stin0140: April 2012 Archives

The statistic of one in two marriages ending in divorce today has brought the subject of how divorce affects children into the eye of popular psychology. Many say that children with divorced parents are prone to long-term emotional damage and unable to maintain a meaningful romantic relationship. A twin study revealed that the children of the twin that had a divorce had higher levels of depression and were more likely to have substance abuse problems. These findings suggest that these circumstances would lead the child of divorce to be twice as likely to get a divorce themselves, continuing the cycle. However, studies have shown that the majority of kids get through their parent's divorce and can live their lives normally. Although studies suggest that the likelihood of the child being emotionally damaged depends on the amount of conflict between the parents before, during, and after the divorce. Personally, as a child of divorce myself, I believe that the parent's relationship and the level of negativity and cooperativeness in it greatly determines the child's emotional outcome. I have never had any emotional or behavioral problems and my schoolwork never suffered as a result of my parent's divorce (contrary to popular belief).


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I found the concepts in Chapter 14, Personality, the most intriguing. Among these concepts were how people express anxiety and use defense mechanisms (repression, denial, regression, reaction-formation, projection, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, identification with the aggressor, and sublimation), Freud's idea of Psychoanalytic Theory, The Big Five Model of Personality, and graphology (the psychological interpretation of handwriting). However, the structure of personality is particularly interesting. Freud identified the personality as consisting of three parts, the id, ego, and superego. The id is the reservoir of our most primitive impulses; the ego is the psyche's executive and principal decision maker; the superego is our sense of morality. It is explained in the book with the analogy of an iceberg with the ego the most visible, the superego partly visible and the id completely hidden from sight. You can see many examples of this concept in pop culture movies in which a character is in conflict. The ego is represented by the person in conflict. Then suddenly, two miniature characters appear on the shoulders of the ego. The id is the devil who is only interested in their own wants and needs and the angel on the opposing shoulder is the superego which advocates for the ego to make the morally correct decision.

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