Effects of Divorce on Children

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According to the study of Judith Wallerstein in 1989, divorce causes long-term damage to children. Wallerstein did a 25-year study of 60 different families. She claims that the children of divorced parents had trouble setting their career goals as well as maintaining stable romantic relationships. However, Wallerstein's findings are hard to analyze because they don't know if her findings reflect effects of divorce itself or just the general effects of stressful disruption in families. According to a study done by Amato and Booth in 1997, and Rutter in 1972, the amount of conflict between the parents before divorce can cause more or less effects on the children. According to their study, if the severity of conflict is greater between the parents, the less severe the effects are on the children. This is true, probably because the children are just relieved that their parents stopped their intense conflicts. If the conflict wasn't as severe, the children are more likely to be effected long-term.


I myself have experienced what it's like to grow up with conflicted parents who later divorced. My parents use to argue a whole lot when I was young, and then they got divorced when I was 14. I don't know if all the arguing or the divorce even affected me at all, but I can see some signs of it. I'm currently an undecided student who hasn't established my career goals, so I kind of fit the mold with Wallerstein's findings of children with divorced parents having trouble establishing career goals and stable romantic relationships. After finding out about this claim, I wonder if there really is a correlation between divorce and children's futures.

Picture- http://www.agamecalledjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/divorce_children.jpg
Source- Psych textbook chapter 10- page 391

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Even if there is a correlation, does that means divorce is the cause of the children's disrupted future? What could be some other explanations?

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This page contains a single entry by khamb005 published on November 5, 2011 3:40 PM.

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