The Effects of Divorce on Young Children Essay

1696 WordsOct 21, 19997 Pages
The statistics for divorce in the 1990's suggest that nearly sixty percent of marriages end in divorce. Given this startling figure, the assumption can be made that many children will experience some effects caused by the life-changing event called divorce. What is it exactly about divorce that causes negative consequences for these children? In what ways will these children be effected? Will these effects show outwardly? I will attempt to uncover some of the complexities surrounding these psychological questions in the following text. The unsettling fact is: young children of divorced parents face great psychological challenges due to the environmental conditions and changes associated with divorce (Wolchik and Karoly 45).…show more content…
If divorce is so painful, why do some children flourish academically? Why do others sound mature and logical when explaining their family situation? Why do others carry on as if nothing has happened? "The reactions a child exhibits will depend on the nature of the child (ego strength and capacity to mobilize resources), as well as his or her age and the relationship of the parents and child before, during, and after the divorce. Some of the initial reactions to divorce are similar to the reactions to the death of a loved one." It can be expected that a child going through such a traumatic event as divorce will experience a wide spectrum of emotions: sadness or depression, denial, embarrassment, anger, guilt, concern about being cared for, regression, maturity, and physical symptoms (Diamond 22-28). Listed by age group are some of the more common post-divorce symptoms experienced by children. Preschool children are more likely to blame themselves and to experience nightmares, enuresis, and eating disturbances. Early-school age children have academic problems, withdrawal and depression. Older school age children are more likely to blame one parent for the divorce and feel intense anger at one or both parents. Adolescents experience the most intense anger and also exhibit problems with developmental issues of independence and interpersonal relationships (Wolchik and Karoly 235-236). The adjustment period for children experiencing divorce is
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