How Does Divorce Affect Children?


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Divorce may affect children by intensifying dependence on the parents, eliciting more regressive responses to everyday situations and causing anxious thoughts and responses, according to Psychology Today. Adolescents may exert more aggressive behavior as a response to divorce.

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When coping with a family divorce, young children may also latch on to insecure behaviors and responses and fantasize about parents reuniting, according to Psychology Today. Young children may also revert back to former behaviors as a way to cope and seek more attention from the parents, such as baby talk or sucking a thumb. While adolescents may focus more on blaming parents for the divorce and acting defiantly, younger children may cope with anger through temper tantrums, hitting and aggressive responses, according to the Purdue University's Provider-Parent Partnerships.

In some instances, children may also show signs of depression and become withdrawn and quiet as a response to divorce. Children may also become more inquisitive when faced with uncertainties surrounding a divorce, explains Purdue University's Provider-Parent Partnerships. For example, children may ask where they will live, if they will need to change schools, how often they will see both parents and if siblings will stay together. Purdue University recommends providing consistency during a divorce and reassuring children that they are loved and will be cared for by both parents even if living arrangements change.

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