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What are some of the psychological effects of divorce on children?

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Quick Answer

The psychological effects of divorce on children may include depression and conduct disorders, notes Psychology Today. Breaking up a family leads to feelings of confusion, abandonment and separation anxiety due to children's dependence on their parents for love, support and guidance while growing up.

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Full Answer

Children's psychological reaction to divorce varies a great deal, according to Psychology Today. Their reactions depend on the nature of their relationship with each parent, the intensity and length of their parents’ divorce, how much they see each parent after the divorce and their personality.

Boys and girls suffer equally if their parents go through a lengthy and messy divorce, explains PsychPage. However, boys act out their frustration and anger. Girls are more likely to internalize their emotions, which can result in depression, physical discomfort or changes in their eating and sleeping habits.

When parents divorce, it is important to maintain routine and stability in their children's lives, explains Psychology Today. It is all too common for children, especially adolescents, to become isolated from their divorced parents. Sometimes this isolation can take years to overcome. Children who continue to have a balanced relationship with both parents after a divorce typically cope better in the long run.

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