Essay on Effects of Divorce on a Child

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Divorce is a very common word in today's society. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, "divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage or a complete or radical severance of closely connected things"(Pickett, 2000). This dissolution of marriage has increased very rapidly in the past fifty years. In 1950 the ratio of divorce to marriage was one in every four; in 1977 that statistic became one in two. Currently one in every two first marriages results in divorce. In second marriages that figure is considerably higher, with a 67% average (National Vital Statistics Report, 2001). One critical aspect of divorce is often not taken into consideration: How it affects children. Every year 1.1 million children are affected by divorce …show more content…
Another example of a fear that they might have to deal with is a fear of abandonment. In the process of divorce children feel as if they are losing a parent. From this they gain a fear of losing the other parent. Children also worry about who will take care of them and be there after school (DeBord, 1997). An additional fear they might possess is the loss of attachment. Attachments are made between all members of a family, even pets. When a divorce causes a change in the frequency of communication and contact between family members there could be some distress (DeBord, 1997). Finally, the lingering animosity between parents after the divorce can be a huge source of stress for a child. Thus, although the divorce does take place between parents it has an obvious affect on the children and is seen a major cause of stress for them.

Divorce may affect young children somewhat differently than older children. According to Karen DeBord, a child development specialist, there are different stages in childhood, and at each of these stages children have a different understanding of divorce. At the infancy stage children are not capable of understanding the conflict, but may notice a difference in the parents' disposition (DeBord, 1997). Here she states that children may react with a loss of appetite, upset stomach, or anxiety. As a toddler they recognize the loss a parent but cannot reason
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