Prevalence: 30-50% of children will have to deal with divorce
Tips for Parents:
Parentification = when kids are expected to take on adult roles and responsibilities.
Life changes during divorce:
Stage one: Predivorce - fighting leading up to decision to divorce
Stage two: Disruptive - final decision for divorce
Stage three: Changed social and economic realities
Stage four: new parent child relationships
Stage five: potential remarriage or change in custodial parent
Tantrums, irritability, separation problems, regression
Fear of abandonment, clinging behavior
Increased agression or inhibition
grief, sadness, fears, anger at custodial parent
fantasies of reconciliation
self-esteem and identity questions
anger at one parent, aligning with other
self-esteem and identity shaken
Initial major upset
Change in parent-child relationship, increased responsibility
Mourning/anger (+/- violence)
Worry about own sexual and marital relationships
Sometimes may lead to greater maturity
Psychological Sequelae of Divorce:
29% sporadic, milder problems
34% good psychological health
Continued fighting is related to poor psychological adjustment.
Quality of life before divorce
Turbulence after divorce
Emotional stability of parent in the home.
School age children cope best with a divorce; pre-schoolers do worst.
Boys fare better than girls with stepfamilies
Girls do better than boys in single-parent situations.