Psychological Effects of Divorce Research Paper

Pages: 20 (6143 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Children


Weakened Parenting after Divorce

Another factor that causes children to become stressed is when parenting they receive is inept, clumsy and incompetent. Extreme marital conflicts have severe effects when it comes to the adjustment of children. Mothers, in specific, tend to become less affectionate and more negligent when there are harsh agreements during marriage. They are reprted to become more ruthless in maintaining discipline in the house. Fathers, on the other hand, withdraw from their children and involve themselves in more interfering activities. In addition to this, when after divorce a child has to live with a parent who is disheartened, miserable and upset, it becomes difficult for that child to adjust emotionally, socially, and academically. The traumatic condition, anger and stress of the children make it a harder task for the depressed single parents to continue and maintain practices required for effective parenting (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

Failure of Significant Relationships

Children of divorced parents find it difficult to maintain long-term and unending relationships. These important relationships include close friends and family members (new and extended). It also becomes particularly difficult for the children to be in close contact with their nonresident parents who are usually fathers. This results in children viewing their father as a diminished character in the story of their lives. Distance also erodes the closeness of father-child association (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

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The time a child spends with his/her nonresident parent is significantly reduced due to a number of factors that include barriers of psychology, interparental relationship and institution. This barrier is often put by the fathers themselves, who lessen their communication or stop contacting their children after divorce because of their own made-up restrictions.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Psychological Effects of Divorce on Assignment

Some fathers already have a minimal involvement with their children even during marriage so being apart from the children is not a big problem for them. On the other hand, some fathers tend to be so involved in their new partners after divorce that they forget about their previous lives even their biological children. Some fathers find it really hard to cope up with the biting reality of being distant from their children and ultimately lose contact to diminish any association (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

It is a common tradition that a parent has to leave the household after divorce and has to move somewhere else. When a parent relocates at a distance of more than 100 miles, continued and persistent contact between the father-child relations becomes impossible as more time is required to travel long distances and more money is needed too. Consequently, the parent-child association starts to erode especially when the child/children is/are very young. When a father remarries, it becomes difficult for him to balance his life justifiably with the children of his old and new marriage (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

In most cases, the behavior of mothers creates barriers between children and their fathers. Mothers start functioning as gatekeepers after divorce watching keenly the involvement of father with the children after divorce. The mothers who act as the custodians of children tend to interfere between children and father and are also found to disrupt visiting. They become outrageous when the father contacts become high and fail to make their children adjusted to the circumstances. Sometimes, it is the children themselves who limit communications and distance themselves from their nonresident parents. The causes may be both appropriate and inappropriate. Most children stop involving with a parent if they had experienced violence when the parents weren't separated. Children who are frightened of the abusive parent do not like to visit him/her. However, this bold choice of avoiding any contact is considered a healthy response from children (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

Economic Opportunities

The standard of living and income for custodial parents and children substantially reduces with the divorce. Consequently, this reduction in finances and economic deterioration may prove as a significant stressor for majority of children. When children observe upsetting and troublemaking variations and disruptions in residential arrangements, school and friends, they become quite stressful (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).


Divorce results in a continuous experience for children as they are introduced to a persistent series of changes and disorders in family. Their emotional side of the personality affects significantly when they are introduced to new social and sexual partners by their parents.

Repartnering or remarrying can be perplexing for children if it occurs immediately after the divorce (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

Divorce = Risk for Children

Divorce reportedly raises the adjustment risks for children. Children of divorce have been considerably noticed to have problems related to their behaviors. If compared with children belonging to married families, children of divorce demonstrate social, internal and academic problems. Though children in normal families also face serious problems both psychologically and socially psychological and social problems, but the majorities of children who have more problems belong to divorced families. They generally have disorders in conduct, behaviors that are antisocial and uncooperative, and problems withtheir guardians or custodian parent. They show poor academic performance and abilities and score much lesser in tests as compared to children of married couples. Furthermore, parents who have separated tend to provide less monetary sources and show uninterest towards the children's educational well being which makes it difficult for the children to complete their studies. In most cases, the consequence is the dropping out from school (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

Remarriage does not reduce the risk of behavioral problems for the children of divorce. Living in stepfamilies increases the chances of mental, behavioral and academic problems for the divorce-affected children. They fail to tie intimate knots with their step-relatives. It has also been reported that the children of divorce marry earlier and are mostly not satisfied with their marriage or spouse. In addition to this, they are also more likely to end their marriages (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

The divorced parents and their adolescent children also have a less warm, unfriendly and unsupportive relationship. One of the main reasons of this less affectionate association is the insulting and humiliating behavior of the parent towards the other parent which makes the children angry. Thus, they are likely to have a bitter relationship with the demeaning parent (Kelly & Emery, October 2003).

Effects on Academic Achievemnt/Outcomes

It is wrong to consider divorce as a deliberate attempt to dissolve marriage. Instead, it must be regarded as a process that gives birth to instability, insecurity and unsteadiness in many important lives. As already disussed, divorced families have lower annual incomes and the material resources are inadequate. Moreover, the quality and practices of parenting is usually quite lower and undependable. In some cases, the separation of parents makes the children prematurely independent. Consequently, there is a break down in the household rules and regulations and parents stop parenting and start befriending. One of the other outcomes of divorce is the relocation of residence along with the change in school. The ability of children to learn is thus diminished with the custodial arrangements. Another important outcome that upset the children's lives is their poor academic achievement following separation and then relocation and changing of the school. They become less attentive in school and find it difficult to concentrate on the lessons. Such children have poor psychosocial health (a major component for educational achievement) which brings them lower ranks (Potter, August 2010).

How does Divorce Affect Younger Children?

Divorce brings drastic changes in the lives of young children. In some cases, for instance, divorce changes the financial standing of a parent or both, generally of mothers. It also makes the children accessible a parent or both parents. Divorce also brings significant changes in the emotional state and behavior of the parents. It is a crystal-clear fact that older children are not much dependent on their parents but younger children are; who need their parents for every little thing. The whole world of the younger children changes with the changes in the family context. Recent studies show that it is not the marital status of the parents that affects the outcomes of children. Instead, the outcomes of children are impacted significantly due to other family variables including educational level of the mother, income, despair, and parenting quality (Leon, July 2003).

The quality of mother-child interaction is also affected with the maternal strain following divorce. This inaffectionate behavior of mother is the cause of many behavioral problems among younger children. Mothers do not support the children and despite interacting in a loving way with the children, tend to be negative towards them. This results in more behavioral problems in younger children who are already fighting with the stress of divorce (Leon, July 2003).

The Effects of Divorce on the Cognitive Development of Young Children

How Children Understand Divorce?

The children's development is significantly influenced with the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Psychological Effects of Divorce.  (2012, April 9).  Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

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"Psychological Effects of Divorce."  9 April 2012.  Web.  1 December 2021. <>.

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"Psychological Effects of Divorce."  April 9, 2012.  Accessed December 1, 2021.