Psychological Maladjustment in Children of Divorce Crystal Treptow 40-50% of all marriages result in divorce! Parental Conflict is very much associated! Childrens? exposure to conflict conflict = stress feel forced to take sides increased conflict = increased psychological problems anxiety behavioral problems ?Split? video notes 6 dimensions of Parental Conflict frequency content level of implication of the child intensity parent?s behavior presence or absence of resolution Gender Differences Better outcomes if raised by same-sex parent Boys living with dads = less aggressive and fewer emotional problems Girls raised by mothers = more responsible Howell et al. (1997) ? Gender Differences Findings Girls = higher resolution after separation Boys = more vulnerable to conflict SES of residential parent during separation makes a difference! Age differences Infants: loss of appetite, upset stomach, spitting up 3-5 years: developmental regression; believe that they are the cause of the divorce; fear of being left alone; yearning for a non-custodial parent 6-8 years: grieve openly 8-11 years: grief, embarrassment, resentment; labeling of a ?good? and ?bad? parent 12-18 years: anger, fear, loneliness, depression, guilt, violent episodes Older children are less vulnerable during initial phase of divorce Long-term adjustment ( more difficult for those older at the time of family disruption Anxiety and depression in children of divorce Depression: rejection, isolation, powerlessness Anxiety: period of disorganization; feel responsible for divorce; anxious about rejection/abandonment Children of divorce? higher anxiety levels lower perceived cognitive competence fewer close friends spend less time with friends participate in fewer activities Some children show resilience!
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