RESEARCH SYNTHESIS The Effects of Divorce on Children

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desire to have children Paul Amato professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State. University summed it up divorce leads to disruptions in the parent child. relationship continuing discord between former spouses loss of emotional. support economic hardship and an increase in the number of other negative life. The last year for accurate numbers on children annually affected by divorce was. 1988 when the Center for Disease Control stopped gathering the data That year. the number was over 1 044 000 However since then the percent of women who. have been divorced has continued to rise 4 Therefore conservatively we estimate. the number to be at least 1 000 000 children per year Should one add the. number affected by the dissolution of an always intact cohabitation of natural. parents the number is significantly greater We do know that for all U S. children as of the latest data from the 2009 American Community Survey only. 47 percent reach age 17 in an intact married family 5. Divorce detrimentally impacts individuals and society in numerous other ways. Religious practice Divorce diminishes the frequency of worship of God and. recourse to Him in prayer, Education Divorce diminishes children s learning capacity and educational. attainment, The marketplace Divorce reduces household income and deeply cuts. individual earning capacity, Government Divorce significantly increases crime abuse and neglect drug. use and the costs of compensating government services. Health and well being Divorce weakens children s health and longevity It. also increases behavioral emotional and psychiatric risks including even. The effect of divorce on children s hearts minds and souls ranges from mild to. severe from seemingly small to observably significant and from short term to. long term None of the effects applies to each child of every divorced couple nor. has any one child suffered all the effects we will discuss There is no way to. predict how any particular child will be affected nor to what extent but it is. possible to predict divorce s societal effects and how this large cohort of children. will be affected as a group These effects are both numerous and serious. Paul R Amato The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and Children Journal of Marriage. and Family 62 2000 1282, Patrick F Fagan Thomas J Tacoma Brooke A Tonne and Alexander W Matthews The. Annual Report on Family Trends The Behaviors of the American Family in the Five Major. Institutions of Society Washington D C Marriage and Religion Research Institute February. 2011 See Section 4 Structures of the Family subsection Divorces Available at. http downloads frc org EF EF11B27 pdf, Patrick F Fagan and Nicholas Zill The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and.
Rejection Washington D C Marriage and Religion Research Institute 17 November 2011. The major issue for researchers is no longer to learn what the ill effects of divorce. are but to understand the extent of these effects on children and grandchildren. and to identify ways of reversing their intergenerational cycle. I Effects on the Family Cyclical Brokenness,A Weakened Parent Child Relationships. When parents divorce each other another sort of divorce occurs between the. parents and their children The primary effect of divorce and of the parental. conflict that precedes the divorce is a decline in the relationship between parent. and child 6 Immediately after a divorce most parents have two sets of problems. their adjustment to their own intrapsychic conflicts and to their role as a. divorced parent The stress of divorce damages the parent child relationship for. as many as 40 percent of divorced mothers 7 The support they receive from home. is rated much lower by children of divorced parents than by children from intact. homes 8 and these negative ratings become more pronounced by the time children. are in high school9 and college 10, Children in divorced families receive less emotional support financial assistance. and practical help from their parents 11 Divorced homes show a decrease in. language stimulation pride affection stimulation of academic behavior. encouragement of social maturity and warmth directed towards the children. The presence of fewer toys and games is common as is an increase in physical. punishment 12 Though some studies show that parental divorce itself may not. Elizabeth Meneghan and Toby L Parcel Social Sources of Change in Children s Home. Environments The Effects of Parental Occupational Experiences and Family Conditions. Journal of Marriage and Family 57 1995 69 84, Paul R Amato and Tamara D Afifi Feeling Caught Between Parents Adult Children s. Relations with Parents and Subjective Well Being Journal of Marriage and Family 68 no 1. Judith S Wallerstein and Joan Berlin Kelly Surviving the Breakup How Children and Parents. Cope With Divorce 1980 repr New York NY Basic Books 1996 224 225 Citations are. from the 1996 edition, Jane E Miller and Diane Davis Poverty History Marital History and Quality of Children s. Home Environments Journal of Marriage and Family 59 1997 1002. Thomas S Parish Evaluations of Family by Youth Do They Vary as a Function of Family. Structure Gender and Birth Order Adolescence 25 1990 354 356. Thomas S Parish Evaluations of Family as a Function of One s Family Structure and Sex. Perceptual and Motor Skills 66 1988 25 26, Paul R Amato and Alan Booth A Generation at Risk Cambridge MA Harvard University.
Press 1997 69, Teresa M Cooney and Peter Uhlenberg Support from Parents Over the Life Course The. Adult Child s Perspective Social Forces 71 1991 63 83. Carol E MacKinnon Gene H Brody and Zolinda Stoneman The Effects of Divorce and. Maternal Employment on the Home Environments of Preschool Children Child Development. 53 1982 1392 1399, affect parenting 13 it often leads to worry exhaustion and stress for parents. These factors affect both parenting and parental control 14 Thus divorce and. separation result in less caring and more overprotective parenting during the. adolescent years 15, Though the child s ability to trust their parents close friends and others is. strongly linked to positive parent teen relationships regardless of parental. divorce 16 parental divorce makes it more difficult for children to trust their. parents 17 while a decline in the closeness of the parent child relationship. mediates much of the association between parental divorce marital discord and. offspring s psychological wellbeing in adulthood 18. Though one review of the literature conducted in the United Kingdom found. that although children are at increased risk of adverse outcomes following family. breakdown and that negative outcomes can persist into adulthood the difference. between children from intact and non intact families is a small one and the ma. jority of children will not be adversely affected in the long term 19 the rest of this. paper contradicts this conclusion,B Weakened Mother Child Relationships. Children of divorced mothers have poorer and less stimulating home. environments Furthermore divorced mothers despite their best intentions are. less able than married mothers to give emotional support to their children 20. Divorce also causes a slight decline in children s trust of their mothers when. parental divorce occurs between birth and age four however after controlling for. Lisa Strohschein Challenging the Presumption of Diminished Capacity to Parent Does. Divorce Really Change Parenting Practices Family Relations 56 2007 358 368. Thomas L Hanson Sara S McLanahan and Elizabeth Thomson Windows on Divorce Before. and After Social Science Research 27 1998 329 349, Jeanne M Hilton and Stephan Desrochers Children s Behavior Problems in Single Parent and.
Married Parent Families Development of Predictive Model Journal of Divorce Remarriage. 37 2003 13 34, Lianne Woodward David M Fergusson and Jay Belsky Timing of Parental Separation and. Attachment to Parents in Adolescence Results of a Prospective Study from Birth to Age 16. Journal of Marriage and Family 62 2000 167, Valarie King Parental Divorce and Interpersonal Trust in Adult Offspring Journal of. Marriage and the Family 64 no 3 2002 642, Valarie King Parental Divorce and Interpersonal Trust in Adult Offspring Journal of. Marriage and the Family 64 no 3 2002 648, Paul R Amato and Juliana M Sobolewski The Effects of Divorce and Marital Discord on. Adult Children s Psychological Well Being American Sociological Review 66 2001 912. Ann Mooney Chris Oliver and Marjorie Smith Impact of Family Breakdown on Children s. Wellbeing Evidence Review DCSF RR113 London University of London Institute of Educa. tion Thomas Coram Research Unit 2009 1, Jane E Miller and Diane Davis Poverty History Marital History and Quality of Children s.
Home Environments Journal of Marriage and Family 59 1997 996 1007. the quality of the parent child relationship this effect all but disappears 21. Compared with continuously married mothers divorced mothers tend to be less. affectionate and communicative with their children and to discipline them more. harshly and more inconsistently especially during the first year following the. divorce 22, Divorced mothers have particular problems with their sons though their. relationship will likely improve within two years 23 even if as often occurs. discipline problems persist for up to six years after the divorce 24. C Weakened Father Child Relationships, Contact Divorce leads to a decline in the frequency and quality of parent child. contact and relationships 25 and it becomes difficult for nonresidential parents 90. percent of whom are fathers to maintain close ties with their children 26 For. example children spend significantly more nights with their mother than their. father 27 Nearly 50 percent of the children in one study reported not seeing their. nonresident father in the past year and the small number that had recently. stayed overnight at the father s residence did so for a special visit not as part of. a regular routine 28 An analysis of the National Survey of Families and. Valarie King Parental Divorce and Interpersonal Trust in Adult Offspring Journal of. Marriage and the Family 64 no 3 2002 648, E Mavis Hetherington Roger Cox and Martha Cox Effects of Divorce on Parents and. Children in Nontraditional Families Parenting and Child Development ed Michael E Lamb. New York NY L Erlbaum Associates 1982 223 288 There is increasing evidence that many. divorced families already had these patterns long before the divorce. Paul R Amato and Alan Booth A Prospective Study of Divorce and Parent Child. Relationships Journal of Marriage and Family 58 1996 357. Jane E Miller and Diane Davis Poverty History Marital History and Quality of Children s. Home Environments Journal of Marriage and Family 59 1997 1004. E Mavis Hetherington Roger Cox and Martha Cox Effects of Divorce on Parents and. Children in Nontraditional Families Parenting and Child Development ed Michael E Lamb. New York NY L Erlbaum Associates 1982 223 288, E Mavis Hetherington Roger Cox and Martha Cox Long term Effects of Divorce and. Remarriage on the Adjustment of Children Journal of the American Academy of Child. Psychiatry 24 1985 518 530, William S Aquilino Later Life Parental Divorce and Widowhood Impact on Young Adults.
Assessment of Parent Child Relations Journal of Marriage and Family 56 1994 908 922. Alan Booth and Paul R Amato Parental Pre Divorce Relations and Offspring Postdivorce. Well Being Journal of Marriage and the Family 63 2001 210. Brad Peters and Marion F Ehrenberg The Influence of Parental Separations and Divorce on. Father Child Relationships Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 49 2008 96 97. Alan Booth and Paul R Amato Parental Marital Quality Parental Divorce and Relations. with Parents Journal of Marriage and the Family 56 no 1 1994 27. I Fen Lin Nora Cate Schaeffer Judith A Seltzer and Kay L Tuschen Divorced Parents. Qualitative and Quantitative Reports of Children s Living Arrangements Journal of Marriage. and Family 66 2004 389 390, Frank F Furstenberg Jr and Christine W Nord Parenting Apart Patterns of Childrearing. after Marital Disruption Journal of Marriage and Family 47 1985 893 904 Note Eight. Households29 found that about one in five divorced fathers had not seen his. children in the past year and fewer than half the fathers saw their children more. than a few times a year 30 By adolescence between the ages of 12 and 16 fewer. than half of children living with separated divorced or remarried mothers had. seen their fathers at all in more than a year and only one in six saw their fathers. once a week 31, Contact with the father declines over time after a divorce though this pattern is. less pronounced the older the child is at the time of the divorce 32 Daughters of. divorced parents were 38 percent less likely than their peers in intact families to. have frequent contact with their fathers and sons of divorced parents were 20. percent less likely 33, Emotional Closeness and Well being Children s relationships with their. parents worsen after a divorce 34 Marital disruption creates distance between. parents and children 35 even compared to children living in married but unhappy. families 36 Divorced parents also report significantly diminished satisfaction with. their former spouse s relationships with their children 37 though parental divorce. the cultural and social status of divorce would be nothing less than a cultural revolution Only a few generations ago American culture rejected divorce as scandalous Today law behavior and culture embrace and even celebrate it Divorce also permanently weakens the family and the relationship between children and parents 2 It frequently leads to destructive conflict management methods

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