacy becomes a problem and independence from their mothers becomes hard to attain as well. Consideration should therefore be made on the effects of divorce and poor parenting on the child's development when parents divorce.


Chen, J. (2005). Cultivating Resilience in Children from Divorced Families. The Family

Journal, 13(4), 452-455.

Fine, M.A. (2003). Divorce, Childhood. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum


Hetherington, E.M. (2002). For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered. New York:


Hopper, J. (2001). The Symbolic Origins of Conflict in Divorce. Journal of Marriage and…

Sources Used in Document:


Chen, J. (2005). Cultivating Resilience in Children from Divorced Families. The Family

Journal, 13(4), 452-455.

Fine, M.A. (2003). Divorce, Childhood. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum


Cite This Research Paper:

"Effects Of Divorce And Poor Parenting On An Only Child" (2010, June 11) Retrieved June 2, 2020, from

"Effects Of Divorce And Poor Parenting On An Only Child" 11 June 2010. Web.2 June. 2020. <

"Effects Of Divorce And Poor Parenting On An Only Child", 11 June 2010, Accessed.2 June. 2020,