Outcomes of divorce on children

In the last decades, a lot of research has been conducted on the outcomes of divorce on children. Researchers have investigated different aspects in different countries.

Many observations correspond. The most common are:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Insecurity
  • Lack of trust
  • Depression
  • Behavioral problems
  • Unrealistic views on relationships
Outcomes of Divorce on Children

Outcomes of Divorce on Children are Positive

There are also different views among the researchers. Fortunately, many children of divorce learn to cope with the situation.

After a while they leave many of the negative effects behind. For their own future, they decide to do it better than their parents did.

The research that was conducted in the 70's painted a very negative picture. Today the outcomes of divorce on children seems to be less dramatic.

There is a correlation with the increased social acceptance of divorce. There may be a causal relationship.

The researchers Blakeslee and Wallerstein interviewed many children of divorce in the 1980's. They found:

  • The short term effect of divorce on children is negative
  • When the children mature, the outcomes of divorce on children become less negative
  • They show a strong desire to repair the mistakes of their divorced parents. Many of them think a stable relationship is an ideal, not a reality.
  • They still fear abandonment and loss.
  • The children of divorce think that people in a relationship are likely to betray each other.
  • Children that lived in families with high levels of conflict suffer more from the negative effects than children of divorced parents (Amato and Keith).
  • The so called sleeper effect kicks in on children of divorce on a later age. Most young boys express their emotions and frustrations freely, so their emotions fade away. Young girls tend to keep their emotions inside and do not deal with them. The emotions remain within them and they come to the surface when mature, in a period in which they make critical decisions that implicate their lives for many years. These decisions are then influenced by feelings of anxiety and fear that result from the divorce of their parents years ago (Wallerstein and Blakeslee).

What exactly the outcomes of divorce on children are, is difficult to say. Good parenting is more important for the well being of a child than being raised by a father and a mother in a family structure (concluded by Booth and others).

According to them, a lack of education, a low income, depression and insufficient support from the mother produces young children with bad adjustment and poor behavior.

Of course, a divorce can cause these conditions: a divorced mother earns a low income and has less time for their children because she has to work.

Today divorce has become socially accepted. In the recent past a divorce could result into social isolation. Luckily, these days are over in the modern world.

Nowadays, a divorce does not incur as much violence as in the past. Shame and the feeling of failure are much lower than in the past (Amato).

People see divorces everywhere. They see the sadness and the emotions. But now we all know, including parents and children, that a divorce is not the end of the world.

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