Effect of Divorce: Developmental Fact Sheet
Developmental Issue: Divorce
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines divorce as a legal dissolution of marriage, resulting in couples being freed from their matrimonial responsibilities. Divorce affects the divorced couple, children, and society at large, with these diverse effects categorized as emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and educational effects.
Emotional Effects of Divorce on Couples
Many researchers agree that divorce emotionally affects adults. People who experience divorce at one point in their lives have long-term emotional effects, such as anger issues, despairing in life, and loneliness for those who choose not to remarry (Anderson, 2014). Al Ubaidi (2017) adds other emotional effects of divorce on adults as resentment, guilt, doubt, decreased self-esteem, fear, and desire for revenge. Children are also emotionally affected by divorce. For instance, they frequently get into fights or other kinds of trouble in school as a way of acting out their anger (Al Ubaidi, 2017). A review of the literature also reveals that divorce lowers children’s future competence (Anderson, 2014). These many emotional effects of divorce verify the significance of these kinds of families seeking help for emotional healing.
According to Anderson (2014), some of the family-related effects of divorce include effects on children, such as fewer children living with both of their biological parents, children having to deal with multiple family realignments due to their parents’ remarriages, and children suffering from emotional insecurity.
Studies indicate that divorce does not influence only the two adults who opt for divorce; it is also a societal challenge. Divorce affects society in various ways, such as weakening family structures, increased single parents, increased crime rates, increased substance abuse, and increased mental health risks such as depression and suicide (Anderson, 2014). These effects indicate that healthy families are better for societal growth than divorced families.
Divorce results in children losing their religious faith as they do not understand why the God they worship did not protect them from divorce (Anderson, 2014). Divorced persons also attend church less frequently and tend to doubt the existence of a supreme being (Anderson, 2014). For most people, it is easier to believe in a caring and protective God rather than one who does not shield them from emotional and physical hurt brought by divorce.
Educational Effects of Divorce
For children whose parents are divorced, there is a tendency to have less interest in school work, resulting in poor performance (Eaton, 2018). A study by Nusinovici et al. (2018) posits that children perform poorly in their academic work due to a decrease in their level of interest, self-esteem, independence, and manual dexterity.
Counseling Techniques for Divorced Persons
There are two kinds of therapies that can be used for divorced persons: primal therapy and the “empty chair” therapy. Primal therapy helps to diagnose the source of the marital issues, whereas the “empty chair” therapy helps communicate the unsaid to the person that hurts an individual (Smith, 2019). These counseling techniques are quite helpful to couples.
Community Resources to Help People Dealing with Divorce
Many community resources can help divorcees to deal with the difficult process of divorce. The “Building Healthy Families Program” is aimed at identifying the causes of divorce and teaching both parents and children emotional skills that help them to react positively to the challenge of divorce (Eaton, 2018). There are also many support groups for divorcees, such as Divorce Care Groups based in the U.S and Canada, the Lilac Tree (for women only), and DivorceForce, among many others (Covy, 2018). Revision: LAST LINE REMOVED AS IT WAS UK BASED.
Al Ubaidi, B. A. (2017). “The Psychological and Emotional Stages of Divorce.” Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention, 3(3), pp. 1-4
Anderson, J. (2014). “The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce.” The Linacre Quarterly, 81(4), pp. 378-387
Covy, K. (2018). The Ultimate List of Divorce Support Groups and Why You Need One! Retrieved from https://karencovy.com/divorce-support-groups-can-make-divorce- easier/ on 5th March 2020.
Eaton, M. (2018). “Negative Effects of Divorce and Possible Intervention Program Development and Improvement.” Intuition: The BYU Undergraduate Journal in Psychology, 13(1), pp. 34-48
Nusinovici, S., Olliac, B., Flamant, C., Müller, J., Olivier, M., Rouger, V., Gascoin, G. … Hanf, M. (2018). “Impact of parental separation or divorce on school performance in preterm children: A population-based study.” PLoS ONE, 13(9).
Smith, S. (2019). 2 Divorce Therapy Techniques That Will Make Your Divorce Easier. Retrieved from https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/divorce-therapy- techniques/ on 5th March 2020.