Today, about 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. While divorces can save some people from a bad marriage, divorces affect the children and the rest of society negatively. Decades of research shows that the children of married families are the ones to have better physical, emotional and academic well-being. Adults now believe that marriage is old-fashion and constricting. Adults also assume that if they aren’t personally happy anymore, and they do not want to put in the effort to fix their marriage, they can easily have a divorce and the children will be able to adapt and there will be no major consequences to the family. This is not true. Divorces and single-parent households affect the children, parents, and all of society.
Children of divorced families end up living their whole lives feeling isolated, being physically unwell, and having lower academic scores than other students. The US National Library of Medicine clearly lists the negative impacts on children, whether it’s physical, emotional or academic related. Children lose time with their parents since one parent does not live with them anymore, and the other spends most of their time working to earn enough money. Most of the time, the children go to live with the mother after the divorce, which puts the mother in a harder position to earn money, and the father rarely sees the children and then the children lose that connection of a father. The children may also have to endure the loss of economic security. This does not only mean that the family income decreases after divorce, but it also means that the kids may have to completely change their lifestyle. They may have to change schools, move into a smaller house, and have less to eat or less to play with, which is a major change for children and could cause some emotional distress. Children can be abused and neglected, which results in a physically unhealthy child. Children can experience serious emotional distress from a divorce, like develop a psychiatric disorder, develop an alcohol or drug addiction, or commit or attempt suicide. After the divorce, children’s depression and anxiety worsen and the children’s self-concept and social relations decrease. Children also stop putting a priority on school and grades, which results in lower GPAs and more school dropouts. There are more long-term consequences to divorces to children. Because of divorces, the children are more likely to have problems in their own relationships in the future. According to a study done by Bruce J. Ellis from the Department of Psychology in the University of Canterbury, Girls whose fathers left the home before they were five years old were eight times more likely to become pregnant as adolescents than girls from intact families (qtd. In Anderson). Boys have higher rates of sexually transmitted disease, mainly due to the boys having sex at a younger age. Children of divorced parents do not view marriage as a lifelong commitment and as something that is important (Anderson).
Divorces don’t only affect the children, but they affect the parents negatively as well. Wallerstein J.S. from Boston conducted a study that demonstrated that those who were unhappy in their marriage when first surveyed, but remained married, were likely to have an improved relationship and be happier five years later than those who divorced (qtd. In Anderson). After divorces, both parents physical health goes down, and some even turn to alcohol and drugs. The chances of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease increase after divorces. Parents also have less income now to provide for themselves and their kids. In the Wallerstein’s study, it says that divorces have long-term emotional effects for parents, such as extreme hate for their former spouses, feeling that life is unfair and disappointing, and feeling lonely (qtd. In Anderson).
Divorce is so common and since it affects the whole family, there are many individuals out in the world suffering from the effects of divorce, which affects society as a whole. Michele Vrouvas’ article called The Effects of Divorce on Society explains that divorces impacts how children view marriage and they may not want to be married and have a family in the future, which will disrupt society’s social harmony (Vrouvas).
Overall, having a divorce has a lot of consequences and effects children, parents, and society alike. Society should prevent frivolous divorces and try to help mend relationships between spouses, therefore when the people who truly need divorces have them, the people around them will become happier and the people that decided to give their relationship another chance will ultimately be happy again.
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