Take Control Blog The Emotional Aftermath of Divorce The emotional response to divorce has been repeatedly described by people everywhere as equal only to mourning. That is because you are mourning: Nearly 60 percent of people who recently went through a divorce suffer migraines, eczema or severe neck and back pain resulting from increased muscular tension.
Divorcing parents are usually very concerned about the welfare of their children during this troublesome process. Some parents are so worried that they remain in unhappy marriages, believing it will protect their offspring from the trauma of divorce.
Yet parents who split have reasons for hope. Researchers have found that only a relatively small percentage of children experience serious problems in the wake of divorce or, later, as adults.
In this column, we discuss these findings as well as factors that may protect children from the potentially harmful effects of divorce. Rapid Recovery Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow.
In a study psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and her then graduate student Anne Mitchell Elmore found that many children experience short-term negative effects from divorce, especially anxiety, anger, shock and disbelief.
These reactions typically diminish or disappear by the end of the second year. Only a minority of kids suffer longer. Most children of divorce also do well in the longer term.
In a quantitative review of the literature insociologist Paul R. Amato, then at Pennsylvania State University, examined the possible effects on children several years after a divorce. The studies compared children of married parents with those who experienced divorce at different ages. The investigators followed these kids into later childhood, adolescence or the teenage years, assessing their academic achievement, emotional and behavior problems, delinquency, self-concept and social relationships.
On average, the studies found only very small differences on all these measures between children of divorced parents and those from intact families, suggesting that the vast majority of children endure divorce well.
Researchers have consistently found that high levels of parental conflict during and after a divorce are associated with poorer adjustment in children. The effects of conflict before the separation, however, may be the reverse in some cases.
In a study Hetherington and her associates reported that some children who are exposed to high levels of marital discord prior to divorce adjust better than children who experience low levels.
Apparently when marital conflict is muted, children are often unprepared when told about the upcoming divorce. They are surprised, perhaps even terrified, by the news.
Taken together, the findings suggest that only a small percentage of young people experience divorce-related problems. Even here the causes of these lingering difficulties remain uncertain.
Some troubles may arise from conflict between Mom and Dad associated with the divorce. The stress of the situation can also cause the quality of parenting to suffer.
Divorce frequently contributes to depression, anxiety or substance abuse in one or both parents and may bring about difficulties in balancing work and child rearing. Grown-up Concerns The experience of divorce can also create problems that do not appear until the late teenage years or adulthood.
In in a book entitled The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, then at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues present detailed case studies suggesting that most adults who were children of divorce experience serious problems such as depression and relationship issues.
Yet scientific research does not support the view that problems in adulthood are prevalent; it instead demonstrates that most children of divorce become well-adjusted adults. For example, in a book, For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, Hetherington and her co-author, journalist John Kelly, describe a year study in which Hetherington followed children of divorce and children of parents who stayed together.
She found that 25 percent of the adults whose parents had divorced experienced serious social, emotional or psychological troubles compared with 10 percent of those whose parents remained together.
These findings suggest that only 15 percent of adult children of divorce experience problems over and above those from stable families.
In a review article inpsychologists Joan B. Kelly of Corte Madera, Calif.
For instance, people whose parents split when they were young experience more difficulty forming and sustaining intimate relationships as young adults, greater dissatisfaction with their marriages, a higher divorce rate and poorer relationships with the noncustodial father compared with adults from sustained marriages.
On all other measures, differences between the two groups were small. Bouncing Back Even though children of divorce generally do well, a number of factors can reduce the problems they might experience. Further, children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those whose primary parent is doing poorly.The medication he was prescribed after his surgeries caused his heart to palpitate, so he began wearing a heart monitor because he feared he’d have a heart attack.
Leah Remini and ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ response site. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.
Every divorce has its own story. Every child that goes through the divorce of his parents has his own story.
It is good to know that everybody involved in a divorce goes through a difficult period. Almost all experience long lasting effects. Children divorce stories discloses the experiences of many.
You can learn from those. The defendant was an immense man, well over pounds, but in the gravity of his sorrow and shame he seemed larger still.
He hunched forward in the sturdy wooden armchair that barely contained. George McKenna doesn’t talk about it much, but Denzel Washington played him in a TV movie called “The George McKenna Story.” Fellow LA Unified school board members may occasionally rib him about it, and on a recent tour of an elementary school, Superintendent Michelle King pointed it out to impress the students.
“This man had.