The Effects of Divorce on Children

The list below is a small but important part of the material I teach in my court-ordered divorcing parents’ class, Parenting Together©. These statistics describe what your children are facing or dealing with if you have already divorced. The rest of my class deals with how to lessen the damage caused by divorce.

1) “Children who grow up in single-parent homes are less likely to marry, more likely to divorce, and more likely to have children outside of wedlock.” Daniel T. Lichter et al., “Race and the Retreat from Marriage: A Shortage of Marriageable Men?” American Sociological Review 57 (December 1992)

2) A study on the effects of unmarried mothers’ child raising found that daughters were more likely to become sexually active in their teen years and were more likely to become involved with men that will abuse them. The Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher p. 167, citing Stephanie Schamess, “The Search for Love: Unmarried Adolescent Mothers’ Views of and Relationships with, Men”

3) Women raised in female-headed families are 53% likelier to have teenage marriages, 111% likelier to have teenage births, 164% likelier to have premarital births, and 93% likelier to experience marital disruptions (a.k.a divorces of their own when they get married. “Intergenerational Consequences of Family Disruption,” American Journal of Sociology 4 (July, 1988)

4) A major study has documented that “teen boys from one-parent households are almost twice as likely to father a child out of wedlock as teen boys from two-parent families.” William Marsiglio, “Adolescent Fathers in the United States: Their Initial Living Arrangements, Marital Experience and Educational Outcomes,” Family Planning Perspective.

5) Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families, according to a study which tracked 6,000 males aged 14— 22. Coalition of Marriage, Family and Couples Education.

6) Two-thirds of CoD (children of divorce) say they Felt like they grew up in two different families, not one, which creates “endless and often painful complications for a child.” Between Two Worlds; Elizabeth Marquadt

7) Fully 44% of CoD said “I was alone as a child” vs. only 14% of those in intact families, a three-fold difference. The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce; Marquadt

8) 20% of young adult CoD state “I love my parents, but don’t respect them.” What causes that loss of respect? Parent-to-parent relationships. Between Two Worlds; Marquadt

9) Most children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce according to numerous studies.

10) The effects of divorce on children is not short-term, as once believed; they are affected for the rest of their lives in almost every context. The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce; Judith Wallerstein

11) When CoD act out their anger felt toward their parents, the children suffer much more than the intended victims — their parents. Wallerstein

12) Fighting ex-spouses damage their children. Period. Only by learning to cooperate, through mediation or some other method, can the parents hope to rescue their children from disaster. Marquadt

** This information and much, much more is included in my guidebook for divorcing parents, (HERE)

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