Family Magazine

Is Your Child Doomed for Failure? How Divorce Affects Children

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

With divorce rates nearing 50% in the US, more and more children are becoming children of divorce.  Naturally everyone is curious of whether children are negatively affected by divorce.  The easy and simple answer is yes, however there is a more important question we should ask.  First question to ask is “how do children with intact families differ from children of divorce?”.  Second question to ask is “how much do children with intact families differ from children of divorce?”.  Last question to ask is “what factors of divorce negatively impact children?”.

Psychological Studies Show Effect of Divorce on Children
Based on some psychological and scientific studies in the 90s, findings indicated that on average, children of intact families were better off than children of divorce.  On average, children from divorced families displayed lower performance at school, more social problems and behavioral issues, and more negative self perception.  More recent studies have shown similar findings.  Does this mean your child is going to be significantly impacted by your divorce?  Not exactly.  Despite the fact that the data proved negative effects in children of divorced families, the data is not giving us the bigger picture.  Though the average child of divorce seems to be doing worse than child of a intact family, most children of divorce do not have any serious problems – psychologically and socially.  Compared to children with married couples, children with divorced parents are more likely to need help, but most don’t actually require help.

Divorce Factors that Negatively Impact Children

Is Your Child Doomed for Failure? How Divorce Affects Children
Divorce itself isn’t to blame for any negative effects it may have on a child, it’s the process of divorce that can heavily influence a child.  Factors such as losing a parent, added stress, having to adjust to change, deciding who has child custody, lack of parental presence and constant conflict between parents are just a few factors among many that negatively impact a child.  Separations that are civil and agreed upon are better for children.  So once again, divorce isn’t to blame, it’s how both parents proceed with the divorce.  If you are concerned about the well being of your child, the best thing to do is to keep your affairs between you and your spouse as cordial as possible.  let your child know that both of you will be there for him/her.

Instead of asking if divorced children differ from children of intact families, we should be asking ourselves what factors cause children of divorce to have more difficulty.  Contributing factors such as added stress, conflict between parents, economic difficulties, and overall broken relationship with parent/parents that lead to children having more psychological, behavioral, and social problems.

Emily Li occasionally blogs for Kitchens, New & Cleghorn, LLC, an Atlanta based family law firm.  Emily enjoys keeping up with psychological, socialogical, and anthropological topics.  She hopes you found the article to be educational and interesting!

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