Sunday, July 29, 2012


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DIVORCE Divorce rates in the United States have increased

dramatically in the past 5 years. Over 40 percent of the marriages among

young Americans will end in divorce. There is a lot of stress on all the

people involved. The man has to deal with, usually, not seeing his

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children, being alone, and the responsibility that is accompanied with

much of the legal process. The wife has to go through, maybe, entering

the work force for the first time. Children are often viewed as a back

burner issue but more often than none they are the center piece of

discussion. The children may begin feeling inadequate around their

friends and even in personal esteem. Feeling like it is their fault they

might get depressed or perhaps even rebellious. Regardless, divorce is an

activity that has become common place in todays family structure,

behavior, and morality. When two people meet and decide their love

is strong enough to carry them to the next level marriage is usually the

out come. Sometimes they decide to have children and sometimes they

dont, but when they do, it usually brings them closer together. All

parents have desires and hopes for their children. The way in which

parents achieve these ends can differ. Researchers do not agree on which

of the child-raising practices is best. But it is known that parents

provide role models for their children and that children rely on their

parents to teach them about the world. When a cultures values and

traditions undergo a rapid change it becomes difficult to decide which

attitudes and beliefs children should be taught. As one researcher has

stated, todays children are the first generation to be raised amid doubt

about the role prescriptions that have long gone unchallenged. This makes

their socialization especially difficult. Traditionally, socialization

was a process of raising the young to fill major roles in society when the

present incumbents vacated them. Yet today we do not know what type of

society our children will inherit, nor the roles for which they should be

prepared. (pp.4) Divorce along married couples is the most

well-documented and studied of the various ways relationships end.

According to Dworetzky Divorce rates in the United States have

increased dramatically in the past 5 years. According to current

assessments, over 40 percent of marriages among young Americans will end

in divorce, of the children born in the last ten years, almost 50 percent

will spend on an average of six years in a one- parent household. Nine

out of ten children will reside with their mothers. Between and

11million school-age children in the United States live in one-parent

families. About one-half of all divorces occur within the first seven

years of marriage with the first two to three years being an especially

vulnerable time period for divorce.(pp.47-6) The actual rate of divorce

may only represent a small amount of the problem. It is unknown how many

marriages end in non legal separations or how many married people stay

together in an empty, essentially dissolved, relationship for the

childrens sake. Of course, you do not have to be married to

experience a separation from a close relationship. If we add to the

official divorce rate the number of cohabitation couples who break up,

those who terminate their engagements to marry, break-up, steady dating

partner, or otherwise bow out of a relationship, several million couples

end intimate relationships each year.(pp.7-8,0) So, why do

people separate? Unmarried couples give us a number of reasons for

separation. In one study, researchers followed over 00 couples for a

three year period. During this period of time, more that one-half of

them ended the relationship. Seventy-eight percent of the men and women

listed boredom as the major reason for the separation.(Kolata pp, 4)

Apparently their romantic, passionate love had lost its power and there

was little else between them. Couples reported other differences in

several areas as caused for breaking up, including differences in

interests, hobbies, outside of the home activities, religion,

intelligence, and education. Almost two-sixth percent of the men and

women felt their sexual attitudes contributed to the separation.

Arguments about the frequency and types of sexual activities became major

barriers to living happily together.(pp.1-160) Among married

couples, similar issues are the reason why people have other problems. An

important wife should stay with in the traditional roles; that is, the

man earns a living and the wife stays home and takes care of the house.

There are conflicts when women begin having different desires. In

addition, when married women work, they are still expected to do more than

their fair share of household and childbearing chores. In effect, they

find themselves with two full time jobs.(pp. 8-104 Understanding)

Conflicts over roles is becoming an important factor in whether married

couples remain together. Separations present two challenges to our

ability to adjust. On one hand we must cope with the additional stress

that enters our lives. Studies of divorced men and women, for example,

provide a number of illustrations of the types of stress to which people

must adjust. Divorced men often find themselves working longer hours to

meet alimony payments. Since courts usually award the mother the custody

of children, men have longer periods of separation from them. Men also

find they dislike spending time alone. Many divorced women find

themselves in the working field for the first time making less money than

their husband did. Feeling helpless, lost, isolated and in a deep state

of depression they soon feel trapped by the children and the new

responsibility put on them. (pp.56-6 Psychology Today) The division to

divorce, the process of a divorce, and the postdivorce adjustment, are all

very stressful. It is not uncommon for the divorced partner to experience

hurt, resentment, and anger. To many people, divorce signifies failure in

an extremely important relationship. Lowwer self-esteem and feelings of

worthlessness and reduction are also common and stress producing results.

If children are involved, the stress can be even greater. Researchers now

believe that the most important influence on the emotional health of

children its the quality of their relationships within their family,

however that family might be structured, according to Robert Every, a

psychologist at the University of Virginia. For example, psychologists

used to think that boys needed their father within the home until at least

age of seven or eight. Now, they have discovered that the physical

presence of a father in the family are warm and supporting adults. This

shift occurred partly in recognition of the changing American family and

the changing demographics of divorce. The focus on relationships also

means that if divorced parents are angry and bitter, children will suffer

and they will suffer more if they are exposed more to the conflict through

joint custody.4(pp.0-46) Parent-child interactions may become

difficult, because the children of divorced families tend to exhibit more

inappropriate behavior that those in intact homes. Many children respond

with anger and fear to divorce. It is also common for children who do

feel guilty or in some way responsible for the divorce and to become

withdrawn and depressed. Most children can adapt to a divorce within a

couple of years, but, if the crisis is aggravated by additional stresses

or conflicts, serious developmental disruptions may result. Whether

children fare well may depend on their temperament, their past experience,

their age, and the support they receive from their parents .5(pp.

18-17) Such parental support is often lacking, because parents are so

wrapped up in their own problems during a divorce that their ability to

function as parents diminishes. Although children may fare well in

single-parent families, the chances increase that they will face problems.

There are many stresses associated with divorce. These include the

disruption of bedtimes and eating schedules, the effects of the parents

emotional state, and the lessening of adult contact. Also, the level of

income in the household usually decreases, and this may produce more

stress. Less income may require the parent to move, which in turn may

cause the child to behave to change of schools or move to a poorer

neighborhood with a higher rate of crime and delinquency.(pp. 170-174)

Divorce is happening every day to couples in the United States. The only

problem, is that the couple thinks they are the only ones going through it

when almost twenty-two percent of adult America is also. When parents get

divorced the children get divorced too. Children and adolescents face a

lot of stress during their lives, but divorce is very confusing, speaking

from personal experience. It can be too much stress to peoples lives

but they also present opportunities to form new relationships and to

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