Can children of divorce truly live happily ever after? Over one million children are involved in new divorces every year (Kirn 77). Some people believe that a divorce relieves a child from the burden of their parents fighting all of the time. The truth is, the effects of divorce on children put them at a serious risk. Divorce effects a child in the short and long run, and can cause permanent social, psychological, and emotional damage.
There are six main areas regarding the causes of children's difficulties. Divorce results in the absence of one parental influence. They therefore lose the other emotional, financial, and social influence. An economic loss is suffered when less financial resources are available. Having to adapt to the changes in relationships due to the change in living situations can also create more stress for children. How well the children adjust to the divorce sometimes relies on how well the parents are coping. Also, the competence of the parents" parenting skills after this time directly relates to the development of the child. The final factor is the conflict that may occur between the newly divorced couple. The child can sometimes be caught between the parents personal conflict and disagreements. Children who are in families that can cooperate and reduce conflict are far better off than those that cannot (Hughes 2,4).
Some short term effects on children following divorce include depression, learning difficulties, and psychological problems occurring more often than children of intact families (Kirn 77). Most children have similar reactions to divorce. Most short term results are predictable. Immediate reactions to divorce include distress, shock, and surprise. Eventually symptoms which include anger, fear, anxiety, depression and guilt become visible. Other results begin to appear later in life (Cyr 2).
Children who are not effected immediately by divorce begin to feel the brunt of a broken home later in life.