Divorce on an Only Child Effects Research Paper

Pages: 9 (2556 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Children

¶ … Divorce on an Only Child

Effects of Divorce and Poor Parenting on an only Child

Narcissistic mothers have the tendency to deny most of their wrongdoings concerning the way they raise up their children. They set a bad precedent through uncouth behaviors that are easily picked by their children. Most often, such mothers are cruel to their children but hide their behaviors in the disguise of love. They usually have the character of aggressiveness and hostility to their children when agitated. This might sometimes create friction with the rest of family members or distant relatives and this affects the development of a child. Narcissistic mothers further complicate the nature of divorce; concerning growth and development of children. They pose a greater challenge to children who are already experiencing difficulty in trying to adjust to the complexities of divorce (Chen, 2005).

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When describing a narcissistic mother, it is vital to identify the traits associated with narcissism. Traits of a person suffering from 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder' must exhibit at least five attributes so as to fit the complete definition of narcissism. These include; an ostentatious belief of pomposity; preoccupation with fantasies of limitless success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. In addition, it involves the belief in being 'special' and unique; need for excessive admiration and acquiring a sense of entitlement. Other attributes are possessing interpersonal exploitation; non-empathetic; having envy for others or believing others have the same belief for oneself; and showing arrogance, conceited conduct, or attitudes. These traits can only be exhibited in a person through her actions and thus a mother showing at least five of these traits is narcissistic.

The rates of divorce have increased between the periods of 1970s-1980s. Public debates have therefore increased on the subject, with the establishment that an ease of the process of divorce threatens the very bedrock to which childhood development stems from. With more emphasis on logistics of divorce, little attention is accorded to the effects of separation, on the development of the child.

Research Paper on Divorce on an Only Child Effects of Assignment

Research studies have shown that nearly more than 50% of children in America will experience divorce in the course of their childhood development (Chen, 2005). These children have different characters, attitudes and personalities as compared to their counterparts who hail from intact families. However, these effects vary with a child's age and gender. Teachers have also noted that children from divorced families depict unusual behavioral problems in the course of their childhood development. These adverse effects can be minimal or avoided all-together, through cooperative parenting, avoidance of conflict and effective communication between a parents and a child (Fine, 2003, pp. 435-441). This study will therefore seek to demystify the effects of a narcissistic mother and a good father on the development of a boy from birth to early adulthood life (18 years).

Childhood habits

Little is known of the effects of divorce on children when they are toddlers. However, the impact of divorce and a narcissistic mother when the boy is a toddler is very minimal (almost negligible) because research studies have attested that very young children don't necessarily suffer because of the occurrence of a divorce (Fine, 2003). This is true because one of the parents may be active in the child's development, thereby ensuring there is a strong relationship with the child. Nevertheless, when the relationship bond between the mother and the boy is affected to a large extent, there might be detrimental signs exhibited from the child.

When the boy is a toddler, he might exhibit signs of immaturity as compared to other children of a similar age, but from an intact family setting. This can manifest with the boy resorting to play with toys and returning to security blankets (Fine, 2003). The opposite is true from children who hail from intact families. Most often, children within this age group would have outgrown toys. In the past, children have experienced lapses in toilet training as a result of disorientation or too much harshness from the narcissistic mother. However, behaviors pertaining to this observation are usually not expected to last for more than a week. The slow characterization of the child's growth is directly attributed to the boy's blatant confusion of why the father or mother left.


When the boy is in his preschool life, he is often isolated and doesn't interact with other children. Instead, they play with toys. These children are also angrier and often depressed as they play. More critical analysis have observed that these children may show more apathy and anxiety in their interactions with other children. The same is also noted between their interactions with adults. The same scenario is expected from interaction between the boy and the mother. At this pre-schooling age, the boy is more likely to seek more attention from adults but the divorce is likely to deny him this. As a result, the boy is bound to resist suggestions from adults and exhibit tendencies of aggression. The impact of the divorce is not likely to affect the boy's academic life at this stage until later in his development (Fine, 2003).

When the boy is much older, he will better comprehend divorce. Out of better comprehension, the child will start adapting to his primary environment and tend to cope better with the mother, unlike earlier ages. The boy is also more likely to grieve from the divorce because this is the period to which he begins to understand the impact of the separation. Later, the boy is more likely to yearn for the father's attention. If the boy stays with the narcissistic mother, he is likely to be very aggressive toward her. A conflict of loyalty is observed from the boy even if the mother never induced it (Fine, 2003).

Academic Development

Sometimes, the effect of divorce on the academic performance of the boy is noted before the divorce takes place (Xiaosong, 2007). The father's influence is likely to reverse this observation. Research studies have shown a relation whereby, children are affected by conflicts that precede the divorce. After the divorce takes place, the boy is more likely to experience a downward pressure on academic performance (Chen, 2005). The effects would be severe when the boy undergoes personality change during the age of 14-18. This age group characterizes personality development whereby the boy would be trying to curve out an identity for himself.

Academic performance is directly affected because the boy's development is distracted by domestic happenings. The effect is compounded by the narcissistic mother because she would offer little attention to the effects of negligence if the boy lived with her. Some children are noted better to contain the effects of divorce through parental initiatives of one of the parents. The boy is therefore expected better to contain the effects of divorce if he is exposed to the father's parental influence; when he is in his young adulthood life. At this stage, he could better understand the nature of the mother unlike in the childhood stage (3-13 years). Though the effects of divorce are noted to be less adverse for children who have a caring father, it is incomparable to children who grow up in tight-knit families (Chen, 2005).

The reason behind expected poor academic performance in the course of the boy's development would be for the reason that divorce is more a greater physical reality than previously noted (Livaditis, 2002). The reasoning behind it is that, divorce will create more hurt to the child than previously thought by the parents, especially if the boy grows separated from the father. The narcissistic mother would be more likely to further complicate the effects of the absent father by making the child hurt more. If this happens, academic performance is affected (Livaditis, 2002).

Future Relationships of the child

The child is bound to imitate their parents' behavior in the course of his childhood development. Small details in the way parents behave are likely to stick to the child's memory (Hetherington, 2002). Research studies have also shown that children coming from complete families are less likely to experience divorce in future. The opposite is however true when comparing the same situation to children from separated families (Hopper, 2001).

The boy having hailed from a separated family would be less able to sustain future relationships than children coming from complete families. Resentment toward women is observed from the boy and he is bound to be abusive in his future relationships, especially during his teen life (Hetherington, 2002). Once the boy is subject to these motions, he orients himself with the abuses and is more likely to exhibit the same, in the course of his future teen relationships. Bad traits by the mother would make the boy think its normal for such detrimental parental behavior to be applied in human interactions. The idea of marriage is redefined by the primary environment of the boy as he grows up. Adolescent teens raised in this type of environment have a distorted idea of marriage as compared to teenagers from intact… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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