Impact of Divorce on Children Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Divorce on Children

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Impact of Divorce on Children

Impacts on Education of Children

Impacts of Relocation on children

Strategies to Reduce the Impact of Divorce

The latest studies have indicated that parental divorce has a negative impact on children. Children who experience divorce are more likely to experience social, psychological, educational and behavioral problems. This research paper describes that why such problems prevail in children and how these issues affect the competency level of these children. The paper also seeks to find out ways through which the impact of divorce on children can be reduced.

Impact of Divorce on Children

Research Methodology:

A detailed survey was conducted in different schools and institutions in order to find out the behavioral changes among the children having intact and separated parents so that the impact of divorce on children could be determined. Some secondary data, including books, magazines, journals and website publications have also been used for this research paper.

Introduction And Background:

According to a study in the era of 1960s, nearly 90% of children had intact families, that is, they lived with their married biological parents. This statistics has declined dramatically in the present time as now the number of children living in intact families is only 40%. There are three major reasons behind this decline. Firstly, a large number of infants nowadays are born to unmarried couples. Secondly, divorce laws have changed a lot, and they now allow people to file divorce without asking for specific harms and causes. Thirdly, there has been a dynamic shift in social and economic shift and women now have an access to employment and education, which may create family problems. In addition to that both men and women give heavy influence to sexual fulfillment, and this also increases the chances of divorce. ("Divorce and children," 2001)

The above mentioned factors have greatly changed the family structure since last 30 years. About 45% of first marriages now end in divorce. The percentage of second marriages ending in divorce is 55%. Nearly 84% of the children who have separated parents live with their mothers. The rate of remarriage among men is 75% whereas, among women its 66%. As the rate of divorce in second marriage is quite high, therefore, most of the children go through this trauma twice in their lives and it has quite adverse impact on their lives. ("Divorce and children," 2001)

Literature Review:

In an analysis conducted by Pryor and Rodgers in 2001 they concluded that 'the well being of children following parental separation and divorce in areas including: social and emotional functioning in childhood; education and socio-economic outcomes in adulthood; physical health and development in childhood and adulthood; mental health and well being in adolescence and adulthood; and family and intimate relationships in adolescence and adulthood.' ("The well being," 2009)

According to Marie Gindes, divorce has a number of psychological impacts on children. It greatly affects children's 'sense of security and stability' as the two people who are the closest to them and whom they consider the most reliable are no more with them. This realization crumbles the confidence of a child and affects all the aspects of his life greatly. (Gindes, 1998)

Impact of Divorce on Children:

It was indicated by a study that children coming from divorced families face more problems than those coming from intact families. These problems include, fewer social skills, declining academic performance, development of negative perspective or point-of-view, psychological and behavioral imbalances, etc. (Amato, 1994) Following are the major causes that contribute towards the preceding problems:

Loss of Parents:

Parents play an important role in the life of children. According to a study, after divorce the separated parent, in most cases the father, meets the children 4 times in a month, and it has also been indicated that 20% of children have no contact with their father after 2 to 3 years of divorce. The quality of father child relation greatly impacts the behavior of a child. It is found out in a study that children with parents, who put limits and expectations, were quite better than those with separated parents. (Hughes Jr., 2005)

Economic consequences:

The children with a single parent have other difficulties due to the change in the income level. The income of the custodial parent, who is mother most of the time, is obviously lower than both the parents. The family income and financial conditions are complementary to the child's well being but there are other factors related to shortage of money that cause bigger problems. These problems include changes in residence and schools, which lead further to changes in friends. (Hughes Jr., 2005)


Accumulation of stress also affects a child's well being. This factor is not taken into account by most of the researchers, but the studies show that they do have an effect on the child's behavior. A study showed that the number of worrying incidents faced by a child is proportional to the difficulty faced by the child. The researchers also observed that the children with a single parental divorce were far better than those with two or more parental divorce. (Hughes Jr., 2005)

Adjustment of parents after divorce:

Parental adjustment is vital in child's well being. Not all the parents are well adjusted after the divorce. There is a certain relationship between a child's well being and parent's adjustment as proved by 13 out of 15 studies. There is also some proof that when the parents are well adjusted after the divorce, the differences between children with intact and non-intact families disappear. (Hughes Jr., 2005)

Lack of parental practices:

The continuation of the parental support and practices after the divorce is necessary for the child to develop properly. However, many parents report decreased parental activities after the divorce because the single parent gets busy in doing the job of the other parent as well. Many studies prove that there is a positive relationship between a parents' skill and the child's well being. (Hughes Jr., 2005)

Misunderstanding between the parents:

Clashes between the parents, before, during or after the divorce, affect the children. The children will not fare well if there are continuous fights between their parents. After the divorce, the children are faced with fights between their parents regarding custody, property and many other issues and this influences their well being. (Hughes Jr., 2005)

Impacts on the education of children:

All the fields in which a child faces deterioration after parental divorce, education is on top most. A child needs education more than anything else. Any child going to schools makes his friends there and sets himself there but the divorce upsets the whole thing.

Probability that the child will complete twelve years of education:

The children of divorced parents are less likely to complete secondary and primary education. The likelihood of the children to complete twelve years of education is diminishing over time. The results from a model based on research shows an increasing difference in the number of children completing twelve years of education with intact families completing twelve years of education and the children of separated parents with the latter being the lower one. The results showed that of the children, who were born in 1970, only 50% with divorced parents completed the twelve years of education as compared to 65% children with intact families. (Evans & Kelley)

• Probability of a child getting tertiary education:

Parental divorce has an effect on the likelihood of a child attaining higher education. The children from divorced parents are less expected to get higher education, and the fact that these children have a lower probability of completing twelve years of education, the probability diminishes even further. (Evans & Kelley)

Impacts of relocation on the children:

The children from the divorced families relocate a lot. Now these relocations are different than the normal ones. As the custody after divorce shifts to one parent, the problems for the child increase. The child becomes mentally disoriented, and the development process is hindered. (Gindes, 1998) The relocation affects the children because of the reasons given below:

• Loss of contact with the non-custodial parent:

The children are mostly handed over to mothers after divorce. So the children have to be separated from his father no matter how good their relationship is. This loss affects the children mentally as the loss of a good relationship hurts them. (Gindes, 1998)

• Age of the child:

The age at which the child's parents are divorced changes a lot of things. If the child is very young (a toddler), the separation doesn't matter a lot. However, if the child is old enough to sense the absence of their father or mother and their affection, then the relocation may bring about difficulties for the children. The children may also blame themselves for the divorce of their parents which may result in serious personality problems. (Gindes, 1998)

• Parent child relationship:

The parent-child relationship is also affected by the relocation, firstly,…

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