How Divorce Effects Kids Essay

This essay has a total of 995 words and 4 pages.

How Divorce Effects Kids

If two people love each other enough to get married, and together choose to form a
lifelong commitment, why are so many of these marriages ending? What does marriage mean to
people nowadays and why do people decide to get married? Records show us that people have
been getting married for as long as the earliest recorded history. There are many benefits
for couples who have a successful marriage. When a marriage begins to fail it is usually
due to a couple's inability to communicate, lack of a common goal, or a trust vs. mistrust
issue; therefore, more so than not, these types of situations will ultimately result in a
divorce. The most frequently asked question over the last two decades has been, "Does
divorce effect children and how so?" Studies have shown that divorce affects children in
many ways: affects their self-esteem, feels as thought they "lose" a parent, and takes
away their sense of family.

The divorce rate has quadrupled form 4.3 million in 1970 to 18.3 million in 1996 (quoted
form census bureau's release about its marital status and living arrangements). "The
number of children living with both parents declined from 85 to 68 percent between 1970
and 1996. The proportion of children living with one parent has grown from 12 percent to
28 percent during this same time span (Quoted from Census Bureau's release about its
report on marital status and living arrangements)". A person's first marriage, if it were
to end in divorce, will most likely end in the first 3 to 5 years (U.S. Bureau of the
Census, 1992, p. 4). "Half of all children will witness the breakup of a parent's
marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent's second marriage
(Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, "Life Course," 656ff. Cited on page76 of The
Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher). "Since the introduction of "no-fault divorce"
in Canada 30 years ago, the rate of marital break-up has soared 600%. A third of all
marriages fail, and over a third of those break-ups involve children. One-fifth of
Canadian children have lost a parent to divorce, with an effect that some sociologists now
say can be, "worse than a parent's death." Younger people in the U.S. who are marrying for
the first time face roughly a 40-50% chance of divorcing in their lifetime under current
trends (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992, p. 5). Studies show that ten years after their
parents' divorce 30% of the children cope successfully in life, while 40% have mixed
successes with relationships, and personal problems. The remaining 30% continue to
struggle with significant relationship and personal problems (Wallerstein, 1989).

Divorce is a painful experience to go through for everyone who is involved. In reality,
divorce is the destruction of God's intentions of a true, loving family. Children of
divorced families are, in a sense, robbed of a special experience of having a family.
Children, in the mist of all of their confusion, usually turn to God to ask Him the one
question that remains on their minds, and that is, "why me?" These same children that go
through a divorce are worse off than children that come from families without divorce.
When parents split up, there are many different emotions children have to deal with,
usually by themselves. When these certain feelings are expressed it usually results in
abnormal behavior. "Adults and children are at increased risk for mental and physical
problems due to marital distress" (Fincham, Grych, & Osborne, 1993). The abnormal
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