Effect of Divorce on Children

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Divorce, as defined by The Black Law Dictionary is “The legal separation of man and wife, effected, for cause, by the judgment of a court, and either totally dissolving the marriage relation, or suspending its effects so far as concerns the cohabitation of the parties.” The dissolution of a marriage is a legal act that may not coincide with the couple’s emotion; however, it has become the norm as a way to deal with marital problems. Divorce is considered to be a painful process resulting in adults loosing psychological equilibrium and children loosing stable perspectives. The issue though, of whether or not children ever regain a stable perspective continues to be debated. Post-divorce hostility between adults, in addition to directly harming kids, is a sure indicator that the emotional split is incomplete. The effects of divorce on children differ greatly; age, gender and stage of development must be considered as to how divorce might affect children. However, we all can agree divorce will affect them some way or another. Their world, their security and the stability they have known seem to fall apart when parents divorce. No matter what their age, children appear to have some universal worries when divorce occurs. At each stage of development, children have different needs, their cognitive understandings differ and as of such, many researchers studying divorce would consider age of children as an important variable. Clarke-Stewart et al. studied the effects of divorce on very young children. In this study, researchers examined aspects including cognitive ability, social ability, behavioral problems, and attachment to mother and also the child’s positive and negative behavior with his or her mother. When compared with children in two-parent families, children in non-intact families did not perform as well on tests of cognitive development at 15, 24, and 36 months
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