The divorce as a process of separation of spouses, regardless on views and opinions, is a statistical fact in the life of the modern community. “In 2000 there were over 21 million divorces” , as stated by the divorce center, thus this process is still considered a sensitive subject for many sociological studies that attempts to analyze its various aspects. This paper is addressing the divorce as a phenomenon in terms of its negative and possible effects. Additionally the paper follows the influence that the divorce has on the relationship between parents and children in case of creating separate families by their parents.
Positive Effects of Divorce
If speaking of positive effects of the divorce, it should be kept in mind that these effects are mainly based on the principle of choosing the option that leads to less negative effects. This principle is better sensed in the case when the family has children, since it has been proved that “a conflict-ridden intact home is more detrimental to all family members than a stable home in which parents are divorced. Naturally, this is because the continued conflict drains the energy needed for a child’s development, causing difficulties in learning, socializing or other areas of growth.”(Peterson 2008)
In case of the childless family, this result in analogy can be paralleled without evident proof, as it is better to quietly separate and try to search for happiness elsewhere than trying to keep a family-like image and keep living in a delusion. In deed this statements works when all other options and solutions have been tried and reached and “this is usually true for people that are younger, educated, and were in short-term marriages.”
Negative Effects of Divorce
When speaking about the negative effects of the divorce, it should be mentioned that the previously stated positive effects should be considered separately and not connected to each other. Due to the diversity of the negative effects of the divorce, only the main aspects should be mentioned.
The first effect of the divorce is the emotional aspect, as it is shown that the problems in the family ends with a divorce and “negative feelings related to the failing marriage and the divorce have subsided to a point where they no longer determine behavior and where the divorcee seizes the change for personal growth.” (Guttmann, 1993, p. 55)
The financial factor is another argument on the negative sides of the divorce, and this case is especially true for women, as the study documented “a 30 percent drop, as compared to a 10 percent to 15 percent increase for divorced men.” (Galston, 1996) Other aspects could include health and social effects of the divorce, however the main issue considering the divorce will remain the effect that it has on children. Some of the effects the divorce on children could be considered the increased possibility of being victims of abuse, weak relations with parents, less desire to have children in the future, and behavioral and emotional problems. Most of these problems are not only present in the life of the child, but also grow with them, as the researches are showing that “the effects of divorce continue into adulthood and affect the next generation of children as well.” (Fagan & Rector, 2000)
Children and Remarriage
As the life does not end with the process of the divorce, spouses usually remarriage and as the statistics show that “a majority of the 2 million people who divorce each year usually remarry in about five to seven years.” There are cases when the new marriage forms what is called a “blended family” where the usual blended family consists of a biological mother and stepfather, as shown in the researches where “some 70 per cent of mothers are awarded custody of their children on divorce.” (Robinson, 1993, p. 250) As stated in the lecture, mostly fathers take more interest in the children of the remarriage (even stepchildren) than their own biological children.
The reasons for that could vary; one of them could lie in the weak parental instinct in men in contrary to women which if combined with constant conflict with former wife and “financial obligations and responsibilities to his stepchildren”, he could prefer to put his efforts in the new found family rather than split them between two. If speaking about the effects that might arise from father’s absence, it should be said that most of them are emotional. The father’s absence can affect the children psychologically, mentally and socially feeling the lack of the father love. This can affect their self esteem and confidence which makes them feel inferior and imperfect in comparison to their friends who come from complete families. (Scharman, 1979).
Another factor that should be kept in mind is the difference between the total absence of the male in the family (in case when the mother never remarries) and the absence of the biological father. In case when the father is totally absent, the researches showed that this can affect the gender development in the children “father absence and family income are related to gender role development in both male and female”. (Mandara, Murray & Joyner, 2005)
Divorce in the United States. (2000). The divorce Center. Web.
Fagan, P. F., & Rector, R. (2000). The Effects of Divorce on America. World and I, 15,.
Galston, W. A. (1996). Divorce American Style. Public Interest 12+.
Guttmann, J. (1993). Divorce in Psychosocial Perspective: Theory and Research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Peterson, G. (2008). Is divorce always damaging to the kids? IVillage. Web.
Robinson, M. (1993). Family Transformation through Divorce and Remarriage: A Systemic Approach. New York: Routledge.
Brent Scharman S. (1997), LDS Men and Divorce; Finding Happiness and Wholeness after Divorce 69, New York: McGraw-Hill publishers.
Mandara, J., Murray, C. B., & Joyner, T. N. (2005). The Impact of Fathers’ Absence on African American Adolescents’ Gender Role Development. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.