Psych 438 – Final Paper
Conflict, Divorce and the Adolescent Personality: What Really Matters
The statistics surrounding divorce are everywhere—according to Divorce
Magazine: “there were 2,230,000 marriages in 2005… [And] for every one thousand
marriages, 3.6 ended in divorce.” In addition to this, one quarter of the adults in their 20s,
30s, and 40s in the United States are children of divorce. Numerous studies serve to
explain the factors that contribute to divorces and the effect on the group most influenced
by the divorce: the children. The family structure is one of, if not the most important
factor in the development of a child’s personality. In fact, marital conflict and
dissatisfaction even without divorce was linked to problem behavior in children,
adjustment problems and depressive symptoms, (Cui et al, 2007), (El-Sheikh et al, 2008).
The post-divorce living arrangements and parent relationships are also key effectors in a
child’s life, physical health and personality characteristics, (Fabricius & Luecken, 2007).
The following paper serves to explore and explain the role of marital conflict, emotional
conditions and the affect on the child’s developing personality before, during and after a
divorce. Parental presence or absence and the affect on the child, along with marriage
beliefs and values in adolescents of divorced and still-married families are also examined.
Marital conflict is “defined as any difference of opinion, whether minor or major
and whether primarily positive or negative. Marital conflict can take many forms,