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The Effects of Parental Conflict and Divorce on Childrens Development Essay Example

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The Effects of Parental Conflict and Divorce on Childrens Development

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The Effects of Parental Conflict and Divorce on Childrens Development. This paper illustrates that children of a preschool age, three to five, are likely to withdraw on the most recent developmental milestone they had achieved, whatever it may be. As they are too young to consciously understand or acknowledge the situation they are in, they react by consistently yearning for and desiring the parent that is no longer around them. This may lead to a certain feeling of vulnerability among them leading them to desire the security and comfort of a familiar feeling, which they may seek in a familiar toy or blanket. They may also begin wetting the bed as a result of the fear and insecurity that they feel. Slightly older children, aged six to eight, understand the absence of their parent and instead replace them with fantasies and imaginary situations involving either that one single parent or the hypothetically happy union of their parents.

It is likely that these children, who are young enough to understand the situation, but not old enough to make sense of it, that are most greatly affected and confused by the divorce. Children aged eight to eleven exhibit the greatest emotional response to the situation, as they understand the situation well enough to respond to it, but are unlikely to understand how to deal with it. They mostly exhibit a feeling of powerlessness and grief, and tend to side with and label one each parent, one negatively, and one positively. They may feel the conflicted feeling of loyalty to each parent and tend to seek answers the questions regarding the reason behind the situation they currently find themselves in.  Children aged twelve to eighteen, adolescents, have a greater grip on the reality of the situation and can often make sense of the reasons and causes behind it. While some adolescents tend to go into depressive grief, the most prevalently negative effect is feelings of loneliness and grief, as well as disillusionment or reconsideration of present or future personal relationships. The effects of the divorce, however, last longer than just the initial stages and extend to further than just a child's reaction to the divorce. The Effects of Parental Conflict and Divorce on Childrens Development.

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Amato, P. R., & Keith, B. Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin 1991

Kelly, J. B., & Emery, R. E. Children’s adjustment following divorce: Risk and resiliency perspectives. 2003

Steinman, S. The experience of children in a joint custody arrangement: A report of a study, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1981.

Wallerstein, JS. Children After Divorce: Wounds That Don’t Heal. The Psychiatric Times: Medicine and Behavior. 1989.

Wallerstein, JS. Corbin SB. The Child and the Vicissitudes of Divorce. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook. Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins, 1996.

Rodgers, B. Social and psychological well-being of children from divorced families – Australian research findings, Australian Psychologist, 1996

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