This is a good start. It's good that you touched on culture, however, I'd like you to be more specific than acknolwedging there are differences. For example, I came across an interesting research study by Furtado, Marcen, and Sevilla (2013), looking at how a person's culture from their country of origin affects their divorce rate. Their study sample was participants who were childhood immigrants to the US, so they were exposed to similar laws and institutions, but differed in terms of their cultural background. Interestingly, participants from countries with lower divorce rates were less likely to be divorced. Please bring in some specifics based on an outside source and/or the book.
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Divorce is a multi-dimensional and intricate phenomenon that can affect children differently, determined by various interrelated factors. Apart from the child's age at the time of divorce, the age of the parents, and the gender of the children and parents, cultural and historical factors can influence the impact of divorce on children.
The child's age at the time of the divorce is a crucial factor that can significantly affect their experience. It is important to note that the impact of divorce on children varies according to their developmental stage (Baker, 2012). Younger children, particularly those under six, may have difficulty understanding the reasons for their parent's separation, and they may blame themselves for the divorce. They may also experience anxiety and sadness, manifesting in behavioral changes, such as regressive behaviors, tantrums, and clinginess.
In contrast, older children, particularly those in adolescence, may experience various emotions, including anger, resentment, and grief over the loss of their family unit. They may struggle to accept the changes that come with the divorce, such as living in separate households and adjusting to new family dynamics. Furthermore, the impact of divorce on children can also be influenced by their gender. Boys may be more likely to act out and engage in risk-taking behaviors to cope with the stress of the divorce. They may become aggressive or develop behavioral problems in school or at home. On the other hand, girls may be more likely to internalize their feelings and develop anxiety or depression. They may also become withdrawn and struggle with social relationships and academic performance.
The parents' age is a significant factor that can affect the impact of divorce on children. Younger parents may be less emotionally mature and have less life experience, making it challenging to cope with the stress and changes associated with divorce (Roberts & Revell, 2020). They may also have fewer resources to help support their children during this challenging time. Young parents may also have less financial stability, which can exacerbate the difficulties associated with divorce. In contrast, older parents, particularly those in midlife, may have a more established life and routine, and their divorce can disrupt their stability. They may also face challenges, such as dealing with their aging parents or health concerns, that can affect their ability to parent effectively. Additionally, older parents may have children who are also adults or nearing adulthood, which can make the divorce experience different for both the parents and the children.
Cultural factors can also come into play when considering the impact of divorce on children. For example, divorce may be stigmatized or seen as a failure in some cultures, leading to increased stress and shame for both children and parents. Divorce may be more accepted and normalized in other cultures, leading to less stigma and fewer negative consequences.
Historical factors significantly impact the impact of divorce on children. In the past, divorce was stigmatized, and it was harder for divorced parents to get custody of their children, which may have led to shame and isolation for children of divorce. However, society's attitudes towards divorce and parenting have evolved, and today children may not face the same degree of social stigma and isolation. Furthermore, changes in family structures and dynamics, such as blended families, may add complexity to the divorce experience (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). Technology and social media have changed how children and parents communicate post-divorce. For instance, virtual visitation can allow non-custodial parents to stay connected with their children even if they live far away.
Baker, A. (2012). Children and Divorce: Helping when Life Interrupts. Amsterdam University Press.
Roberts, J., & Revell, C. (2020). Why Do Families Change?: Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce (Just Enough, 4). Orca Book Publishers.
Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2017). Life-Span Human Development. Cengage Learning.
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