Divorce. Warm-up: You have probably known someone who has gone through a divorce. What were the positive outcomes of the divorce? What were the negative outcomes? Do you think they could have worked it out? Do you think it would have been better if they did?. Divorce.
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Divorce Warm-up: You have probably known someone who has gone through a divorce. What were the positive outcomes of the divorce? What were the negative outcomes? Do you think they could have worked it out? Do you think it would have been better if they did?
Divorce • More than half of the children born in 1994 will spend some or all of their childhood in a single-parent home (McLanahan 1994). • Approximately half of all first marriages will end in divorce (Census Bureau 1992).
Divorce Overview • Young couples marrying for the first time face roughly a 40-50% chance of divorce (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P23-180, 1992, p. 5). • Many other couples are in stable but chronically distressed marriages. • Adults and children are at increased risk for mental and physical problems due to marital distress (e.g., Cherlin & Furstenberg, 1994; Coie et al. 1993; Coyne, Kahn, & Gotlib, 1987; Cowan & Cowan, 1992; Fincham, Grych, & Osborne, 1993).
Divorce Overview (continued) • Mismanaged conflict predicts both marital distress and negative effects for children (e.g., Gottman, 1994; Markman & Hahlweg, 1993; Clements, Stanley, & Markman, 1997; Cowan & Cowan, 1992; Grych & Fincham, 1990). • Conflicts at home lead to decreased work productivity, especially for men (e.g., Forthofer, Markman, Cox, Stanley, & Kessler, 1996). • The "triple threat" of marital conflict, divorce, and out-of-wedlock births has led to a generation of U.S. children at great risk for poverty, alienation, and antisocial behavior.
Divorce Overview (continued) • More than two-thirds of all parental divorces do not involve highly conflicted marriages. • In other words, two-thirds of divorces do not happen because of spousal physical abuse and/or serious conflict; rather, they happen because spouses grow apart. • "Unfortunately, these are the very divorces that most likely to be stressful for children." (Amato and Booth 1997: p. 220) • The reason? • Children value the love, support, and attention they receive from [both of] their parents even if their parents’ marriage isn’t particularly warm.
Numerous factors have been shown to increase the risk of marital dissolution. Factors shown to increase risk include, but are not limited to… • wives' employment and income (Greenstein, 1990), • neuroticism (Kelly & Conley, 1987), • premarital cohabitation (Bumpass, Martin, & Sweet, 1991; Thomson & Colella, 1992), • difficulties in the areas of leisure activities and sexual relations (Fowers et al., 1996), • physiological arousal prior to problem-solving discussions (Levenson & Gottman, 1985), • parental divorce (Glenn & Kramer, 1987), • previous divorce of husbands (Aguirre & Parr, 1982; Bumpass et al., 1991), • communication positivity/negativity (Markman, 1981), • communication withdrawal and invalidation (Markman & Hahlweg, 1993),
Factors shown to increase risk include, but are not limited to… • defensiveness and withdrawal (Gottman & Krokoff, 1989), • higher ratios of hostility to warmth (Matthews et al., 1996), • dissatisfaction with partners' personality and habits (Fowers et al., 1996), • difficulties in communication and problem solving (Fowers et al., 1996) • religious dissimilarity (Maneker & Rankin, 1993), • maintaining separate finances (Kurdek, 1993), • knowing the partner a short time before marriage (Kurdek, 1993), • marrying young (Booth & Edwards, 1985; Bumpass et al., 1991; Martin & Bumpass, 1989), • being less conscientious (Kurdek, 1993),
Factors shown to increase risk include, but are not limited to… • problems relating to friends and family (Kurdek, 1991; Fowers et al., 1996), • low or differing levels of education (Bumpass et al., 1991)… • …and, having dissimilar attitudes (Kurdek, 1993; Larsen & Olson, 1989).(from Clements, Stanley, & Markman, 1997)
Factors Leading to Divorce • Most factors can be traced to selfishness. • It could be selfishness with time, money, work, caring and communication. • Other factors of divorce may be changing value systems, physical and emotional abuse, religious differences or alcohol/substance abuse.
Dr. Medved lists the major arguments against divorce • Divorce hurts you. • Divorce hurts those around you. • Single life is not what it is cracked up to be. • Staying married is better for you.
More Personal Problems Associated With Divorce. • Divorced people have more illness, more premature deaths, higher suicide rates and more accidents than those who are married. • When we divorce we learn to doubt that any relationship can be permanent. • Children fear that they caused the divorce and they feel rejected and alone.
The “Social Re-adjustment Rating Scale” This lists the events most shattering to one’s equilibrium The scale shows marital separation and divorce as the 2nd and 3rd most stressful situation (after death of a spouse) that anyone can experience.
Effects of Divorce on the Couple No one ever escapes from a divorce unscathed. Hopes and dreams are replaced with… • Feelings of rejection & insecurity • Lower self-concept • Fear (about the future, $, relationships, their children, etc….)
Coping With Divorce Dealing with divorce is similar to coping with a death. The following are suggestions to help in coping with a divorce: • Consistent visitation 5. Support of • Economic stability family & friends • Community resources 6. Family therapy • Mediation
What are some simple activities that families going through a divorce might do to strengthen each other?
**Be sure that children understand that the divorce is NOT their fault.**
Divorce will not have the same effect on all children. The consequences vary, depending on: • children's ages, • family characteristics, • level of family conflict, • parent-child relationships, • socio-economic level, • mental well-being of each parent, • maternal employment, • amount of social support. • Some divorces bring relief to families while others leave the family devastated.
Effects of Divorce by Age Age Theme Symptoms What to do 2-5 Abandonment Sleep Explain custodial disturbances parent will return. 5-9 Displaced, School Discuss fears, Grief difficulties Contact with non-custodial parent. 9-12 Acting out Spying, fight Patience, love with parents. 13+ Relationship Independence, Communication, failure promiscuous encourage relationships.
Adjusting to Divorce Parents can help children adjust to divorce by: • decreasing conflict, • relationship with parents, • economic stability, • and consistent visitation.
Some Legal Aspects of Divorce • Alimony • Child support • Custody • Division of assets
The Major Challenges of Single Parenting Include: • Day Care Issues • Personal time • Economic Stability