The Effects of Divorce on Young Children
The statistics for divorce in the 1990's suggest that nearly sixty percent of marriages end in divorce. Given this startling figure, the assumption can be made that many children will experience some effects caused by the life-changing event called divorce. What is it exactly about divorce that causes negative consequences for these children? In what ways will these children be effected? Will these effects show outwardly? I will attempt to uncover some of the complexities surrounding these psychological questions in the following text. The unsettling fact is: young children of divorced parents face great psychological challenges due to the environmental conditions and changes associated with divorce (Wolchik and Karoly 45).
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Change occurring in the parent-child relationship is almost always prevalent leading children to worry about who will take care of them. Disorganization and inconsistency in parenting styles leaves children in a state of confusion. Children don't know what behavior is acceptable at mom's vs. dad's place of residence. The decrease in income level can contribute to anxiety, frustration, and even embarrassment for children. Due to all these changes, it is reasonable to hypothesize that environmental condition and change associated with the post divorce adjustment period are mediated both by the different experiences that occur and by different responses to these experiences.
Interview of : Caleb, age seven
"My parents aren't actually divorced yet. But they're getting one soon. They stopped living together when I was one and a half, and my Dad moved next door. Then, when I was five, he moved to Chicago, and that hurt my feelings because I realized he was really leaving and I wouldn't be able to see him every day. My father's an artist, and when he lived next door to us in New York, I used to go to his studio every day and watch him when he was welding. I had my own goggles and tools, and we would spend many an hour together. I remember when I first heard the bad news that he was moving away, because I almost flipped my lid. My father said he would be divorcing my Mom but that he wouldn't be divorcing me and we'd still see each other a