Effects Divorce Children

The effects divorce children are many. But how many children of divorce do experience these effect? How they do compare with children of normal families? What is causing the emotional and behavioral problems for children of divorce? Is the event of the divorce the cause of these effect? This article provides you with answers on these questions.

Among the most mentioned Effects of Divorce on Children are:
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Feeling insecure
  • Anxiousness
  • Long lasting emotional and social problems
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Being agressive
  • Depression
  • Behavioral problems

  • Poorer social skills
  • Higher divorce rates among children of divorce
  • Learning Problems
  • Lower grades at school and in university
  • Feeling angry

  • The battered women syndrome

The differences between normal children and children of divorce.

Children of divored families do experience negative effects of the divorce. They have their problems and some of them have serious problems. But children in normal families have problems too. According to many studies, the differences between these groups are not very big. Most children of divorce do not experience serious behavior or emotional problems and do not need professional help.

The differences are not very big. Most children of divorce are doing equally well as children from normal families. Regarding effects divorce children, some are even doing better.

The numbers

In a effects divorce children study in 1993 Mrs. Mavis Hetherington compared children of normal families with children of divorce. For normal families, she found that 90% of adolescents were only having normal problems. 10% had serious problems that we would require professional help. Among children of divorce 26% of the boys and 34% of the girls had serious problems. Amato (1999) estimates that about 40% of the young adults from divorced families were doing better than the young people from nondivorced families.

What are the contributing factors?

In 2003 Kelly and Emery listed the factors that might contribute to the problems of children of divorce. The effect-divorce-children factors are:

  • Exposure to confict
  • More life stress
  • The loss of a parent
  • Poor parental adjustment
  • Poor parenting

To minimize the risk on negative effects of divorce on children, you as a parent should focus on the above mentioned factors. You are capable of influencing these factors. Co-parenting helps, because you will do the parenting together and you can complement each other on each others strengths and weaknesses.

Is the divorce itself causing the emotional symptoms?

In 2000 Joan Kelly reported her findings on an analysis of different effects divorce children surveys that were conducted between 1990 and 1999. She studied the impact of divorce and conflict and violence in the marriage on the mental well being of children of divorce.

She found that many of the emotional problems in children of divorce are caused in the years before the marriage. Exposure to conflict between the parents, violence and parenting practices seem to be the major contributing factors.


The group children of divorce are only doing slightly worse than children from normal families. Most of the emotional and behavioral problems that children of divorce experience are caused during the years before the divorce.

Negative effects divorce children can be avoided by their parents if they work on to the above mentioned contributing factors.

What are the Effects of your Divorce on your Children?

What is the story of your children during and after your divorce? What did you learn from it? What are your challenges? Share it!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Effect of divorce on children story from Joven Jour 
Divorce is very hard problem to overcome. Actually im a child affected by this problem. In dealing with this problem many friends, relatives and other …

Click here to write your own.

Are you a Child Friendly Divorced Parent? Do the
Self Assessment

Recommended reading:

Anxiety Free Child Program Overcome Child Anxiety. Untreated anxiety can destroy a childs life. Your child does not have to suffer.

Helping Children Through DivorceHelping Children Through Divorce

by Wendy Mollah
Will Your Children Survive Divorce?