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353NpostEWDeath and DivorceLecture15

353NpostEWDeath and DivorceLecture15 - Death and Divorce...

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Death and Divorce
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Divorce and Its Impact on Children Approximately half of all marriages will end in divorce Initial research on divorce explored the impact on children using a crisis model (Hetherington)
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Parental Divorce engenders a variety of developmental transitions and adaptations kids have to negotiate as they move across the developmental trajectory Divorce is not a unitary event in a child’s life: parent return to work, decreased economic status, moves and loss of support networks, increased responsibilities
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Post-Divorce Adaptations Adapt to post-divorce single parent/dual household family Parental dating Parental remarriage (60% end in divorce, blending families/complicated relationships) Life cycle events present continuing challenges
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Children respond to divorce based on developmental stage at time of divorce and throughout their lifespan Factors which impact the effects of divorce on children: Age: Gender:
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Child’s temperament: Continued parental hostility: Parental pathology: Social supports:
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Wallerstein and Kelly’s research based on 4 primary groups of children: preschool, early elementary, later elementary and adolescents. Kalter’s article on ctools uses similar age distinctions to discuss the impact of divorce, including infancy
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Infancy: Children resonate to parental states; if stressed and depressed exposed to the turmoil Later feelings of being a “bad” or unlovable baby
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Preschooler’s reactions to divorce Fear of abandonment Difficulty with separation Regressions Cognitive confusion Fear of being replaced Reconciliation fantasies Inhibited behavior or Active aggressive behavior
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Early Elementary School Pervasive and Intense Sadness Loss concerns
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