The Impact of Parental Separation (Draft)

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Parental separation is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. In many developed countries, separation rates have increased markedly during the previous century. It is reported that more than 1 million children each year experience their parents’ separation. Divorce or separation is a critical event happening to about 54% of young families; however nobody really is prepared for the difficulties that follow. Parental separation has been reported in the literature as being associated with a wide range of adverse effects on children’s wellbeing, both as a short-term consequence of the transition and in the form of more enduring effects that persist into adulthood. Both parental marital status and the parent-adolescent relationship have been found to be related to adolescent well-being (Forehand, Middleton, & Long, 1987; Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dombusch 1991). There is a wide diversity of outcomes among both groups of children from divorced and intact families, and the adjustment of children following divorce depends on a wide range of other factors. Pryor and Rodgers (2001) show that the risk of poor social adjustment is twice as great for children whose parents are separated or divorced (Amato, 2000; Simons, Lin, Gordon, Conger, and Lorenz, 1999; Emery, 1999; Kelly, 2000; Hetherington and Kelly, 2002). Among other things, children from divorced families 2 PAGE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS showed increased problems in social and close relationships (Hetherington 1997), were two to three times more likely to associate with antisocial peers (Amato and Keith, 1991), engaged in earlier commencement of sexual activity, including being twice as likely to encounter teenage pregnancy (McLanahan, 1999), and were at a greater risk of substance

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