On the subject of Divorced Children

Our conversation in class regarding the effects on divorce among children got me pondering on the subject, and delving into further research. Before I present my findings, let me first clarify that though I found this information regarding the effects on divorce among female children interesting, as a rule I like to stay away from generalizations. I have never found it helpful to say “x group is x”, because that is treating individual humans as a entity – rather than individuals, and I believe that for every “group” of people you find, a personal story.

According to Verna Keith and Barbara Finlay’s article, The Impact of Parental Divorce on Children’s Educational Attainment, Marital Timing, and Likelihood of Divorce, research suggests that children of divorced parents are less likely to be successful in their marital lives.  Research also suggests that education attainment is lower in the children of divorced parents, children of divorced parents will marry younger, their  chances of getting married shorter, and their probability for divorce higher.

A similar article examining the effects of divorce on children in Britain and the U.S. was researched and written  in the American Association for Advancement of Science. The article stated that 40% of todays modern children will be subject to divorced parents. The article recorded how in both Britain and the U.S., children whose parents had divorced before they turned 11 displayed serious behavior problems. However an interesting difference is that this statistic was not applied to girls, whose behavior remained the same regardless of whether they came from divorced homes or not.

In “How to Do It”, we learned that Catholic families in the Renaissance attempted to teach their children how to act according to how they themselves acted. For, in bringing their children up, they must themselves set an example by being “reverent mothers and fathers” (page 158, How to Do It) Parents during the Renaissance who held to such belief therefore might respond to these studies saying, “of course children of divorced parents are more inclined to have marital problems themselves! They learned from their parents”.

But that is merely what (I am guessing) would be a Renaissance family’s take on it. I myself would like to withhold judgement until I have evaluated every cased of every child from a divorce family. Until one does that, generalizations of how children from divorced families are effected are just – generalizations that perhaps do not take into account individual stories, such as some of the individual stories we heard in class on Wed.


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