Divorce has become the alternative to an unhappy marriage for many Americans. Many times, the life in the family has become so unbearable that divorce seems to be the only answer. However, married couples are often not the only ones who feel the effects of a parental separation. Some forty percent of all children will experience a parental separation or divorce before reaching adulthood (Amato 1269). Children of divorce experience the consequences of divorce and develop different coping strategies, which has brought up studies and other tools useful in helping deal with society's divorce-stricken youth. .
Every year, over one million children are involved in new divorce cases (Walter, et al. 79). It is estimated today that nearly half of all first-time marriages will fizzle out. In the mid nineteen hundreds, only about five percent of all marriages ended in divorce (Amato 1269). Divorce in the family marks the beginning of an uncertain future for children (Walter, et al. 74). In the nineteen-eighties, the effects of divorce on children declined from the earlier decades. Researchers say that this is most likely due to the fact that divorce has become, in so many ways, much more socially acceptable. Research would also comment that parents seem to be working harder to lessen the impact of the divorce on their offspring (Amato 1278). However, the divorce experience affects even the healthiest children in some way (Berger 115). .
In many cases, the direct behavior of the parents towards their children has a greater impact on behavior than the divorce itself. The attitudes of the parents can play a crucial factor. Studies show that many "divorced parents invest less time, are less supportive, have fewer rules, give harsher discipline, provide less supervision, and engage in more conflict with their children" "(Amato 1279). The quality of parental functions is a key factor in predicting the well-being and behavior of their offspring (Amato 1280).