Divorce and its psychological Impact

Divorce and its psychological Impact

Divorce can take a heavy psychological toll on the children experiencing it. And it’s very important to see it from the perspective of a child as it is a part and parcel of their parent’s relationship. Therefore, family structure plays a very important roll and definitely goes on to hamper all aspects of a child’s life such as social, psychological and emotional. The child who has witnessed the pain of seeing their parents getting divorced might actually end up having low levels of happiness and life satisfaction. These children may specifically face issues when it comes to adjusting in various social institutions.

Now, people might wonder how the dissolution that is happening at the level of the father and mother affect a child to this extent. But the reason is that when a marriage is being dissolved there are a lot of arguments happening making the whole environment very chaotic and stressful for the child. This negative home environment might leave some deep seated impact on the child that he or she might never even realize. This is then followed by the separation from either of the parents that he or she faces creating so much confusion for the child and hence the child might feel lost as to where does he/she actually belong. Again, this whole scenario can be followed by the child adjusting to seeing one’s one mother or father remarrying again. Hence, these situations are extremely filled with chaos and negativity and should be taken care of. The child’s concerns and how he/she is emotionally placed during this entire scenario should be probed upon. Since, it is not directly affecting the child in the literal sense it doesn’t mean that the whole situation isn’t very anxiety provoking for the child. The major source of stress is the problems that occur at the level of family structure might eventually exaggerate in one’s childhood and hence leading to heightened emotional issues in a child. A study by Amato & Booth (1991) found that children from divorced family end up having a lot of conflicts and arguments even at their own marriage. 

Additionally they also explored that they have other set of issues such as difficulty in communicating and forming close and intimate relationships (Amato & Booth, 1991). Therefore, since parents are our models so they imitate their habits of not being able to take a relationship forward with consistency although this might not be the case. They might also pick up a lot of destructive behaviors such as rage, anger, frustration and become very violent. They might try to copy the way their parents cope with stressful situations leading to them picking up some unhealthy behaviors. The whole parent-child relationship might also be put into risk as their own parents are going through stressful situations and might not be able to forward the care and warmth that the child might need considering the amount of stress he/she is facing. Therefore, it becomes very essential for both the mother and the father are emotionally present for the child and have discussions around it. Stress might also lead them to engage in substance abuse. Further, what makes the whole situation even more complex is the label that a “divorce’s children” receive. These children might be looked down upon making the whole situation even more burdensome. The whole parent child relationship including the child himself becomes very vulnerable that it becomes a point of concern. It is also important to address if the hostility between the parents’ persist even after divorce therefore making it an unending cycle of stress and burden.  Therefore, few interventions for children need to be in place so as to keep a check on their mental health. One way of ensuring this is to be very transparent about the whole process of divorce and educating them about it so that even they are psychologically prepared and feel valued at the same time. They should be made aware of the legal proceedings and facets so that they feel included and share their feelings openly to each other as to how this whole thing might be affecting them as well. Therefore, communication is a key to protect both the parent’s as well as children from falling prey to this whole process.

About the Author

Harsha Baid
Student, Completed B.A Hons. Psychology, Pursuing M.A Psychology at Delhi University, North Campus.

My name is Harsha Baid. I am a first year master’s degree student in Psychology at Delhi University (DU). My experience of academically being

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