ERIC Number: ED408539
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
The Effects of Divorce on Children: A Review of the Literature.
Hopper, James A.
Divorce is a major life stressor and is a lengthy process which often results in long-term emotional and psychological damage to children. The effects of divorce on children are explored in this review of the literature. Some studies indicate that the preschool aged population is the most vulnerable to divorce, whereas others insist that no age differences exist. Children of divorce were found to exhibit both internalizing problems, such as emotional difficulties like sadness, fear, and grief, and externalizing problems, such as aggression, lower educational achievement, and increased absenteeism. Divorce was also found to have gender-specific impacts. For boys, aggression was more common, and for girls, increased depression was more often reported. Additionally, divorce was found to have a profound impact on the parent-child relationship, possibly due to the lack of social support among family members. The impact of divorce for two-thirds of children was limited to two years, but numerous studies found a host of long-term effects, such as lesser educational attainment. The most crucial factor relating to the negative consequences of divorce is parental discord; family conflict was the most significant mediating variable in the effects of divorce on children. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A