divorce.doc - Running head DIVORCE The Impact of Divorce on...

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Running head: DIVORCE The Impact of Divorce on Children Name Institution
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DIVORCE INTRODUCTION Divorce cannot be understood as a singular event rather needs to be perceived as a process that profoundly impacts the lives of all stakeholders involved. The way in which divorce ultimately impacts children involves an amalgam of processes and factors that manifest in the earliest stages of divorce in addition to those that take place afterwards. Furthermore, such reasoning indicates that several of the adverse ramifications for children in divorced family units may germinate as a result of processes and/or traumatic experiences that may be completely separate from the divorce itself; children of parents who get a divorce often witness negative interactions between family members before the divorce and addition are forced to go through uncomfortable life transitions because the divorce severely strains familial relationships. Indeed, marriages that result in divorce usually undergo a trenchant process of emotional separation, unraveling, and alienation several years before a legal divorce is actually obtained. Changes that take place within the family prior to a divorce profoundly affects the psyche of parents----higher stress levels, deeper depression, and more anxiety—which in turn detracts from the efficacy of one’s parenting. Marital discord and ensuing divorce exposes children to troubling changing dynamics, which contribute to the development of behavioral problems and other emotional problems. Family systems theory helps frame divorce research on the emotional impact of divorce on children. It states that individuals can only be understand as part of family, which is an emotional unit, as a result of how intensely emotionally connected family members are to one another. Amato & Anthony (2014) focuses specifically on the similarities and/or differences between parental divorce and parental death and how these two outcomes impact children’s emotional well-being. The study draws its sample from two existing bodies of research including 2
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DIVORCE the following: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (kindergarten through the 5th grade) and the National Educational Longitudinal Study (8th grade to the senior year of high school). The researchers state the interesting fact that both death of a parent and divorce of parents both result in a “loss” and it is often the case that both of these experiences result in negative outcomes for children. They further note that often the death of a parent can have a more serious impact, but this is not always the case. Age, children with the “highest propensity to experience parental divorce” (Amato & Anthony, 2014, p. 370), social context of the loss of parent due to death or divorce, sibling relationships, and children’s own personality and resources all play a role. In both cases, “parental absence” is the variable that is studied (p.
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