Divorce and remarrying have been proven to have negative effects on the development of children during their middle childhood. The stigma associated with divorce and remarrying has been successfully dealt with in the United States of America but the effects of these two ways of solving conflicts between spouses taking a toll on children during the middle childhood (Kail et al. 150). This essay will look at the effects of divorce on the socio and emotional development of a child in the society of America.
Jaffee cited that around 74% of children in the United States of America do not receive sufficient non-maternal care; this trend has been proven to negatively affect the development of children during their middle childhood (1077). Divorce and remarriage are the causes of the decline in non-maternal care among children in America. Divorced parents often enroll their children in non-maternal care facilities; this act creates a gap between the child and the biological parent. The child below three years thus lacks a strong bond with the parent resulting to the child lacking cognitive stimulation which comes from a close connection with a biological parent (Jaffee et al. 1079). Inadequate cognitive stimulation from biological parents, in the long run, affects negatively the emotional and social development of a child during middle childhood. Children below the age of three years become aggressive and develop resistance, this characters becomes more pronounced as the child continue to develop into adulthood. Research studies done in the USA cited that children receiving good care by biological parents scored better on measures of socio-emotional functioning (Jaffee et al. 1079). Divorce results in children being subjected to royalty tests between the two parents and there is creation of an emotional distance between the child and the parent with the custody of the child. This separation results in the child having no one to confide to and the child become withdrawn from other people. This predicament couples with non-maternal care results to children socio-emotional balance being distorted and thus children develop non-compliant behaviorisms. Divorce and remarriage lead to children being taken to non-maternal care homes, this act contribute to children developing deficiencies in their social and emotional balance and functioning (Jaffee et al. 1080).
Divorce and remarrying often affect the structure of the family and alter the stability that exists in a family. Stability in a family is very important because it dictates the socio-emotional development of children in a family. America is characterized by a change in the traditional family set up where divorce was unheard off, nowadays children are born and their parents divorce and remarry leaving the emotional facet of these children in tantrums (Craigie et al. 43).Craigie cited that children being brought up by biological parents are found to be socio-emotionally stable than children brought up with step-parents and foster parents (43). Children in families which experienced divorce are found to be more vulnerable health complications and mental illnesses such as stress and depression. Craigie conducted a research on the effect of divorce on children during their middle childhood and found out that, divorce had a negative effect on the behavioral and cognitive domain of a child (43). Children in divorced families are more susceptible to school dropout and often perform poorly in education as compared to their counterparts in intact families (Kail et al. 300). Divorce leads to one parent playing two roles, being the father and mother at the same time. It is seldom for a parent to successfully play these two roles perfectly thus the children get inadequate care and emotional support from the parent. Children in divorced families thus feel neglected and they start withdrawing themselves socially and often end up finding solace in drugs and other criminal activities as they grow up (Craigie et al. 43).
Children being brought up by a single parent may fail to get educated due to the inadequate financial power of the single parents. Non-custodial dads at times fail to support their children financially thus these children are disadvantaged as compared to their counterparts in married families (Joseph). Studies have cited that divorce and remarrying lead to poor health, bad behaviors such as drug abuse and engagement in crime among teens, and low cognitive abilities among children (Craigie et al. 43). Children who during their childhood experience family conflicts and divorce are left with conflicting royalties and develop stress and trauma (Joseph). Posttraumatic stress is more children among children in divorced families as compared to children in stable marriage families. The trauma the develops as a result of divorce not only affects the parents but the children as well, the effect of trauma on children have always been underscored. This effect is immense that it affects the social interaction of these kids with opposite sex and their performance in academics as well (Joseph). Divorce have been found to affect the sense and masculinity and feminity as well, little girls who grow up in families where women are abused and divorced develop a sense of unworthiness which takes a toll on them even during adulthood(Joseph). Children in such families are not able to form successful relationships in future. Divorce alters the sense of security, sense of belonging and safety among children. Children often feel neglected and they start developing suicidal thought and other negative thoughts as a result of lack of the sense of belonging (Joseph).
Parents should ensure that the psychological needs of children for example love; affection and a sense of belonging are met before seeking a divorce or remarrying. Children in divorced families have been reported to be subjected to abuse by their stepfathers and mothers in some cases. These children have no one to confide to and thus continue to suffer in silence and their future life is destroyed. Children in this set up often run to drugs which help them to forget for a while the traumatic experience they go through and in some instances they commit suicide (Kail et al, 200). Divorce has also been associated with reduced graduation rates and school drop-out among children in America. The drop out can be as a result of lack of financial resources of poor academic prowess, these two factors are associated with divorce and remarrying in the United States of America. Children who grow up in stable families always perform well in school and emotionally stable. This shows that divorce and remarrying have more negative effects on children as compared to positives effects (Joseph). The society and policy makers did an exemplary job to fight the stigma associated with divorce and remarrying, but the effects among children resulting from these two ways of solving conflicts between spouses far outweigh the benefits. Policies should be put in place to address this menace affecting the socio-emotional development in middle childhood in the United States of America.
Kail, Robert V, and John C. Cavanaugh. Human Development: A Life-Span View. S. l.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013. Print
Joseph, Stephen. "Trauma Of Divorce And Its Effects On Children". Psychology Today. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 May 2016.
Craigie, Terry-Ann L., Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, and Jane Waldfogel. "Family structure, family stability, and outcomes of five-year-old children." Families, relationships and societies: in international journal of research and debate 1.1 (2012): 43.
Jaffee, Sara R., Carol Van Hulle, and Joseph L. Rodgers. "Effects Of Nonmaternal Care In The First 3 Years On Children's Academic Skills And Behavioral Functioning In Childhood And Early Adolescence: A Sibling Comparison Study." Child Development 82.4 (2011): 1076-1091. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2016.
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