Psychological Effects in Children of Divorce

Everybody knows that divorce causes a lot of emotional turbulence for the whole family.  It is important to identify which aspects of a divorce disturb children the most.   A study conducted in 2001, and again one in 2011, indicates that, generally, a child whose parents are separated, tends to have more stress-related problems in school and faces several social and academic hindrances.

There are several causes for these evident psychological effects seen are.

  • Generally, children living with a single parent are economically less resourceful than those living with both parents
  • The most significant cause is that the child of separated parents faces the trauma of living only with one parent.  In spite of weekly visits to the other parent, the loss of his/her presence at home is acutely felt. Along with this, the child will also miss the separated parents’ advice, monetary help, help in academics, and other skills
  • Witnessing the arguments and ill-feeling between the parents tends to create a lot of stress and insecurity in children, during the divorce procedures
  • The quality of the time spent with the nonresident parent determines how well the child will cope with the divorce. If the father is able to teach/hone the child’s skills and aid him in understanding school lessons better, then this lays the foundation of a healthy and strong emotional bonding for the child, in spite of not being able to see his father every day
  • The parent’s hesitation to confide the facts to older children and their refusal to involve children while discussing the post-divorce adjustments to be made can hurt a child’s confidence.


The consequences of psychological factors affecting children in a divorce are quite alarming, as several studies indicate.

  • Children from families that have seen a divorce tend to drop out of school more frequently than the other children, especially if the single parent has to change home
  • The parent with whom the child stays may have to face a lot of hostility if the child blames him/her for upsetting his familial bonds and sense of well-being.  The children, sometimes, cannot forgive parents after the divorce
  • The emotional trauma of  the parents’ divorce remains unabated in some children, who feel a lot of pain even after a decade of separation
  • Divorce usually takes place only after years of indecision.  In the meanwhile, children witness several incidents of ill-feeling and bitter quarrels between parents which devastates them, and in some children, the emotional scars caused remain permanent
  • For those older children who do not accept divorce as inevitable, there are several problems in social interaction.

Divorce also has several positive psychological effects on children, sometimes.

  • They bond better and enjoy a great relationship with the single parent
  • Usually, the parent who does not live with the children makes an effort to provide the best time for the child when visiting.  The child has happy memories (like visits to amusement parks, eating out, and occasional picnics) of the time spent with the parent
  • If the parents decide to marry again then they receive the support of the step-parent too

The reasons for the negative psychological effects are varied and must be examined sharply in order to help a child tide over the issue.

There are several psychological effects on children after a divorce.  The reasons for these effects are varied and must be examined to help a child tide over the issue.  Parental conflict, the reduction of economic resources, and many such factors contribute to serious psychological effects in children of divorce.

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