The Effects of Divorce on Children Essay

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The Effects of Divorce on Children

As a child, there are many things that affect a view, memory, opinion, or attitude. Children have many of their own daily struggles to cope with, as peer pressures are an example. As an adult, we sometimes forget what it is like to be a child dealing with some of the childhood pressures. Many parents do not realize how something like divorce could possibly affect their children as much as it does themselves. As the case may be, children are strongly affected by divorce. Some react differently than do others, but all experience some kind of emotional change. Exposure to a highly stressful major life change event on children, which may overwhelm children's coping capacity, and thus
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Moreover, reports of long-term negative outcomes in offspring beyond the adolescent period suggest that the ramifications of parental divorce on adult behavior may be even more deleterious than those on child behavior (Amato & Keith, 1991b; Zill, Morrison, & Coiro, 1993). The evidence appears to be quite convincing that dissolution of two-parent families, though it may benefit spouses in some respects (Hetherington, 1993), may have farreaching adverse effects for many children. The divorce and family systems literatures indicate that negative family processes may be more important predictors of poor adjustment in children than family structure (Baumrind,
1991a. 1991b; O'Leary & Emery, 1984). Interparental conflict, for example, is associated with adjustment disturbances in children in both divorced and nondivorced families (Camara & Resnick,
1988; Johnston, Campbell, & Mayes, 1985; Peterson & Zill, 1986; Reid & Crisafulli, 1990), and is considered to be a critical mediator of divorce effects in children and adolescents (Atkeson,
Forehand, & Rickard, 1982; Emery, 1982; Forehand, Long, & Brody, 1988; Luepnitz, 1979). In addition, the stress associated with shifting family roles and relationships in newly divorce families