TheImpact of Divorce on Children
TheImpact of Parental Conflicts on Children
Withthe growing incidences of parental conflicts in the society,questions have been raised concerning the implications this might behaving on children. It is contended that the conflicts havefar-reaching implications on children, although this position isstill contested. This paper discusses that, indeed, squabbles betweenparents has a negative impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of achild, ranging the parent-child relationships to perceptions offuture marriage relationships.
Parentalconflicts are distressing to children. According to Gottmanand Jacobson (2013),children as young as 6 months become distressed when they witnesstheir parents involved in physical confrontations. The reactions ofthe stress include sadness, anxiety, anger, and many at arevulnerable to health problems, disturbed sleep, and poor performanceat school. Many children tend to express the stress throughantisocial behaviors, vandalism, hostility, and aggression, yetothers might internalize the issue through withdrawal, depression,and anxiety. The impact of parental confrontations on children ishowever determined by various parameters, including temperament, sex,age, gender, coping abilities and ways of reacting to psychologicalstress. The characteristics of family are also influential — therelationships between siblings, the parental substance use, mentalcapacity, and socioeconomic pressure are determinants on how parentalconflicts will adversely affect a child (Mayhew& Percy, 2011).
Parentconflicts also affect the relationships between children and eitherof the parents involved in the conflict. In one way, children arepsychologically affected upon seeing the persons who they areemotionally attached frustrated or angered (Troxel & Matthews2014). Ideally, the extent to which children may be psychologicallyaffected is dependent upon various factors, including the age, thegender of children, and the nature of the relationship betweenchildren and the warring parents. For instance, children who witnessparental conflicts at a young age, especially females, areparticularly susceptible to psychological challenges, compared tothose that a fully-grown. Additionally, children who enjoy closerelationships with parents in conflicts are also severely affected(Gilman, Ichiro, Garrett, Fitzmaurice & Stephen 2013). Thechild-parent relationships get worse after a conflict, and thishappens when children take sides. The disruption of the parentalrelationships results in the establishment distance towards someparents, especially when a child is convinced that a certain parentwas on the wrong (Waits,2011).
Besides,parental conflicts are to blame for the negative attitude ofindividuals towards marriage. According to Matthews and Gump (2012),a comparison of the attitudes towards the marriage by children whoseparents were constantly engaged in conflicts differs significantlyfrom those whose parents were peaceful or hid confrontations from thechildren. A negative attitude towards marriage is likely to bemanifested in different ways, including a little commitment toquality of marriage relationships, as well as romantic relationships.Despite the fact that young male adults from families withconflicting parents are likely to invest a lot in casual and romanticrelationships, they reveal relatively great ambivalence, compared tothose whose parents exhibited peace. The same feature is reflectedamong female children, whose ambivalence is even more pronounced andpresented in the forms of doubts, conflicts, and lack of faith in thehusband`s benevolence. Worse still, women who are yet to wed andfilled with strong feelings of apprehension about their marriage,continue holding negative attitudes towards men, which are all ofteninstilled by the memories of parental disagreements and fights(Hetherington & Mavis, 2012).
Accordingto Kposawa and Augustine (2013), parental conflicts are accompaniedby anxieties among children. When compared to children whose parentswere relatively peaceful, children with from families in which parentwere constantly fighting register particularly high approval fordivorce and domestic violence, and negative attitudes towardsmarriage. In particular, adolescents who witness parental conflicts,divorce and remarriage are likely to develop a feeling thatrelationships and marriages are highly unpredictable. Individuals whohave been nurtured by divorced parents do not believe that marriageis a commitment and are likely to consider themselves as parentspositively. It is argued that these differences in attitudes arenoticeable in as early as kindergarten stages (Kposawa and Augustine,2013).
Thechildren from families that parents were constantly fighting arelikely to have a positive attitude towards co-habitation, compared tochildren whose parents did were peaceful. When they are away fromhome, they are not likely to cohabit about three times theircounterparts and this is worse in the cases where parents hadconflicts during the teenage stages. Female children of theconflicting parents register low anticipation for co-habitation,irrespective of the amounts of affection that they received fromtheir parents (Bramlett,William& Mosher, 2013).
Theimpact of parental conflicts on children behaviors is predicted bythe behaviorism theory, which posits that the personality of a childis determined by the environment in which one is exposed.In this case, the environment comprises the physical and socialenvironment. Theoretically, as an individual interacts with theenvironments, there are three possibilities. One of the possibilitiesis that the generated experiences will be accepted and internalizedto form one’s identity. The second possibility is that theexperiences will be ignored, and this is common when the experiencesdo not seem to be relevant to interests of the structures of theself. The last possibility is that the experiences can always bedistorted to conform to the ideals of self-structures, resulting inthe problematic outcomes (Johnson,2011).
Inconclusion, the aim of this paper has been to discuss the impact ofparental conflicts on children. It is established that, indeed,squabblesbetweenparentshaveanegative impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of a child, ranging theparent-child relationships to perceptions of future marriagerelationships. Parentalconflicts are distressing — children as young as 6 months becomedistressed when they witness their parents involved in physicalconfrontations. Parentconflicts also affect the relationships between children and eitherof the parents involved in the conflict. Parental conflicts are toblame for the negative attitude of individuals towards marriage. Thisview follows that comparison of the attitudes towards the marriage bychildren whose parents were constantly engaged in conflicts differssignificantly from those whose parents were peaceful or hidconfrontations from the children. These discussions are valid becausethe impact of parental conflicts on children behaviors is predictedby the behaviorism theory, which posits that the personality of achild is determined by the environment in which one is exposed.
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