Issue 3 - divorce harmful

Issue 3 - divorce harmful - ESSUE 3 Does Divorce Create...

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Unformatted text preview: ESSUE 3 Does Divorce Create Long—Term Negative Effects for Children? YES: Elizabeth Marquardt, from “The Bad Divorce, ” First Things (February 2005) N0: Constance Altrons, from We’re Stiff Farrel}: What GF‘GWT’I Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce (Harper Collins, 2004) ISSUE SUMMARY YES: In reviewing Constance Ahrons’ book, We’re Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents” Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the institute for American Vaiues, argues that the manner in which Ahrons’s questions were asked in her study yielded comments from participants in which they minimized the negative effects that their parents’ divorce had on them. Through a combination of her own personal experience as a child of divorce and her work in the field, she maintains that divorce is a “tragedy” that dramatically and negatively impacts children for the rest of their lives. N0: Constance Ahrons, author of What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce and founding co-chair of the Council on Con-temporary Families, found in her research findings that the ideas that children of divorced families end up much more trou— bled and unable to form adult relationships themseives are myths, that many adults Whose parents divorced emerged from the expe- rience stionger, Wiser, and with closer reiationships with their tathers, remaining connected to their families of origin even when the parent with whorn they lived created a new stepfamily. Interestingly enough, divorce rates among heterosexual married couples in the United States, which skyrocketed during the t9?05, started to decrease Shortly thereafter. More recently, we are seeing an increase, Some people may have heard the oftquoted statistic that the divorce rate in the United States between heterosexual married couples is around 50 percent, meaning 1 out of 2 marriages wiil end in divorce. According to writer Dan Hurley, the rate is 49 a bit lower than that, at around 41 percent {from “Divorce Rate: it’s Not as High as You Think,” The New York Times, April 19, 2005). Other researchers, however, stand by the calculations that yielded the 50 percent number. The statistics aside, an ongoing concern of estranged couples is how their relationship challenges may affect their child or children, especially if the cou- ple chooses to separate or divorce. Aside from the logistical considerationsww custody, visitation, decision making for the child—couple and youth protes— sionais alike are concerned about the effects that being a child of divorced parents or caregivers can have on a child’s ongoing development, as well as the child’s perspective on iove arid committed relationships. Historically, professionals have maintained that divorce has long—standing, deleterious effects on a child’s seliuimage, ability to reiate to others, and much more. While many professionals maintain these views, many others are much more centrist, arguing that, even though divorce can have negative effects on chil- dren, these effects can be mitigated by the manner in which the divorce is handled by the parents. Many other professionals are at the other end of the argument, citing research that demonstrates how children of divorce actually ended up with higher self-esteem and a great feeling of independence than children of parents who stayed in unhealthy or unsatisfying relationships. As you read the following viewpoints, consider the people in your own lifew—do you have friends or contemporaries whose parents divorced or are divorcing? What aboot your own parents or family members? How do your personal experiences iibe with or contradict the arguments stated by the authors? in the foilowing selections, Elizabeth M cism of the conclusions Constance Ahrons draws from the data she collected and reported on in her book, We’re Still Family. . . . Also an author of a book about the effects of divorce and the adult child of divorced parents, Marquarcit asserts that even amicable divorces have negative effects on children. Constance Ahrons, however, maintains that the arguments of Marquardt and others who disagree with her findings can actually be grouped into several categories of misconceptions, to which she responds individually. Divorce, she says, is complicatedhso the blanketed labeling of divorce as always problematic to children is as oversimplified as it is inaccurate. arquardt offers extensive critiw Elizabeth Marquardt W The Bad Divorce It is often said that those who are concerned about the social and personal effects of divorce are nostalgic for the 19505, yearning for a mythical time when men worked, women happily stayed home baking cookies for the kids, and marriages never dissolved. Yet often the same people who make the charge of mythology are caught in a bit. of nostalgia of their own, pining for the sexual. liberationism of the 19?03, when many experts began to embrace unfettered divorce, confident that children, no less than adults, wouid thrive once “unhappy” marriages were brought to a speedy end. Constance Ahrons, who coined the term “the good divorce” in the title of an influential 1992 book that examined ninety~eight divorcing couples, is very much a member of the latter camp. In her new book, We’re Still Family.- Wlmt Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents" Divorce, Ahrons returns to those ninety—eight couples to survey their nowwgrown children. The result is a study based on telephone interviews with 173 young adults from eightyw nine families that tries to advance the idea it is not divorce itself that burdens children but rather the way in which parents divorce. As in'her earlier book, Ahrons argues that the vocabulary we use to discuss divorce and remarriage is negative; she would prefer that we regard divorced families as “changed” or “rearranged” rather than broken, damaged, or destroyed. She claims that upbeat language will, above all, help children feel less stigmatized by divorce. Both of her books offer many new terms, such as “binuclear” and “tribe,” to describe divorced families. The specific novelty of the new book is Ahrons’ claim that her interviewees view their parents’ divorces in a positive light. it is with delight, then, that Ahrons shares surprising new findings from her ongoing study. According to Ahron-s, over three quarters of the young people from divorced families who she interviewed do not wish their parents were still together. A similar proportion feel their parents’ decision to divorce was a good one, that their parents are better off today, and that they them~ divorce. To general readers ldren of divorce in recent ike big neWs. But there are problems. According to Ahrons, over three-quarters of the young peopie whom she interviewed do not wish that their parents Were stiii together. A similar pro— portion feel that their parents’ decision to divorce was a good one, that their Ftorn Hrs? Things, February 2065. Copyright © 2005 by Institute on Religion and l’obiic Life. Reprinted by permission. 51 52 1333123 f Does Divorce Create Long—Term Negative {Effects . . . '3‘ parents are better off today, and that they themselves either better off because of the divorce or late not been affected by it. Statistically, that sounds ovez‘whehuiugly convincing. But ah answer to a stovey question tells us very little unless we have a context for interpreting it and some grasp of the actan experiences that gave rise to it. like those whom Ahroos interviewed, I grew up in a divorced family, my parents having split when l was two years old. like Ahrons, I am a researcher to the fieid, having led, with NorvaE Glei‘m, a study of young adults from both divorced and intact families that included a oationaliy representative tele- phone survey of some 1,500 people. As someone who studies children of divorce and who is herseif a grown child of divorce, I have noticed that the kinds of questions that get asked in. such studies and the way the answers are interpreted often depend on whether the questioner views divorce from the standpoint of the child or the parent. Take, to; example, Ahrons’ finding that the malority of people raised its divorced families do not wish that their parents were together. Ahrons did not ask whether as children these young people had hoped their parents would reunite. instead, she asked if they wish today their parents were still together. She presents their negative answers as gratifying evidence that divorce is affirmed by children. But is that really the right conclusion to draw? Imagine the foilowing scenario. One day when you are a child your par" ents come to you and teil you they are splitting up. Your life suddenly changes in lots of ways. Dad leaves, or maybe Mom does. You may move or change schools or lose friendships, or all of the above. Money is suddenly very tight and stays that way for a long time. You may not see one set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearly as much as you used to. Then, Mom starts dating, or maybe Dad does. A boyfriend or girlfriend moves in, perhaps bringing along his or her own kids. You may see one or both of your parents marry again; you may see one or both of them get divorced a second time. You deal with the losses. You adiust as best you can. You grow up and try to figure out this “relationship” thing for yourself. Then, some interviewer on the telen phone asks if you wish your parents were still together today. A lifetime of pain and auger and adjustment flashes before your eyes. Any memory of your parents together as a couplewif you can remember them together at all-is bur» ied deep under ail those feelings. Your divorced parents have always seemed like polar opposites to you. No one could he more different from your mother than your father, and vice versa. “No,” you reply to the interviewer, “I don’t wish my parents were stiil together.” Of course, one cannot automatically attribute such a train of thought to all of Ahrons’ interview suhgecis. Still, it is piausible, and it might explain at least some of the responses. But Ahrons does not even consider it. Ahroos tells L25 that the vast majority of young people in her study feel that they are either better off or not affected by their parents' divorce. For a child oi divorce there could hardly be a more loaded question than this one. The generation that Altruns is interviewing grew up in a time of massive changes in family life, with experts assuring parents that if they became happier after divorce, their children would as well. There wasn’t a. iot of patience for petitiie ""‘ 333.“."4 Yrs 5 {Elizabeth Marquardt 53 who felt otherwise—especiallly when those people were. children, with their aggw ravating preference for conventional married life over the adsentures of divorce, and their tendency to look askance at their parents’ new love interests. i'lowever. a child soon learns the natural lesson that cornpiaining about a parent’s choices is a surefire way to be ignored or worse, and. that what parents want above at? is praise for those choices. Few things inspire as ranch admira- tion among divorced parents and their friends as the words of a child reassur— ing thern that the divorce was no big deal-~or even better, that it gave the child something beneficial, like early independence, or a new brother or sister. Par- ents are proud of a resilient child. 'l‘hey are embarrassed and frustrated by a child who claims to be a victim, And who arnong us wants to be a victim? Who would not rather be a hero, or at least a well—acttusted and agreeable per- son? When the interviewer calls on the telephone, what will the young adult be rnore likely to say? Something like “I’m damaged goods”? 0: “Yes, it was rough at times but I survived it, and I‘m stronger for it today. ” It is the second reply that children of divorce have all their lives been encouraged to give; and the fact that they are willing to give it yet again is hardly, as Ahrons would have it, news. Thus, Ahrons’ statistics on their own hardly constitute three cheers for divorce. Far more meaningful and revealing are the extended quotations from interview subjects with which the book is liberally studded. She writes, for instance, that Andy, now thirtyutwo, sees “value” in his parents’ divorce. Why? Because: "I learned a lot. i grew up a lot more quickly than a lot of my friends. Not that that’s a good thing or a bad thing. People were always thinking i was older than I was because of the way I carried myself.” Treating a. sad, unfortunate experience (like being forced to grow up more quickly than one’s peers) as something neutral or even positive is rnerety one example of what can happen when a person attempts to conform to a culture that insists that divorce is no big deal. To take such an ambivalent response as clear evidence that divorce does no damage, as Ahrons does is inexcusable. Aluons cheerfully reports other “good” results of divorce. Here for example is Brian, whose parents split when he was five: “in general, I think [the divorce} has had very positive effects. I see what hap- pens in divorces, and I have promised myself that I would do anything to not get a divorce. 1 don’t want my kids to go through what I went through.” Tracy, whose parents divorced when she was twelve, sees a similar upside to divorce: “I saw some of the things my parents did and know not to do that in my marriage and see the way they treated each other and know not to do that to my spouse and my children. l know [the divorce} has made me more committed to my husband and my children.” . 54 ISSUE, 3 f Does Divorce Create LongvTerm Negative Effects . . . 2’ ’i‘hese are ringing endorsements of divorce as a positive life event? like the testimony of a child who's iearned a painfui but useiui iesson about the dangers of piaying with fire, such accounts indicate that the primary benefit of divorce is to encourage young people to avoid it in their own Elves if at aii possible. Then there are the significant problems with the structure of Ahrons’ study itself. Whiie the original families were recruited using a randomized method, the study iacks any controi group. in other words, Ahrons inter— viewed plenty of young people from divorced families but spoke to no one of Similar ages from intact families. 80 she really can’t teli us anything at ail about how these young people might differ from their peers. Rather than acknowledging that her lack of a control group is a serious limitation, Ahrons sidesteps the issuer in several places she compares her suh~ jects to generaiized “sociai trends“ or “their contemporaries” and decides, not surprisingly, that they are not ali that different. Thus, Ahrons notes that many ,7 of the young people from divorced families toid her they frequently struggled with issues of “commitment, trust, and dealing with conflict," but on this 11 finding she comments, “These issues are precisely the ones that most adults in this stage of their deveiopment grapple with, whether they grow up in a nuclear family or not.” Never mind that she has not intervieWed any of those other young people, or cited any studies to back up her contention, or acknowledged the possibility that, while all young people do have to deai with these kinds of interpersonal issues, some have a much harder time doing it than others. Ahrons instead wholly dismisses the pain expressed by the chil— dren of divorce and assures us that they are simply passing through a normal development phase. When it comes to her conclusions, Ahrons claims that “if. you had a devi~ taiized or high~conflict marriage, you can take heart that the decision to divorce may have been the very best thing you could have done for your chilw dren." Whiletfifisarch does show that children, on average, do better after a high—conflict marriageends (the same research,'by Paul Amato and Aian Erase}; also Shows” that only Onothird of divorces end high-conflict marriages), no one~AhrOns inciudedimhas shown that children do better when an adult ends a marriage he or she perceives as “devitalized.” Chiidren don’t much care whether their parents have a “vital” marriage. They care whether their mother and father livs with them, take care of them, and don’t fight a lot. . . . ’ Ahrons’ also remains preoccupied with the concept of stigma. She writes, for instance, that we are seeing "progress" because a high divorce rate has the effect of reducing the stigma experienced by chiioren of divorce. That’s all well and good, but one wonders why Anions gives stigma so much attention while saying nothing about a far more damaging social problem for children of divorcemnamely, silence. Consider my own experience. The type of family in which I grew up was radically different from the intact family mode-2. Yet no one around me, not even therapists, ever once acknowledged that fact. Never mind that my beioved father lived hours away, or that the. mother I adored was often stressed as she tried to earn a living white also acting as a singie parent. i was left to assume, like many children of divorce, that whatever problems l was begs-3“? Monte.wvrrwirfl cflnw'nnn"caveman/w a‘«"v;v.—:v,v.v.“.vm‘ «.i ~ IN,»‘fl'-I'¢ awa-‘c'vg-gemv35,“ r“ Elizabeth Marquardt 55 struggled with were no one’s fault but my own. The demand that children or divorce keep quiet and get with the program puts them in the position of protecting adults from. guilt and further stresswet‘fectiveiy reversing the natural order of tarniiy Elie in which the aduits are the protectors of children. Al'rrons is remarkably unsympathetic to the children on whom this bur— den is laid. What do children of divorce longfor? According to Ahrons, they nurture unrealistic hope‘s‘for “tidy,” “perfect” tarniiiesf She uses these words to frequentlyfwthe firsti’errn appears at least six times in the hook and the sec- ond at'le'aSt four times—that she sometimes appears to be portraying children of divorce asuweird Obsessives. Speaking directly to children of divorce, Ahrons offers the following advice: "You may not have the idyllic family you dreamed of . . . [but] often the oniy thing within our control is how we perceive or interpret an event.” "For example, you can choose to see your famiiy as rear— ranged, or you can choose to see it as broken." indeed, the curative powers of social constructivism are nothing short of miraculous. Encouraging readers to stop using the descriptive term "adult child of divorce," she asserts that “it’s a stigmatizing iabei that presumes you are deficient or traumatized. . . . if you have fallen prey to using it to explain something about yourself, ask yourself if it is keeping you from making changes that might bring you more satisfao tion in your life.” Apparently, coming to grips with one’s family history and the deepest sources of one’s sadness and loneliness is the worst thing a child can do. . . . Ahrons sureiy knows more about the tragedies of divorce than her thesis aliows her to admit. She has studied divorced families for years. She has worked with them as a clinician. She hasbeeri throu_gi_1diyorce herseif. Yet she inevitably follows up heartbreaking observations of interviewees with the con fident assertion that everyone involved would be so much happier if oniy they talked themseives out ofwand even waiked away frommtheir anguish. As she writes in one {unintentionally haunting) passage, “Over the years I have lis- tened to many divorcing parents in my clinical practice talk about how much they iook forward to the day when their children. will be grown and they won’t have to have anything more to do with their axes? “is ithSSrihleeto image} sadder or more desperate desire than this onewthe longing for onefschildren to grow up faster so that relations with one’s err-spouse can be more effecn tit/’er severed'fmin such passages it becomes obvious that all of Ahrons’ efforts to explain away the tragedy of divorce and its iegacy are in vain. in the end, the theory collapses before reality Ahrons’ poorly structured study and far too tendentious thesis are of no help to us in thinking through our approach to divorce and its consequences. Children of divorce are reai, complex people who are deeply shaped by a new kind of fractured famiiy liiewone whose current prevalence is unprecedented in human history. These children are not nostalgic for “tidy,” “perfect,” “idyiiic” families. T hey grieve the real losses that follow from their parents’ divorce. They don’t need new words to describe what they’ve been through. Ordinary words Wui serve quite waiiwprovided that people are wiiling to iisten to them. Constance Ahrons No Easy Answers: Why the Popular View of Divorce Is Wrong It was a sunny, unseasonahiy warm Sunday morning in October. In a quaint country inn in New Jersey, surrounded by a glorious autumh garden, my young grandchildren and I waited patiently for theirr Aunt jenriifer’s wedding to begin. The white carpet was untolled, the guests were assembled, and the harpist was playing Pachethel"s Canoe. A hush came over the guests. The first member of the bridal party appeared. Poised at the entry, she took a deep breath as she began her slow- paced walk down the White wedding path. Pauline, my grandchildren's stepgreatwgrandmother, made her way down the aisle, pausing occasionally to greet family and friends. A round of applause spontaneously erupted. She had traveled fifteen hundred miles to be at her granddaughter’s wedding, when oniy days before, a threatening illness made her presence doubtful. Next in the grand parade came the best man, one of the groom’s three brothers. Proudly, he made his way down the aisle and took his position, ready to be at his brother’s side. Then the two maids of honor, looking loveiy in their flowing black chiffon gowns, made their appearance. My grandchildren started to wiggle and whisper: “It’s Aunt Amy [my younger daughter}! Arid Christine [the longtime gtrifriend who cohabits with Uncle Craig, my daughters’ hail} brother]5” As they walked down the aisle and moved slowly past as, special smiles were exchanged with my grandchildrehmtheir nieces and nephew. Seconds later, my youngest granddaughter pointed excitedly, exclaiming, “Here comes Mommyi” They waved excitedly as the next member of the 7 bridai party, the matron of honorwtheir market: my daughter—made her way 2 down the path. She paused briefly at our row to exchange a fleeting greeting ’ with her chiidren. Next, the groom, soon officially to be their "Uncle Andrew,” with his mother’s arm linked on his left, and his father or; his right. The happy three some ioined the processional. Divorced from each other when Andrew was a child, his parents beamed in anticipation of the marriage of their eldest son. Silence. All heads now turned to catch their first giimpse of the bride. Greeted with oohs and aahs, Aunt Jennifer was radiant as she walked arm in arm with her proud and eiegaht mother, their stepgrahdmother, Grandma Susan. Sadly missed at that moment was the father of the. bride, my former husband, who had passed away a few years eariier. e to Say About 'l'huiz' E at'k‘ l'livon‘e 3W llhfl'l by per ' Reg. N9 r“ Constance Ahrons 5? When E mid friends in {iaiifornia l was flying to the E wedding, i stumbled ov er how to expiain my relationship to the bride, to some i expialned: “She’s my exhusband’s daughter by" his second wife,” '11:} others, perhaps to be provocative and draw attention to the lack of kinship terms, 1 said, “Sheik; my daughters" sister,” Of eourse, technieaiiy she’s my daughters’ transistor, but many years ago my daughters tote! rne firmly that that term "halfw sister” was utteri}; ridiculous. jennifer wasn’t a han anything, she was their real sister. Some of my friends thought it strange that i wouid he invited; others thought it even stranger that I wouid travei cross-country to attend. The wedding reception brought an awkward mome or the groom’s guests asked a e bride?” With some guilt at vio] how else to identify our kinship, puzzled look. It was not that t seemed strange to them that I East Coast fora {Eii’i’iii}? hi or two, when some ommon question, "How was I restated to the atlng my daughters’ dictum, but not knowing I answered, "She is my daughters’ halfsister.” A hey didn’t understand the relationship, but it was a wedding guest. As we talketi, a few guests e sad stories of families iatect happy stories of how together at family ceiebrations. ehratory day, i happened to be standing eone from the groom’s side asked us how ated. She or I pleasantly answered, “We used to be married to the same man.” This response turned out to be a showfiopper. The question asker was at a loss to respond. First and secon At several points during this eel next to the bride’s mother when 50m we were rei d Wives aren’t supposed to be amicable of having a husband in common. 5 untimely death brought curried at his funeral and 33/5 afterward. A different —-his first and second famiiies—«shared our loss :11in and friends for several (1 ievei of kinship formed, as we and sadness. Since then, we celebrations, which has adde ‘ uships years after divorce, why don’t we Quite simply, it’s beeaus e this is not the way it’s so fly, and the many others like pposed to be. My fain— rnine, don’t fit the ideai images we have about 58 1551.313. 3 f Does Divorce Create Long-Term Negative Effects . . . ? families. They appear strange because they’re not titty. 'l‘here are “extra” peow ple and relationships that don’t exist in nuclear families and are awkward to describe because we cton’t have. familiar and socially defined kinship terms to do so. Although families rearranged and expanded by divorce are rapidly grow ing and increasingly common, our resistance to accepting them as normal makes them appear deviant. Societal change is painfully slow, which. results in the situation wherein the current realities of tarnin life come into conflict with our valued i1 ages. Sociologists call this difference “cultural lag," the difference between'h’hatflis real and What We hold as ideal. This lag-occurs because of our powerful rests~ tance to acknowledging changes that chalienge our basic beliefs about what’s good. and What’s bad in our society. Why Good Divorces Are Invisible Good divorces are those in which the divorce does not destroy meaningful familyrelationships, Parents maintain a sufficiently cooperative and support we” relationship that allows them to focus on the needs of their children. In good divorces chiidren continue to have ties to both their mothers and their fathers, and each of their extended families, including those acquired when either parent remarries. Good divorces have been Well-kept secrets because to acknowledge them. in mainstream life threatens our nostalgic images of family. if the secret got out that indeed many families that don’t fit our "mom and pop” household ideai are healthy, we would have to question the basic societal premise that marriage and family are synonymous. And that reality upsets a lot of people, who then. respond with familiar outcries that divorce is erecting our basic values and destroying society. Although we View ourselves as a society in which nuclear families and lifelong monogamous marriages predominate, the reality is that 43 percent of first marriages will end in divorce. Over half of new marriages are actually remarriages for at least one of the partners. Not only have either the bride or groom (or both) been divorced but increasingly one of them also has parents who are divorced. _ Families are the way we organize to raise children. Although we holclthe ioeal imageth'ai'niarti'age'is a'precmsor to establishing a family, modern par”; ents are increasingly challenging this traditional ideal. Famiiies today arrange; and rearrange—themselves in many responsible ways that meet the needs of chiidten for nurturance, guidance and economic support. Farniiy historian Stephanie Coontz, in her book The My We Never Were. shows how the “new mendous variety of workable chiidrearing patterns in history suggests that, with little effort, we should be able to forge new institutions and values.” One way we resist these needed societal changes is by denying that divorce is no long=r deviant. We demean divorced families by clinging to the belief that families can’t exist outside of marriage. it follows then that stories of healthy families that don’t fit the. tidy nuclear family package are rare anti sto- ries that show how divorce destroys famitles and harms children are cormnon. Ni) (‘oosmrrce Ahrmrs 59 in this was; had :iivotccs airport to represent the :"fi‘sitfit‘lCQ-li'} was; oi divorce and grime? divorces become invisible. s-iessagls That Hinder Good Divorces tutu-er: the evils oi divorce are all that ifamilics hear about, it makes coping with the iiiii‘liiéil transitions and changes ti‘iet inevitaiiiy accompany divorce all the more difficult. Negative messages make children feel different and lesser, leading to feelings of shame and guiit. Parents who feel marginalized in this: way are less iikeiy to think about creative solutions to their pt“("3l.il0§’li$. That Ali of this unnecessary anxiety is fueled by sensationaiizc-(i reports of weak findings, half—truths and myths of devastation is depiorabic. Only by sorti rig out the truths about divorce from the fiction can we he empowered to make better decisions, find heaithy ways to maintain family relationships, and develop important tarnin rituals after divorce. Let’s take a ciose look at the . um i m :n n ~an 4- km. i‘i‘riib‘i’ Lufi'imOf‘r mincirfittyhuflo ctuuui ulVUiLtfi. Misconceptiou 1: Farents Should Stay Married for the Sake of the Kids This is message that pervades our culture, and it rests on a false duality: Marriage is good for kids, divorce is bad. Underlying this premise is the beiiet' "that parents who divorce are immature and selfish because they put their perm sonai needs ahead of the needs of their children, that because divorce is too easy to get, spouses give up on their marriages too easiiy and that if you’re thinking about divorcing your spouse, you should “stick it out tiEi the kids are grown.” A popular joke takes this message to its extreme. A coupie in their nine— ties, married for seventy years, appears before a judge in their petition for a divorce. The judge Eooks at them quizzicaiiy and asks, "Why now, why after aii these years?” The couple responds: "We waited until the children were dead.” The research findings are now very ciear that reality is nowhere near as simple and tidy. Unresolved, open ititerparentai coofiict between married 33th5865 thet pervades day-today family life has been shown again and again “to have negative effects on children. Most experts agree that when this is the Cése it is better for the chiidren if parents divorce rather than stay married. Ironically, prior to the initiation of no-fauit iegisiation over twenty years ago, in most states this kind of open conflict in the home was considered “cruel and inhumane” treatment and it was one of the few grounds on which a divorce worrid be grantedwif it could be proved. But the maiority ot‘ unsatisfying marriages are not such clearcut cases. When most parents ask themselves it they shouid stay married for the sake of their chiidren, they have clearly” reached the point where they are miserable in their mortiztges but wouidn’t necessariiv categorize them as “high-conflict.” And here is where, in spite of the societal message. there is no agreement in the research findings or arring clinical experts. That’s because it’s extremely CGBIpleX and each individual situation is too different to aiiow for a "onesize fits~a]l“ answer: 66 IS§IEE 3 ,i" Does Divorce Create Longw'i‘erm Negative Effects . . . '1’ A huge list of factors corncs into play when assessing whether staying married wode be herrer for your kids. For example, - Is the unhappiness in your marriage making you so depressed or angry that your children’s needs go unmet because you can’t parent effectively? a Do you and your spouse have a cold and distant relationship that makes the atmosphere at home unhealthy for your children? a Do you and your spouse lack mutual respect, caring or interests, set— ting a poor model for your children? ' Wouid the financial hardships he so dire that your chi dre rience a severely reduced standard of living? .._i :3 :1 H w -- r: > .2 m [ Add to this your child’s temperament, resources and degree of resilience, and then the personal and family changes that take place in the years after the divorce, and you can see how the complexities mount. lt is a rare parent who divorces too easily Most parents are responsible adults who spend years struggling with the extremely difficult and complex decision of Whether to divorce or stay married “for fire sake of the children.” The bottom line is char divorce is an adult decision, usually made by one spouse, entered into in the face of many unknowns. Withoui a crystal ball, no one knows whether their decision will be better for their children. As you read further in this book, however, you may gain some perspective on What Wili be most helpful in your situation, with your children, by listening carefully to the reactions and feelings of various children of divorce as they have changed over twenty years. Misconception 2: "Adult Children of Divorce” Are Doomed to Have Lifelong Problems If your parents divorced when you were a child, you are often categorized as an ACOD, an “adult child of divorce,” and we all know there’s nothing good to be said about that. I dislike this label because it is stigmatizing. lt casts daris shadows over divorcing parents and their children, results in feelings of shame and guilt, and is another way oi pathologizing divorce. Years ago 1 coined a term, “divorcism,” to call attention to the stereo types and stigma atrached to divorce. To put children with divorced parents in a special category is divorcian in action. It stereotypes them as a group wirh probiems, and like all stereotypes it ignores individual differences. If your parents didn’i divorce, are you then called an “aduit child of marriage”? No, you’re josi “normal.” Normal kids mus: have two parents oi" differeni genders who live in the same household; anyihing else is abnormal. and if you’re abnormai then you must he dysfunctional, 'l‘har’s the way the American family story goes. Perhaps the worsi outcome of this laheiing is thai ii rnakes parents and children leci lira? {his one event has doomed them and tl‘iey don’t have the power to change anything. This pinpoiniing oi divorce as the source of per sons? orooiems is pervasive. {Barents worry ilrai whenever problems their kids . «Vow m- .rww-w u, M.) f Constance Ahmns 63 have. own when they are oomnat developmorital issues, were caused by the tryorce. {.iiiildron are encouraged to blame the divorce for whatever unhappi- ness the}; may feet, which makes them feel heirtless about improving their EEVCS. teachers are often too quick to identify divorce as the reason for a child’s school behavior prohietn. The greater society points a finger at divorce as the reason for a wide range of greater social problems. the truth isihat, for the great majority of children whoexyerierice aparen— _ _ tal {limit-cc, tlic divorce- became; pangs the',:_hi_story bot-iris hora.dgfifllligfac— tor. like the rcst ar'us; triosto'fthem reach adulthood to lead reasonably hetooy, N. ‘ ssfu] lives. Although children who grew up with divorced parents certainly share an important common experience, their ahiiity to form healthy relation- ships, be good parents, build careers, and so on, are far more determined by their individual temperaments, their sihiiog relationships, the dynamics within their parents" marriages and the climate of their postdr'vorce family lives. Misconceptton .3: Divorce Means You Are no Longer a Family There’s this myth that as long as you stay married your family is good but as soon as you announce you’re separating, your family is thrown into the bad zone. Your family goes from being “intact” to being "dissolved," form two“ parent to single parent, from functional to dysfunctional. Even though we all know that people don’t jump from happy marriages right into divorce, there is an asSumption that the decision to separate is the critical marker. it doesn’t seem to matter whether your marital relationship was terrible, Whether you were miserable and your children troubled. just as long as you are married and living together in one household, the sign over the front door clearly states to the world, "We’re a norrnal family.” The inaccurate and misleading message that divorce destroys families is harm.qu to both parents and children because it hides and denies all the positive ways that families can be rearranged after divorce. it sends the destructive mes- sage to children that divorce means they only get to i<eep one parent and they wilt no longer he part of a familyxfiilthough two-parent firstmmarriod households Know represent lesswthan 25 percent of all householdsand an" increasing number 5?"chilrlren each year are raised by'uorriarri‘ed'adults,“rriaéiy'peoplé to the Eigliet that healthy families can only he twowparent married families and social“ “Changes aiways had and threatening to our very foundations._ 1463*»? When Jolie, one of the participants in my study, married recently, she walked down the aisle with a father on either side. On her left was her biological father, on her right was her stepfather of eighteen years. Her mother was her matron of honor. who ioined her former and present husbands, all standing together to witness the marriage. Two best men, the groom’s cicven—yearold twin sons from his first marriage, stood next to him. Helen, the groom’s former Wife, sat ciose by, accompanied by Tony, her tiVe—tn partner. .....a«c.,;m v' 62 ISSUE. 3 ;’ {Zloes Divorce Create Long-Term Negative iiiffects . . . "3 While this Wedding ceren’roriy doesn’t fit the traditional pattern, {ion and lulie have joined the threeuquartcrs of American househoids who have living arrangements other than that of the "traditional" famiiy. My older daughter thanked me for coming to jenrrifer's wedding. She told me that my being there made it possible for her to share this happy occaw sion with all her family, instead of feeling the CliSCORHECtiOIIS that. some chil- dren feei in divorced families. This bonding spreads to the third generation so that my grandchildren know us all as family. The truth is that although some divorces result in family breakdown, the vast majority do not. while diytirtte_clianges the form of the family iron} one household to two, home-nuclear famin to a hinuciear .onerit does not need “to ch'angeitheWay children think and feel about the significant relationships withintheir families. This does not mean that divorce isnot p‘aiiiful or diffi- cult, but over the years, as postdivorce families change and even expand, most remain capable of meeting chiidren’s needs for family. Misconception 4: Divorce Leaves Children without Fathers This message is linked closely with the preceding one because when we say that divorce destroys families we really mean that fathers disappear from the family. The myths that accompany this message are that fathers are “deadbeat dads” who abandon their kids and leave their families impoverished. The message strongly implies that fathers don’t care and are unwilling or unable to make continuing commitments to their children. While this reflects the reality for a minority of divorced fathers, the maiority of fathers continue to have loving relationships with their children and contribute financially to their upbringing. The truth is that many fathers do spend less time with their children after divorce. but to stereotype them as parents who abandon their children only creates more difficuity for both. fathers and their children. It establishes a myth that men are irresponsible parents who don’t care about their children, when in reality roost feel great pain that they are not able to see their children more frequently. in the vast maiority of divorces, own 85 percent, mothers are awarded sole custody, or in the case of joint custody, primary residence. This means that most fathers become nonresidentiai parents after divorce. Being a nonresidential father is a difficult role with no preparation or guidelines. Most of the research on dads after divorce focuses onflahusenteewifflhers, while involved fathers are frequently overlooked... Many fathers continue-"t0 he excellent parents after divorce and in fact some fathers and children report that their relationships actually improve after the divorce. in much the same way that good divorces are invisible in the public debate, so are involved fathers. Misconception 5: Exspouses Are incapable of Getting Along When i first started to study divorce in the early 1970s, it was assumed in the literature that any continuing relationship between exspouses was a sign of serious oathoiogy, an inability to adiust to the divorce, to let go and to move on with their lives. :42 z. a. E «f 5 Nymw ..~.f. “fa; .m rmww NO (iorzstanceAirguns 63 in tire late itiTi‘is. when joint custody was first iiitn'ztinced, it lira-i met ‘ lanai cries; of xkenticism from the oppogition. How coiiid two parents .‘ii'i corridn'i along weil enough to stay married possibly get airing ii‘ell mode??? to continue to snare parenting? ’i‘u’o decades ago i confronted the Ski-[$30 by writing ran articies arguing i'nat we. needed to accept the reaiv ray of our divorce rates and needed to transitorrn our vaiuexj about parenting after divorce. The issue was no longer li’iié’fllc’f‘ divorced piii‘ontS sirouid snare parenting to meet their children's need.» but how. .r‘ilttrougl'i there lIaVe been many iegai changes over tlze years, and some form of joint Custody iegislatiori exists now in ali states, questions about its viability stili prevail. ’i‘nese accusationrs, citing joint custody as a failed "social experiment," are. not based on research findings, which are still very limited and inconcinsive, but instead on the illmt'ounded stereotype that all divorcing spouses are. bitter enemies. too lost in waging their own wars to " miner their children. Certairiiy this is {rare for Some divorcing spouses, the ones that make. beadiiries in bitter custody disputes, but it is not true for the majority. Although we have come to realize that parents who divorce still need to have some relationship with one another, the belief that it’s not realty possibie stiil lingers. in fact, when exspouses remain friends they are viewed as a little strange and their relationship is suspect. Yet, the truth is that many divorced parents are cooperative and effective coparents. iike good divorces and involved fathers, they are mostly invisible in the media. Despite much resistance, joint custody has become increasingly common, and new words, such as "coparents," have emerged in response to this reality. The newest edition of l’Vebsterfr College Dictionary (2000) recognizes the term, defining it as separated or divorced parents who share custody and child rearing equaily. While I don’t agree that coparonting is limited only to those parents who share child rearing equally, or even that those who coparent need to snare equality in time or responsibility, the inclusion of the word in the dictionary Sanctions important new kinship language for divorced famiiies, thereby advancing our abiiity to acknowiedge compiex farniiy arrangements. Misconception 6: Divorce Turns Everyone into Exfamily; In~Laws Become Outlaws When it comes to the semantics of divorceuspeak, ail of the kinship ties that got established by marriage dissoive abruptly. Orr the day of the legal divorce, my husband and all of his relatives suddenly became exes. but even though the kinship is legally terminated, meaningful relationships often continue. My friend ,ian, during her fifteen-year marriage, formed a very close relationship with her mother—inmlaw. Now, twenty yearn; later, she still calts her eighty~two— year-oid exmother-inlaw “Mom,” talks with her several times a week and has dinner with her Weekiy. Exmother-in-law is certainly not an adequate descrip— tion of this ongoing reiaiionship. As a culture we continue to resist accegting divorce as a normal end— Poiot to marriage even though it is an option chosen by almost half of those Mae-eel? r w > . 64 ISSUE 3 ,f Does Divorce Create long-Term Negative Effects . . . '? .,_.r.uc.yml...,.,amm who marry. it: is this coltorai lag, this denial of current realities that causes the in%3rrrate language, not only for the family ties that continue but also for the family we inherit when we. our former spouses, our parents or our children remarry. Kinship language is important because it provides a shorthand way {or as to identify relationships without wading through tedious explanations. We have terms like “cousin,” “greatmaunt” or uncle, and "sister—in-law” that help us quickly identify lineage in families. Even these kinship terms are. sometimes inadequate and confusing. For exampie, "sisterdndaw" can mean my brother’s wife, or my husband’s sister, or my husband’s brother’s wife. And even though you don’t know exactly how she is related to me, you do at least know that she belongs in the family picture. lire inwlaw suffix quickly tells you that we are not blood relatives but We are related through marriage lines. Our failure to provide kinship language that recognizes some kind of viable relationship between parents who are no longer married to each other, as well as language that incorporates old and new family as kin, makes chilv dren feel that their identity is shattered by divorce. it is no wonder that we remain in the dark ages when it comes to normalizing complex families after divorce and remarriage. Our language and models for divorce and remarriage are inadequate at best, and pejorative at worst. Relegating the relationship between divorced spouses who are parents to the term "exspouse” hurls children and their parents into the dark territory of “exfamily.” The. common terms of "broken home,” “dissolved family," and “single—parent family” all imply that children are left with either no family or only one parent. This lack of positive language is one more way that the invisibility of good divorces impacts postdivorce families. . vsWWW».mmmeqemvwsg N"fiqu'av'vaxmean-vamp”; ‘ Misconception 7: Stepparents Aren’t Real Parents One of the implications of the high divorce rate is that the shape and compo- :5 sition of families have changed dramatically in the last twenty years. All over the world, weddings no longer fit the traditional model: there are stepparents, half siblings, stepsiblings, stepchildren, intimate partners of parents, stepgrandparents and even, on rare occasions, exspouses of the bride or groom. wwmtwv-awyy hammer“ ewe To complicate the wedding picture even more, one or both of the bride and groom’s parents may have been divorced. And given that well over half of those who divorce eventually remarry, We are likely to find that the majority of those who have divorced parents also have stepparents. Add the dramatic increase in cohabitation to that equation and it is not unusual for an “unmar- ried intimate partner” of one of the parents to be present as well. These comm pies families require photographers to quickly switch to their wide—angle lens and totally revamp their traditional formats for wedding photos. Over half the children today have adults in their lives for whom they can’t attach socially accepted kinship terms. 'l‘hey lack social ruies that would help .‘ti'k‘vi'vh‘vmauu ‘l:m“manqufndywy N0 ("Tonsirmcc Ahmns 65 “mm "marrow-1W4»? them know how the}? are supposed to relate rind lime to tnesent these ariiilis to the soc-is: t-vorid around them. i am reminded here or” a {fern-iii” cartoon, slime in}; .i ho}: holding his report card and asking his teacher: “Which parent do you wont to sign it: my nirtural father, my stepfather, my mother’s third husband, my real mother or my natural father’s fourth wile. who lives with us?“ As the cartoon clearly suggests, there are real and natural oarerits, and then there are stepi‘m‘ents. Stepmothers are stereotyped in children’s litera- ture as mean, nasty and even abusive. The only time we hear about stepfather}; is when the media highlights the sensationaiized case of sexual abuse. Added to these negative images is the reaiity that stepparents have no legal rights to their stepchildren. The research on stepparents is still very limited and posi~ tiVe role models are tacking. Children and their new stepoarents start off their relationslriys with two striices against them. They have to fight an uphill battle to overcome negative expectations, and they have to do so Without much help from society. Since almost 85 percent of the chiidren with divorced parents will have a stepparent at some time in their lives, it is shocking that we know so little about how these relationships work. Clearly, societal resistance to recognizing the broad spectrum of yostdivorce famiiies has hindered the development of good role mode-is for stepchildren and their stepparents. Painting (:1 False Picture Taken together, these negative messages paint 3 {else picture of divorce, one that assumes family ties are irretrievably broken so that postdivorce family reiationships appear to be nonexistent. Despite these destructive messages, many divorced parents meet the needs of their chiid‘ren by creating strong families after divorce. Without a doubt, divorce is painful and creates stress for famiiies, but it is important to remember that most recover, maintaining some of their kinship relationships and adding new ones over time. By making good divorces invisible we have accepted bad divorces as the norm. in so doing, children Eifld their divorced parents are being given inacv curate messages that confiict with the realities they live and make them feel deviant and stigmatized. it is time we challenge these outdated, illwfounded messages and replace them with new ones that acknowledge and accurately reflect current realities. WWWiékgwwnfiafiiémww.w“Wamuumfimmmmmummm. mewmswmwiwiwwmmmwmemnmmvmwmwwnn ,. The Distortions of Oversimplifying lust a little over a decade ago, in januarv 1989, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story called “Children after Divorce,” which created a wave of panic in divorced parents and their children ludith Wallerstein and her coat;“ thor, Sandra Blakeslee, a staff writer for the Nil-v York Times, noted their neWest unexpected finding. Calling it the “sleeper effect,” they concloded that only ten Years {titer divorce did it become apparent that girls experience “serious Effects of divorce at the time they are entering young adulthood.” When one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world nighiights the findings of a study, most readers take it seriously. “first: as percent of voting 66 ISSUE 3 f I'Boes Divorce Create Long’lferm Negative Effects . . . 2? women in our study between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three will suffer debilitating effects of their parents" divorce years later” immediately became generalized to the millions of fernale children with divorced parents. The inessagew-jnst when you think everything may be okay, the doom of divorce will rear its ugly headmis based on a more eighteen out of the grand total of twentymsevcn women interviewed in this age. group. This detail wasn’t men ; tioned in the fine print of the article but is buried in the appendix of the book that was scheduled for publication a month after the New York Times story 5* appeared. And it is on this slim data that the seeds of a myth are planted. We are still. living with the fallout. In sharp contrast to Wallerstein‘s View that parental divorce has a powers ful devastating impact on children well into adulthood, another psychologist made headlines with a completely opposite thesis. in her book, The? Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, }udith Rich Harris pro— poses thatwhatparents domach little difference in how their cliiidre’nismliyes turn out. Half of the variation inchildren’s-behavior and heist-sand; is due to genesiclaims Harris, and the other half to environmental factors, mainly their peer relationships. For this reason, Harris asserts parental divorce is not responsible for all the ills it is blamed for. These extreme positionsmof divorce as disaster and divorce as inconso quentlal—oversimplify the realities of our complex lives. Genes and contem~ porary relationships notwithstanding, we have strong evidence that parents still make a significant difference in their children’s development. Genetic inheritance and peer relationships are part of the story but certainly not the whole story. Sorting Out the Research Findings Drawing conclusions across the large body of research on divorce is difficult. Studies with different paradigms ask different questions that lead to different answers. A classic Wisdom story shows the problem. Three blind man bumped into an elephant as they walked through the woods. They didn’t know what it was, but each prided himself on his skill at “seeing.” So one blind man reached out and carefully explored the elephant’s leg. He described in great detail the rough, scratchy surface that was huge and round. “Alia, this is an ancient mighty tree. We’re in a new forest.” "No, no,” said the blind man who had taken hold of the elephant’s trunk. "We’re in great danger—this is a writhing snake, bigger than any in our hometown. Run!” The third man laughed at them both. He’d been (touching the el-ephant’s tusk, noticing the smooth hard surface, the gentle curve, the rounded end. “Nonsense? We have discovered an eanisitely carved born for announcing the ernperor’s arrival." The blind men described what they “saw” accurately. ’{hcir mistake was to claim that what they saw was the whole. Much. like the three blind men. researchers see different parts of the divorce elephant, which then frames their investigations. it should come, then, as no surprise that reports of the findings about divorce are often contradictory and confusing. it is impossible for any study ’s‘t} ,r' Constance .throias 6.7 it"; take account of all the coiriplexiiies oi real life, or oi the éi'idividual difier» ezices that allot-v one imiiiiv to thrive in a situation that would L‘t‘eaic enor— mous stress. and frayed relationships, in another. Sui: it is in these variations that we can begin to make sense of how dis-nice impacts the lives oi individu- als and families. Facing Reality i-laiimaris Cards recently launched a line of greeting cards called “'i'ies That iiiiui” aimed at various nontradiiionai unions—whom stepfamilies to adopted child households to unmarried partnerships. “Our cards reflect the times,” says Marita Wesely—Clough, trend group manager at Hallmark. “ Relationships today are so nebulous that they are hard to pin down, but in creating prod- ucts, we have to be aware that they are there. Companies need to respect and be. sensitive to how people are truly living their lives now, and not how they might Wish or hope for them to live,” Advertising agencies and marketing services make it their business to assess social realities. To sell their products, they have to evaluate the needs and desires of their potential consumers. They do not share the popular cultural anxiety about the changes in families. Instead they study them and alter their products to suit. Policy makers would do well to take some lessons from them and alter their preconceived notions about families to reflect current realities. While the political focus today is on saving marriages and preserving tras ditionai family values, Americans in large numbers are dancing to their own "drummers. They’re cohabiting in increasingly iarge numbers, having more 'lcliildren "out of wedlock” and engaging in serial marriages. While the rates of divorce have come down from their l981 highs, they have leveled off at a high rate that is predicted to remain stable. To meet the needs of children and par- ents, we need to burst the balloon about idealized families and support fami» lies as they really live their lives. And that means we have to face the true complexities of our families and not search for simple answers. As you read this book, keep in mind that we can all look back on our childhoods and note something about our mothers or fathers or sisters or brothers that has had tasting effects on our personalities. if you are looking to ansvver the question of whether a parental divorce results in children having more or less problems than children who grew up in other living situations, you will be disappointed. Nor will you find answers to whether the stresses of divorce are Worse for children than other stresses in life. However, you will find answers here to questions about how and why individual children respond. in different ways to the variations in their divorced families. Divorce is a stressful life event that requires increased focus on parent- ing. The effort and care that parents put into establishing their postdivorce families are crucial and will pay off over the years in their many benefits to the children. But remember, families are complex, and it you find easy answers, they are likely to be wrong. POSTSCRIPT Does Divorce Create Long-Term 7 Negative Effects For Children? In considering the effects, negative, neutral, or even positive. of divorce, it is important to consider a number of questionswntong them being: :9 Did the child have individuai relationships with each parent prior to the divorce, and is each parent determined to maintain that close bond moving forward? 0 Did the divorce come as a result of active conflictesuch as an infidel- ity, ongoing disagreements or arguing, or even Violence? 0 How old is the child at the time of the divorce? - Does either or both parents end up in new. long-term committed retai- tionships- with new partners or spouses? it is clear that even these simple (guettions do not have clear answm, particularly when it comes to their outcome on the children of the parents who divorced. For example, what if one of the divorced parents move-5 a significant distance away from the famiiy of origin? This would, indeed, make maintaining the relationship with the child challenging, although advances in technology has begun to aid in this procesg. If there were a great deal of coniiict in the home prior to the divorce; and a child is affected developmentally, can the effects be isolated to the conflict or attributed to the dissoiotlon of the relationship? The younger a child is when parents separate, the less likely they are to understand it, although if there is much conflict in the home, a child may reapond viscerally or iieiiz-zviorally without even necessarily connecting it to what is going on with iter or his parents. Finally, when at new partner or spouse comcs into it divorced parent’s; lite, Cl young person must deal with forming a new i'eizitionsliip with that pcrsonl who may very well becoirie at parent-figurc or <.':ii'c;;i\'cr to them. Again, nonc of this; is cat}; but according to some rexcarciicrs. it is, 3mm late. A}: with tl'gmst‘acial adoption, there it Slill stigma attached to clitorce, 3.1m it (itilieéii'N‘ to I36 reducing Lix people comc to tintian‘atzmd dit‘otcc a isét tactic-‘2' {in the potential harm: to :3 cliitd Wcll as the rennin; behind it. And in review; of diuitccit parent‘s. illilt‘ll inorc i’excz-trci‘; is; needed. to dctcrn‘nnc tl'tc ‘ ital or cit oi grit c‘hti‘ufitit‘t'l cuttg'fic taint wit tutti-titer for tho Sille of Exit who titudtii lll"l€3 or am attrition it‘n‘ tits: child or : cuzisiettrittlt. Should *t'a‘itéplc fl'ci‘ stat it);§t‘*tiict' tin“ iitc attic (>3 tl'écéi' cltiELli'cii.’ {it {liz'm'cc :x it'iiiiifil.iiict3‘s,3 mi more will 5" {)5 Suggested Readings (j. ;'U}§‘("JE1S. {414'12'2‘5 Sifii! ,1<1.HII§I}P: i-‘szdz Gram-'2 (fisifsirm Him-v 1‘0 351;" £12er ’i'?ft’;'r I-’;.m"rz!;s" Dmm'e. Yurk: HarperCoHins Publishers. 2005. .-\. {.tiéll'kBSiQWé’tl‘i, and C. Bremano, Divorce: ( flames and (Tm-25m;nan-mes. Ncw I"'féiYE-fl'32 Yale {Iniversity Press, 2006. (i. Everett, ed. [Jimmy and the Next Gem-321mm): Pampeci'ivas f?» Yaw-23 .--1du!t$ in the N'ch .‘vfiik’nnium. Binghamton, NY: '{he f—Iawozih PRESS, 2001. J. Harvey, and M. A. Fine, (fl-affairs»: UfDiVOrcfe Stories (If 11-055 and Growth. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assuciates, {my 2004. E, Hetheringten, and }. Keily, Far Better or for Worse: Divorce wed. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2003. E1. Marquezrdt, Between T 1.1/0 Warlds: The Inner Lives afChr’Idrm “fDivarce. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2006. J. S. Wallefstem! I. Lewis, and S. Blakestee, The Unexpected Legaqy of" Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study. New York: Hyperion Books, 2000. II. Zimmerman, and E. Thayer, Adult Children of Divorce. Oak] Harbinger Publications, 2003. Recensid— and: New 69 ...
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Issue 3 - divorce harmful - ESSUE 3 Does Divorce Create...

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