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Divorce in UK


The rise of parental divorce in the UK is rapidly increasing. Earlier research studies sustain that there are harmful implications to the child with regards to schooling, future career prospects and the capability to uphold long-term relationships. Several theories have emerged attempting to explain the causes of divorce and explaining effects of divorce on offspring's. These offspring's were frequently subjected to family disagreements ahead of the divorce, sometimes supplemented by violence, the dissolution of parental relationships, or a whole departure from one parent. Outcomes from a variety of research looking into immediate and continuing consequence of divorce on the offspring denote that children going through parental division demonstrate interpersonal difficulties, psychological wellbeing problems, for instance depression or poorer school attainment. Findings showed that the level of commitments that offspring's exhibit in previous relationships was linked to parenting styles; a friendship based and a highly communicative parental relationship was linked to high levels of commitments. The father was identified as being an influential and sought after during and after the parental divorce. The absence of the father in the involvement with the child after divorce, led to a lack of economic support which resulted with the child having cynical views about the father. A dedicated parental relationship shared with individual knowledge was related to high intensity of trust in the offspring which reduced any detrimental effects as the result of the divorce. It was concluded that marital dissolution was not linked with the harmful outcomes that have been summarized in literature, but that more significantly the connection between the parent and the child prior to divorce has a substantial pressure on the child's succeeding sensitivity of relationships. This literature review can be practical to relationship and family professions, which cooperate with young adults, where the conclusion of this literature review can be communicated to the client with the aim of decreasing any negative awareness of relationships.

1. Introduction

A divorce is defined as the legal dissolution of a marriage according to the Oxford English Dictionary. If a person wishes to begin a petition for divorce they must be married for at least a year. In the UK a divorce is only granted if the court is satisfied that the reasons are adultery by the husband or wife or unreasonable behaviour by either spouse. A divorce will also be granted in circumstances where the husband or wife has deserted their spouse for a period of at least two years. When the couple have been separated for two years after a mutual agreement they can also apply for a divorce. A couple where a spouse does not wish for a divorce can still be granted a divorce if there was a separation period for more than five years (HMCS, 2009).

Despite the seemingly rigid criteria for application of divorce, recent statistics show that divorce is vastly common in the UK. In 2008, there was a 2.5% decrease in the divorce rate in England and Wales compared to 2007 where 12.2 divorcing people per 1,000 married population. This is the fifth uninterrupted year that the amount of divorces has decreased and is the lowest number since 1976 when there were 126,694 divorces. The number of divorces last peaked in 2003 when there were 153,490. Although evidence shows that the numbers of divorces cases are decreasing, there are nevertheless still a high number of divorces being granted annually.

Her Majesty's Courts Service states that to apply for a divorce a petition is required to be filled and sent to the divorce court. When the court receives the petition, a copy is forwarded to the spouse involved in the divorce. If the husband or wife contests the divorce, the process can become lengthy as the court will ask for more information and evidence. If there are children involved, then the court will examine the living arrangements and the contact they will have with the non-resident parent (HMCS, 2009).

In 2008 51% of couples divorcing had at least one child aged under 16. In the same year, 20% of children were under five and 63% were under eleven. The number of children in divorced families in 2008 totalled 117,193 - a decrease of 22% from ten years earlier, in 1998, when there were 150,309 children. In 2008 34% of couples divorcing in 2008 had no children of any age recorded (National statistics, 2008). In any case, one child was in attendance in 54% of the divorce court cases (Statistisches Bundesamt, 1996).These s show that there are a high number of children who have divorced parents. With the divorce rate being high it is important to look at how the divorce process affects the individuals involved especially the children.

1.1 Aim of literature review

This Literature review aims to ascertain the consequences of parental divorce on children, concentrating on effects on the Childs relationships (both parental and romantic), social welfare and mental well-being. The literature review aims to discover the various effects of parental divorce and whether they are positive or negative, long-lasting and whether they are reversible. Additional awareness in this region of psychology will facilitate experts, for instance family or relationship therapists, to achieve extra insight into their client's circumstances regarding parental divorce. Furthermore, if there are positive effects from the occurrence of parental separation, this information may be transmitted to the general public with the intention of reducing the stereotypes that are forced on divorced families. This consecutively may possibly decrease any harmful consequences that these stereotypes may convey.

2. Theories of Divorce

2.2 Theories explaining causes of divorce

A number of perspectives have been proposed to explain why individuals divorce.

-Divorce-stress-adjustment perspective

One approach that is the divorce-stress-adjustment perspective (Amato 2000), which regards divorce as a procedure that begins with feelings of estrangement from one's partner, continues as one or both spouses make a decision to separate, and then is followed by adjustment after divorce. This perspective shares similar ideas to the wider "stress-distress" theory by envisaging of divorce as a stressor to which individuals adjust with altering levels of flexibility, depending in part on the social and economic possessions at their discard (Pearlin et al. 2005).

-The selection perspective

The selection perspective assumes that people who cohabit before marriage differ in certain ways from noncohabitors and that these differences increase the likelihood of poor marital quality and divorce. Relevant characteristics include having a low level of education, being poor, growing up with divorced parents, holding non-traditional attitudes toward marriage, and being nonreligious. In support of this perspective, numerous analyses have shown that controlling for selection factors causes the association between cohabitation and measures of marital dysfunction to decrease or disappear. For example, (Belsky, 1990) found that cohabitation prior to marriage was associated with less marital interaction, more marital disagreements, greater divorce proneness, and more divorce. After controlling for a variety of selection factors, however, three of the four associations were no longer significant. Nonetheless, some of the selection factors, such as attitudes toward marriage, may have been consequences, rather than causes, of cohabitation.

-Experience of cohabitation perspective

The experience of cohabitation perspective believes that cohabitation itself enhances the probability of marital dysfunction as well as the personality traits that partners convey to their relationships. According to this perspective, cohabitation transforms individuals and their relationships in ways that challenges later marital value and loyalty. Even though this explanation has received less notice than the selection perspective in the research literature, a small number of studies propose means through which cohabitation may affect marital value and strength. In a longitudinal study Seltzer (1991) found that after cohabiting, individuals were more accepting of divorce than they had been before cohabiting. This transformation in attitudes may have consequences for later marital quality and stability. A longitudinal study by Amato and Rogers (1999) found that married individuals who adopted more accepting attitudes toward divorce reported declines in marital happiness and increases in marital conflict, with the causal path running primarily from attitudes to marital quality. According to these authors, individuals with a weak commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage may invest relatively little time and energy in resolving relationship problems, assuming that it is easier to leave an unhappy marriage than to repair it. Consequently, people who do not support the norm of lifelong marriage are more likely than other people to see the quality of their relationships erode over time. Similarly, research has shown that married people who hold accepting attitudes toward divorce are more likely to divorce, even after controlling for the number of perceived problems in their marriages (Amato, 1996).

2.2 Theories explaining divorce effects on children

-The parental loss perspective

Conventionally, it is believed that a family with both parents living in the same house as the child is a superior environment for children's growth than is a single-parent family. According to this outlook, mothers and fathers are significant resources for the child; each is a resource of emotional maintenance, practical support and general management. Additionally, the existence of two adults in the home permits parents to act as role models from whom children learn social competence such as co-operation, negotiation and compromise.

According to this view, the absence of one parent from the household is problematic for children's socialization. Thus subsequent to divorce, numerous children experience a decline in the frequency and significance of communication with the noncustodial parent (Amato, 1987; Furstenburg & Nord, 1987; White, Brinkerhoff, & Booth, 1985). Moreover, due to most custodial parents being in employment, they are restricted in the quantity of time and energy they can dedicate to their children. A reduction in parental aid may raise the possibility of problems such as poor academic accomplishment, little self-esteem, and misconduct (Rollins & Thomas, 1979). Furthermore, the parental authority organization may be weaker in single parent than in married parent families (Nock, 1988; Steinberg, 1987). Combined with a lack of parental supervision, this may increase the likelihood that children misbehave through truancy, felony, or premarital pregnancy (Dornbusch et al., 1985; Hogan & Kitagawa, 1985).

-The parental adjustment perspective

This viewpoint concentrates on the significance of the psychological modification of the custodial parent. Parents who are supportive and who use a reasonable quantity of control assist the maturity and welfare of their children (Baumrind, 1968; Belsky, 1990; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Rollins & Thomas, 1979). On the other hand, stress damages the superiority of a parent's childrearing ability, and this is prone to have harmful consequences for children.

Divorce is one of life's most stressful experiences according to Holmes & Rahe (1967), and most adults experience some complexity in adjustment (Kitson & Morgan, 1990). Moreover, Weinraub & Wolf (1983) discover that single mothers have a reduced amount of social support than married mothers and experience further chronic sources of strain (McLanahan & Booth, 1989). Hetherington et al. (1982) established that throughout the first year after divorce, custodial mothers were more apprehensive, disheartened, angry, and unconfident than were married mothers. They also illustrated less friendliness to their children, conversed less with them, disciplined them more, and were more inconsistent in their use of punishment. Amato and Keith's (1991b) meta-analysis confirmed that children in divorced single-parent families have fewer positive relationships with custodial parents than do children in nondivorced families.

The longitudinal report by Hetherington et al. (1982) as well found that the mother's psychological condition and the superiority of parent-child relations enhanced after 2 years, even though several problems continued between mothers and sons. Wallerstein and Kelly (1980) noted comparable changes ultimately in parental well-being and parent-child communication. These conclusions are constant with the concept that most adults adjust to divorce within a couple of years (Booth & Amato, 1991; Kitson & Morgan, 1990). This perception, consequently, assumes that decrements in the custodial parent's psychological condition and capability to work effectively in the parental role following divorce can lessen the welfare of children. Though the behaviour and modification of both parents are important, this outlook concentrates on the position of the custodial parent, since the majority of childrearing job depends on this individual.

-The interparental conflict perspective

This concentrates on the role of disagreement between parents. A unhappy home surrounding made distinctive by high levels of marital disagreement is not principle for the development of children, and some studies have signified that marital quarrel has a harmful impact on children's psychological adjustment (Emery, 1982, and Grynch & Fincham, 1990). Interparental differences affect children in numerous ways. Children react to interparental aggression with pessimistic emotions, such as apprehension, fury, and anguish. Children also are inclined to become involved in the conflict amongst their parents and are occasionally forced to take sides, resulting in deteriorations in parent-child relationships (Johnston, Kline, & Tschann, 1989). Additionally, through copying verbal or physical hostility, parents possibly will ultimately educate their children that aggression is a suitable technique for dealing with disputes. Finally, children can point responsibility for arguments between parents to themselves -particularly young children who tend to be egocentric (Grynch & Fincham, 1990).

This outlook states that a difference between parents before and during the termination process is accountable for the reduced welfare of children of divorce. It must be noted that since marital conflict leads both divorce and children's trouble, this viewpoint proposes that the link between negative child outcomes and divorce is false. This perspective states that children in single-parent families after divorce should have a higher level of welfare than children in high-conflict nondivorced families, once they have recovered from any ill effects of conflict. Alternatively, since ex-spouses may persist to fight over child maintenance, supervision, and visitation arrangements, post- divorce disagreement between parents may be a persistent strain that effects negatively on children's happiness.

-The economic hardship perspective

This perspective presumes that it is economic hardship produced by marital dissolution that is first and foremost accountable for the problems faced by children of divorce. The majority of children live with their mothers subsequent to divorce, and divorce commonly leads to a relentless reduction in the pattern of living of mother-headed families (Duncan & Hoffman, 1985; Weitzman, 1985). This reduction may amplify the risk of numerous problems for children. Economic hardship may harmfully influence children's diet and health (Williams, 1990). Poor single mothers are not capable to afford private lessons, educational models, books, home computers, and other goods that assist children's academic success. Limited income may also compel families to live in neighbourhoods where school programs are inadequately financed, services are poor, and crime rates are high (McLanahan & Booth, 1989). Adolescents may feel forced to leave school in order to take a job and supply economically to the household (Weiss, 1979).

The economic hardship perspective can be differentiated from a associated perspective based on the idea that low socioeconomic status (including income) is a likely reason of both divorce and child problems. This second perspective asserts that any alliance between divorce and child maladjustment is forged. On the contrary, the economic hardship perspective believes that divorce causes economic decline, which, in turn, intensifies the risk of child problems. Meaning, that economic hardship is linked to the effect of divorce on children. Even though it is complicated to attain measures of family income preceding divorce, a lot of studies have incorporated statistical controls for parents' education and occupational position. These studies more often than not, show that part of the connection between parental separation and children's wellbeing is in fact spurious. Nevertheless, even after controlling for predivorce socioeconomic status, generally studies persist to find noteworthy links between divorce and children's outcomes (Amato & Keith, 1991). Consequently, the assumption that predivorce social class provides an explanation for the link between divorce and child problems can be rejected for present purposes.

-The life stress perspective

The fifth perspective is the largely universal one, to an extent, integrates aspects from the previous four. Just as divorce is known to be a stressful occasion for adults, it is also supposed to be stressful for children (Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). in reality, each of the factors noted above-loss of communication with the noncustodial parent, decline in the superiority of the relationship with the custodial parent, experience of an interparental conflict, and a decline in pattern of living-are stressors in their own right. Besides, divorce is connected with other proceedings, such as travelling, shifting schools, giving up pets, and loss of communication with grandparents that may be upsetting to children (Wolchik, Sandler, Braver, & Fogas, 1985). This viewpoint highlights that it is not a single stressor, but the gathering of negative actions, that may result in trouble for children.

Not only are actions around the time of divorce frequently stressful for children, but parental divorce can also set into movement future events that may reduce children's well-being. One modification that has involved a good deal of notice is parental remarriage. Some authors have pointed out that adding a stepparent, and possibly stepsiblings, to a family can cause tension for adults and children (Visher & Visher, 1983). Parental remarriage also creates the likelihood of further divorces. In fact, half of all children whose parents divorce will be familiar with a second parental divorce (Bumpass, 1984). Numerous instances of divorce expose children to frequent periods of conflict, reduced parenting, and financial hardship (Brody, Neubaum, and Forehand, 1988). Consequently, stressful events may mount up during childhood for some children of divorce.

To summarize, it is evident that out of the five explanatory perspectives reviewed above, the strongest and most dependable research support is acquired for the interparental conflict model. Ironically, this viewpoint proposes that the relation between parental break up and children's welfare is spurious because interparental arguments produce both child problems and marital dissolution. In reality, divorce may develop the well-being of children if it leads to a reduction in conflict between parents. A few researchers suggest that this perspective is lacking crucial details. Firstly, due to the fact that conflict between parents usually decreases following divorce, children's well-being should improve as time passes. Nevertheless, Amato and Keith's (1991) meta-analysis proposes that even as adults, children of divorce display somewhat lesser well-being than do people from nondivorced families of origin. This suggests that some aspects, other than marital conflict, occur in some single-parent families to affect children's well-being negatively. Secondly, even though marital conflict may be the most significant factor in the adjustment of children of divorce, some support exists for each model.

3. Research into effects of divorce

3.1 Positive effects of divorce

-Social well-being

Sandler, Tein, & West (1994) study found that children who use dynamic coping skills (such as problem solving and reacting to social support) are more likely to adjust to divorce more quickly compared to children who use avoidance or distraction as a coping mechanism.

McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) initiated that the length of time in a single-parent family was not associated to children's graduation from high school or risk of a teenage birth.

There was also a positive impact due to the parental break up as Arditti (1999) found that numerous children from divorced families, particularly daughters, stated developing a close relationship with their custodial mothers.

-Divorce as an escape

Jekielek (1998) found that children were better off if parents in high-conflict marriages divorced than if they remained married. When argument between parents is severe, persistent, and explicit, divorce symbolizes an escape from an aversive home atmosphere for children.

Amato and Booth (1991) found that individuals who went through a low-stress parental divorce did not differ in terms of measures of psychological, social and marital well-being compared to those individuals who came from a married parent's home.

3.2 Negative effects of divorce

- Relationship stability

Amato (1996) described individuals who experienced parental divorce as having problems upholding long-standing romantic relationships such as being reserved, resentful and being cynical. Supporting evidence is by Gottman, Coan, Carrere and Swanson (1998) who stated that qualities contempt, criticism and defensiveness all contribute to the breakdown of intimate relationships. Regarding commitment, in most cases, findings have revealed that children from detached families have few ambitions concerning the need to maintain a lasting relationship and also have uncertainty relating to loyalty in relationships (Wallerstein and Blakeslee, 1989; White, 1984). However, the methods used in those studies were condemned so therefore Dunlop and Burns (1995), formed a research study which was more accurate in terms of its measures. It was concluded that there was no long-term consequences of parental divorce on children in relation to loyalty issues. It has been argued that there are two positions which adults from detached families take in relation to loyalty in long-standing relationships; the feeling of dependence on a companion for love, friendliness and interest; and/or the concern of rejection and infidelity. These feelings can happen because of rising unavailability of parents during the divorce process (Lauer and Lauer, 1991).

In general offspring's who as a child encountered parental divorce were only disbelieving and suspicious when concerned in intimate interpersonal relationships and not in general informal relationships. However research evidence in this area is ambiguous as Franklin et al. (1990), established that there was no harmful consequences as regards to trust in romantic interactions amongst adults who experienced parental separation as a child.

-Social well-being and trust

Cherlin et al (1995) claimed that the gap in psychological well-being between children from divorced and nondivorced families grew larger, not smaller, with the passage of time. Offspring who situate a little of the responsibility for the parental dissolution on themselves have a tendency to be more defectively adjusted than children who labelled the parents liable for the divorce (Bussell, 1995). In a study of primary school children it was found that, 6 months after parental separation, one third of the children reported some feelings of self-blame which was related to a diversity of child problems, including depression, externalizing problems, and lowered feelings of self-proficiency (Healy, Stewart, and Copeland, 1993). Amato and Booth (1991) used a sample of adults for their meta-analysis research regarding negative effects of divorce. Amato combined the results of 92 studies in which researchers had compared the welfare of children living with nondivorced families compared to divorced single parents family. He found that in 70% of cases children in divorced parents had lower levels of well-being. Children from these families performed poorly in schools. Overall children scored lower on measures of psychological, social and marital well-being except socioeconomic adequacy.

Divorce has long been linked to physical and emotional health problems (Simon and Marcussen, 1999). Concerning parental divorce, Kurtz (1994) noted that in adulthood, children of divorce encounter little interpersonal trust as well as negative attitudes of self-worth, feelings of discontent and loneliness and diminished fulfilment in relationships. There are arguments that higher amount of distrust uncovered in children of divorce who are adults, is due to reflection methods which associate the rejection from one parent to the idea that other people cannot be trusted and will eventually do the same (Jacobs et al, 1986). Owen et al (1997) found different evidence that parental dissolution does not have any harmful effect on the children's intelligence of trust. Being exposed to low levels of interpersonal relations between the parents may lead to dubiousness and cynicism in adulthood for the offspring (Rottenberg, 1995). This can also justify why offspring's may distrust both parents after a divorce. On the other hand, good committed contact between the parent and the child has been revealed to eliminate any matter concerning trust in the child (Hodges et al, 1979).

-Parenting style

Thompson et al. (1992) found that divorced custodial parents, in contrast with married parents, devote less time, are less compassionate, have fewer rules, distribute harsher control, give less supervision, and take on more conflict with their children. Silitsky (1996) found that depression among custodial mothers, which is likely to detract from parenting, is connected to poor adjustment amongst children.

As maintained by Amato (2001) the nonattendance of either parent throughout parental divorce has been discovered to have harmful effects on the offspring such as adult depression. Consistent with this research, Luepnitz (1979) established that the absence of the child's father is one of the major stressors involved in parental divorce. The participants in Luepenitz study justified the reasons for the fathers being a major stressor as their mothers could not afford to support their children without assistance from the government. As a result, a link between the absence of the father and economic difficulties is evident, therefore enhancing resentment from the child to the father. This viewpoint follows the Economic hardship perspective mentioned in section 2.2. Seltzer and Bianchi (1988) highlight the significance of financial maintenance from the father as this assists in the child's general welfare. Welsh et al. (2004) defended fathers as with no emotional attachment between the child and the father; the father is unenthusiastic and reluctant to be occupied with the child and so may not support the child financially.


An additional technique to study the influence of trauma on the welfare of an individual is to psychoanalyse their dreams. The continuity hypothesis suggests that dreaming is linked to daily life (Domhoff, 1996), thus one can anticipate that dreams after tension or main life incident imitate the occasion and the likely harmful effects connected with the incident. In a study by Nesca & Koulak (1991), individuals susceptible to anxiety are more inclined to regard their dreams as more apprehensive and their dreams in addition include excessive occurrences of hardship.

Greater than before sleep problems were connected with the current parental divorce, harmonizing with research indicating that anxiety heightens sleep difficulties in adults (Hohagen et al., 1993). Knoke (1994) stated that dreams may mirror role misunderstanding the child encounters throughout the time of division and adjustment to a new family arrangement. Dreams may point towards a raise in coping behaviour in children adapting to the new circumstances after the divorce. Wright and Koulack (1987) develop the mastery hypothesis to explain this coping behaviour. It was explained that when an individual is challenged by a traumatic experience for the period of the waking condition, the individual reflects about it, until acquiring a correct decision or until having to put it away because of other burdens of their waking life. In contrast, Falk and Hill (1995) initiated that dreams were not harmful as therapies in their study successfully used dreams in group therapy, with young adults experiencing parental divorce to manage efficiently with the burden of the changes.

3.3 External factors to consider

Boney (2003) conducted a literature review examining the most well-known studies considering the consequences of divorce and in particular, the methods used by the researchers. Boney observed that the studies suggests that several negative outcomes found amongst children with divorced parents exist years before the marriage ends, and subsequently might be due to parental or family problems rather than marital dissolution.

-Parent personality and parenting style

Particular parenting style had additional effect on children's adjustment to home life following divorce. There is evidence to suggest that anti social personalities in mothers, in particular, accounted for the association between mothers' marital transitions and boys' adjustment problems (Capaldi and Patterson, 1991). Further evidence suggests that negative emotions were more likely to be transmitted from single mothers to adolescent children than vice versa, especially when mothers were under stress (Larson and Gillman, 1999). Nevertheless it must be noted that even though many children in single- mother households are deprived by a lack of economic resources, some children in single- father households are disadvantaged by a lack of interpersonal resources (such as single fathers' relatively low level of involvement in school activities), resulting in roughly equal outcomes (Downey 1994) . The latter research is supported by evidence concluding that single motherhood (or absent father hood) is often cited as an important cause of crime, delinquency, and community decline (Popenoe, 1996 ).

The quality of parental functioning is one of the most paramount predictors of children's conduct and wellbeing according to researchers. Amato and Keith (1991) speculated that the gap in welfare between individuals with divorced and nondivorced parents may have lessened either as divorce became more socially conventional or because parents were making larger efforts to decrease the potentially troublesome impact of divorce on their children. An authoritative parenting style on the part of noncustodial fathers consistently predicted children's higher academic achievement and lower internalizing and externalizing problems (Amato and Gilbreth, 1999).

-Pre-divorce factors

Research evidence suggests that in some circumstances the negative effects visible in children's well-being after divorce is not always due to the divorce process. Problems in parent-child relationships (including parents' reports that their children had given them more than the usual number of problems) were present as early as 8 to 12 years before divorce (Amato and Booth, 1996). Further support for this is from Cherlin and colleagues (1991) who concluded that children from martially disrupted families had more post divorce behaviour problems than children from nondisrupted families. These differences, however, were apparent several years prior to divorce, especially for boys. Interparental conflict is linked with children's adjustment problems, whether in intact or divorced families (Grych & Fincham, 1990).

-Parental remarriage and living with step-families

There are mixed results regarding the effects of parental remarriage on the well-being of children.

The positive effects of parental remarriage are that offspring with remarried custodial parents were less depressed, have fewer interpersonal problems than children with single custodial parents (Aseltine 1996 ; Bolgar et al., 1995). Carlson (1998) found that children who were part of a step-family were less expected to achieve as good results in education compared to children who were a part of a biological parent family. There is evidence to propose that difficulties only take place when a stepfamily is included in the running of the family unit (McLauglin, 2004).

In certain circumstances, effects from living with a step family is particularly detrimental and children in these families are less communicative pertaining to sharing personal problems and faced higher possibilities of acquiring psychological problems such as depression (Johnston, Gonzalez and Campbell, 1987; Clarke-Stewart and Hayward 1996).

There is also a significant difference between parental remarriage which was associated with fewer child problems, compared to parental cohabitation which was associated with more problems, especially among boys (Buchanon, Maccoby, and Dornbusch, 1996). In relation to gender, according to research, females tend to be more flexible than males to the remarriage of a parent following divorce (Hetherington et al., 1982). Nonetheless, these gender disparities are more observable in children than young adults (Amato and Keith, 1991). Contradictory research evidence suggests that there are variations in the quantity of psychological problems that males and females encounter. For instance, Zill et al. (1993) found that males encountered more negative consequences than girls. A reason for this may be due to the fact that males commonly publicly display their reactions whereas girls commonly internalized their feelings (Hess and Camara, 1979). As a result of this, there are more apparent harmful behaviours amongst males in comparison to females. However, Wallerstein et al(2000) noted that the greater negative outcomes of parental parting that are uncovered in males is a consequence of the shortage of a same-sex role model because of the normality of offspring residing with their mothers following divorce, as opposed to their fathers. This was confirmed by research evidence confirming that adolescents are more likely to relate with the parent who is of the same-sex instead of the opposite sex parent (Maccoby, 1980).

The negative effects of parental remarriage are that children in stepfamilies were not at an advantage and in some ways were more deprived, than children living in single-parent households following divorce (Amato, 1994). There are also studies showing that parental remarriage affects certain ethnic races more than other. McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) found that parental remarriage appeared to benefit African Americans more than children of white background.

It might be difficult to reach large overview about the role of parental remarriage in children's adjustment, since these effects fluctuate with children's ages, children's gender, and the time since divorce, amongst other reasons.

4. Conclusion

There is uncertain support pertaining to the impact of matrimonial termination for the children. It is broadly understood that divorce usually has harmful effects in connection to mental well being, behavioural issues and educational complications in comparison to children who are from a nondivorced family (Amato and Keith, 1991). On the other hand, as demonstrated in research in chapters three, there is contradictory support to propose that children do actually recuperate from the incident of parental separation and that there are no long-standing consequences for the offspring's (Jekielek , 1998; Arditti, 1999).

The superiority of pre and post divorce parenting has in addition been recommended as a causative feature to the hurtful impact of divorce on the offspring. This point of view is supported by Amato (2000) who proposed that parents who displayed anger or depression were likely to exhibit emotional hostility and a disinterest in parenting. In addition, father involvement before the divorce forecasts a better father-child relationship after the divorce, signifying the value of bearing in mind predivorce family type to appreciate how such connection influences children. There have been several studies looking into the effects of step-families on the offspring who has previously experienced divorce and there are ambiguous conclusions regarding this. Studies conclude that offspring's who experience parental remarriage compared to parents who cohabit face fewer psychological parents (Wallerstein et al, 2000). This may be due to the child viewing the parental remarriage as something more secure and stable than cohabitation. However, in contrast studies have proposed that children facing parent remarriage are more deprived.

Whilst numerous studies state negative lasting outcomes of marital breakup on offspring, the findings should be taken carefully for a few reasons. Other family aspects such as parenting quality have not been observed in a lot of the studies on the consequences of parental separation. Furthermore, it is likely that the offspring whose parents separated would have lived through the same harmful effect, if their parents stayed married. To conclude, even though divorce is prone to be complicated for children, a compassionate family setting can safeguard against possible troubles that may occur.

4.1 Future research

Potential research needs to concentrate on inter-group variation amid individuals who have encountered parental separation so as to better appreciate why a number of single-parent families are further triumphant than others when evaluating individual outcomes. Above all, a strengths-based paradigm can offer a constructive viewpoint for investigators to study the individual assets, capabilities, and only one of its kind experiences of individuals influenced by parental break up; investigators would investigate the personal assets that individuals utilize as a result of the occurrence of parental dissolution. Research investigating the experience of parental divorce from a strengths-based outlook would add to existing research by presenting findings that would be useful for the various professions that work with single-parent families and young adult and offspring of divorce. A strengths-based perspective of the consequence of annulment symbolizes a key move in how investigators study the effects of matrimonial termination for a family and the individuals involved. Studies from a strengths-based perspective conceptualise the experience of existing in single-parent families shaped by dissolution as a likely prospect to increase personal and family assets (e.g., unity, compliance) which are innate in all families, despite different arrangements. Accordingly, procedures within single-parent families that encourage the growth of personal and family strong points are the centre of studies from this perspective.

In addition, more research is needed to investigate positive results in children of divorce, who are now adults, ordinary development in various family types, and the procedures that positively impact changes in family conversion. To expand the current research concerning effects of parental divorce on dreams, it will be useful to carry out a future long-term study of children before the divorce, for the duration of the divorce process, and no less than one or two years following the divorce.

4.2 Real world application

Research into the consequences of parental divorce on children can assist our knowledge about the experiences and expectations of children from divorced families. This consecutively could allow both relationship and family psychotherapy where findings of research can be communicated to the client with the aim of decreasing any negative awareness of relationships. With reference to this literature review, the media and family psychologists can influence parenting style before divorce; research has proved that there are positive effects on an offspring's adjustment when they have a friendship-based relationship with the parent. The media can support reducing stereotypes of the effects of divorce by imposing that there not as many negative effects and that these effects are reversible. As a result of this the confidence of the child will be strengthened as the harmful effects of parental divorce that previous research has anticipated will not be linked with the child's parental divorce. Dream studies have been useful to and imply that therapies can use psychoanalysis to scrutinize dreams of children to better understand the trauma they are experiencing and relay findings with the doctor and parents. Practitioners can be assisted in determining potential causes of problem by looking at the child's early experiences, their current family surroundings, and their present developmental stage.

This literature review also draws attention to the numerous issues that shape children's modification to divorce. Studies visibly imply that parenting quality is a significant issue effecting children's adjustment to divorce. Practitioners can stress to parents that they do have some influence over how their offspring manage with separation and that their connection with their child is essential for their children's growth. Above all, assisting parents to discover ways to have encouraging, sympathetic communications with their child, decreases interparental variance, develops their own psychological health, and reassures children that the transitions between parents' homes will be an advantage to them.

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