Topic 2: The Effects of Divorce on Children

A recent study conducted by highly respected author and researcher E. Mavis Hetherington, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, claims that only about one-fifth of youngsters experience long-term damage after their parents’ divorce. Dr. Heatherington says that the vast majority of children—75 to 80 percent–“do cope and go on to have a reasonably happy or sometimes very happy life.” She emphasizes, however, that to ensure an emotionally healthy youngster  “there must be a competent, caring parent.”  By far, the most important part of being a competent, caring parent is to be very intentional about giving unconditional love to the child.

While strong evidence exists that most children of divorce go on to have happy lives, they are more than twice as likely to be troubled while growing up. The trauma of divorce presents special problems and personal difficulties for youngsters to overcome.

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