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The Effect of Divorce on Children Essay

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The Effect of Divorce on Children

Divorce, once uncommon in our society, is now becoming more and more frequent, disrupting our children's state of well-being. Some children of divorced families have long-term behavior problems such as depression, low self-esteem, poor school performance, acting out, and difficulties with intimate relationships. Children with divorced or divorcing parents often have a sense of abandonment, because their parents become too preoccupied with their own psychological, social, and economic distress that they forget about their kids? needs (Lamb and Sternberg, 1997). In 1988, Professor Jeanne Dise-Lewis conducted a survey of 700 middle school students. The students were asked to rate certain events as
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Parental Actions: Custodial and Nonresidential Children?s behavior, development, and adjustment to divorce is affected closely by the actions of both of their parents. In a typical divorce situation, one parent has custody of the children and the other is considered to be the nonresidential parent. Children whose nonresidential parents continue to support them financially, whose custodial parents are psychologically healthy, and those who can maintain a meaningful relationship with the nonresidential parent tend to be affected less by the divorce (Lamb and Sternberg, 1997). The nonresidential parent who supports the children economically through child support also tends to spend more time with the children. The situation is improved when there is no conflict between the two parents. Divorces do not always have to be bad; in some cases a divorce can offer members of dysfunctional families the chance to escape from family related stress and conflict (Zinsmeister, 1996). When ex-husbands and wives can work through their problems and go on with their lives, divorces can be considered successful.

Personal Experience In the United States, about 45% of all first marriages are now dissolved, and in the United Kingdom, 41% divorce within 14 years (Lamb and Sternberg, 1997). Divorces are happening all around us. Most of us can relate directly, or have some friends that have been affected by divorces. Two of my closest friends now belong to
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