According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2013a) in the United States people who get married have a 50-50 chance of maintaining their relationship. More often, marriages end up breaking down due to either one reason or the other. In the contemporary world, divorce seems to be the norm, and inadvertently it leads to numerous psychological and social issues for both children and the parents who have to contend with the ramifications of broken down marriages. Children are often forced to suffer the brunt of living with consequences of a disagreement between their parents, yet they were not a party to it. The effects of children from broken marriages are usually far-reaching, and this paper will attempt to outline them in the next paragraphs.
Trust in Relationships
Parents need to be cognizant of the fact that broken marriages tend to inhibit the level of trust among their children. This sense of distrust eventually gets manifested when the children grow up and get into their romantic relationships (Jacquet and Surra 627). The fact that children from broken marriages had to witness their parents’ separation or divorce tends to cloud their minds with a shade of insecurity. Dating for them becomes an uphill task when they become adults, and they always want to approach relationships cautiously for fear of rejection or infidelity (Jacquet and Surra 627).
Acceptance of Divorce and Separation
Children from broken down marriages are more likely to embrace divorce or separation as a normal phase in one’s life when compared to children whose parents have always been together in their marriage (Sieben and Verbakel 1175). Once they grow up, children from either divorced or separated parents tend to have a perception that marriage is an unstable and very unpredictable union (Risch, Jodl & Eccles 55). Marriage for them is never a lifelong commitment, and they often believe that one way or the other it is more likely to end (Risch, Jodl & Eccles 55). Due to their acceptance of divorce and separation, children from broken down marriages end up in informal unions such as cohabitation where they invest very minimal emotions to avoid getting disappointed (Sieben and Verbakel 1182). Moreover, they are more likely to either divorce or separate from their spouses once they become adults (Jacquet and Surra 636).
Impact on a Child’s Social and Emotional Development
Divorce and separations are sometimes very ugly and marred with a lot of drama and controversies. Exposure to this sought of environment affects a child both emotionally and mentally. According to (Perry) these horrendous divorces or separation leads to a heightened degree of psychological stress and consequently and this affects a child’s cognitive and neurological development. These problems, later on, culminate in behavioral and personality issues such as the tendency of becoming introverts which stems from the fear of being left alone after heavily investing in relationships. Furthermore, children from broken marriages end up having some rebellious attitudes which leads them to juvenile delinquency or makes them resort to alcohol or drug abuse.
It should be noted that divorce and separation of families are likely to affect the girl child differently from the boy child. Ladies who have been raised in a broken marriage have a strong desire for affection yet at the same time empty and anxious (Whitton et al. 791). They end up being indecisive about marriage since they are not sure whether their marriages are going to last (Whitton et al. 791). On the other hand, men from divorced families tend to be less intimate than women from similar backgrounds, more so when they have to live without their fathers. Such men also have a tendency of resonating with femininity as opposed to masculinity. Men from broken marriages in most cases will try to conceal their feelings for the women they like (Webster, Orbuch & House 404). However, once they get into relationships, they have a tendency of becoming more violent when compared to their counterparts who were raised by parents of an intact marriage. This is not everything you can get on this topic, if you want to know more about statistics, you can read those social psychology essays.
Broken marriages have tremendous consequences on children. Unfortunately, these ramifications tend to be manifested as soon as the children start growing up and continue to their adult lives. It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents to be cognizant of these effects and be wary of their children’s feelings before divorcing or separating with their spouses. The impact of broken marriages on a child’s social, emotional and psychological are grave, and it might be best for parents to put the child’s life into perspective in order to make informed decisions. As highlighted above, some of the social problems that the world is combating with such as juvenile delinquency and drug abuse can be traced back to broken marriages. Therefore, in order to curb some of these social ills, it is necessary to reduce the numerous divorce and separation cases that have been witnessed in contemporary society.