The Effects of Divorce on Children
In recent years, it has become more socially accepted that one’s personality is shaped significantly by environmental occurrences throughout one’s life, especially in the childhood years of development (Powell). When juxtaposed with the fact that nearly half of U.S. marriages end in divorce, an important question must be aske: How, and to what extent, is divorce affecting children?
This question has become a hot topic for psychologists and social theorist every where. And yet, despite the large amount of opposing views on the issue, each side would agree that there is no clear black and white answer. The most compelling studies on the effects of divorce on children are that divorce is both negative and multifaceted; yet, are these effects long-term?
Society has had the general idea for a long time that the effects of divorce are not long term – that children are “resilient” and are easily adjusted to the changes that come with divorce. But recent case studies and findings have revealed a different position on divorce and its effects on children. As Judith S. Wallerstein put it, “Divorce is deceptive. Legally it is a single event, but psychologically it is a chain – sometimes a never-ending chain – of events, relocations, and radically shifting relationships strung through time, a process that forever changes the lives of the people involved” (Wallerstein 156). Thus, contrary to popular belief, the effects of divorce are often severe and long-lasting, leading to a number of advanced emotional, behavioral, and social struggles for the inflicted youth.
A Change in Culture