036: The impact of divorce on a child’s development (Part 1)

This is the second of a short series of episodes on issues related to divorce.  The first was our “All Joy and No Fun” episode, where we talked about how parenting today can be the most joyful thing in our lives – even if it isn’t always a whole lot of fun from moment to moment.

The series was inspired by a listener who sent me an email saying: “I was divorced when my husband was 2 ½ years old.  He is now 5 years old and has a very hard time expressing his feelings.  I have an intuitive “gut” feeling that it has to do with the fact that he went from being with me every day (I was a stay at home mom) to suddenly spending 7-10 days away from me and with his father, and also away from me as I set up a career.  Do you know of any research on this?”  

Well, I didn’t, but when I started looking around I realized there’s actually so much of it that it makes sense to break it down into two episodes which is what we’re going to do.  So today’s episode focuses very much on the factors leading to divorce and the impact of divorce itself on children, and the final episode in the series will look at how what happens after divorce – things like single parenting, ongoing contact with both parents, ongoing arguments between parents, and remarriages and stepparents impact children.  

Other podcast episodes mentioned in this show: 020: How do I get my child to do what I want them to do.

 

References

Amato, P.R. (1999). Children of divorced parents as young adults. In E.M. Hetherington (Ed.)., Coping with divorce, single parenting, and remarriage: A risk and resiliency perspective (p.147-163). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Brody, G.H., & Forehand, R. (1988). Multiple determinants of parenting: Research findings and implications for the divorce process.  In E.M. Hetherington & J.D. Arasteh (Eds.). Impact of divorce, single parenting, and stepparenting on children. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Deater-Deckard, K., & Dunn, J. (1999). Multiple risks and adjustment in young children growing up in different family settings: A British community study of stepparent, single mother, and nondivorced families. In E.M. Hetherington (Ed.)., Coping with divorce, single parenting, and remarriage: A risk and resiliency perspective (p.47-64). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Emery, R.E. (1988). Mediation and the settlement of divorce disputes. In E.M. Hetherington & J.D. Arasteh (Eds.). Impact of divorce, single parenting, and stepparenting on children. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Forehand, R., Long, N., & Brody, G. (1988). Divorce and marital conflict: Relationship to adolescent competence and adjustment in early adolescence. In E.M. Hetherington & J.D. Arasteh (Eds.). Impact of divorce, single parenting, and stepparenting on children. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hetherington, E.M. (1989). Coping with family transitions: Winners, losers, and survivors. Child Development 60(1), 1-14.

Hetherington, E.M. (1999). Should we stay together for the sake of the children? In E.M. Hetherington (Ed.)., Coping with divorce, single parenting, and remarriage: A risk and resiliency perspective (p.93-116). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Grall, T.S. (2009). Custodial mothers and fathers and their child support: 2007. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from: https://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-237.pdf

Miller, C.C. (2014, December 2). The divorce surge is over, but the myth lives on. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?_r=0

Twaite, J.A., Silitsky, D., & Luchow, A.K. (1988). Children of divorce: Adjustment, parental conflict, custody, remarriage, and recommendations for clinicians. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

Wolfinger, N.H. (2005). Understanding the divorce cycle: The children of divorce in their own marriages. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

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