When a marriage ends in divorce all individuals connected to the relationship are impacted. There are perhaps none so affected as children. Because of their innocence and immaturity, children are unable to process stressful events as adults are. Their reactions and behavior can range from subtle to explosive. The purpose of this paper is to provide research that illuminates that various facets of impact upon a child with the demise of a marriage. Relationships with parents, and sibling are all pivotal in the life of a child. These, along with therapeutic interventions, statistics, future outlook, and biblical underpinnings will be discussed. Finally, the author, an adult child of divorce, will provide personal reflection about the subject.
The ultimate end to a marriage is tragic and its affect ripples throughout the lives connected to that couple. Chaos and stress, probably feelings that have been prevalent for some time prior to divorce, ensue and impact the now divided family unit. Children are particularly vulnerable to the affects of divorce. Unable to understand and process such complex matters of life, children resort to alternative ways of expressing their heartache and confusion. The fact is that the divorce of parents remains with children, to some degree, all of their lives. Any adult child of divorce can relay past feelings that accompanied the demise of their caretaker’s marriage. Regardless of the passage of time, few children of divorce are unable to provide some recollection of pain. Relationships are often strained, physiology and psychology is affected, and the future can seem bleak. When we understand the gravity with which a child is impacted by divorce, the hope is that couples will devote energy toward any and all opportunities to salvage the marriage.
In the quest to understand the full impact of divorce upon children, one must examine current trends and statistics....