As time goes by, it becomes more and more obvious that the family structure is indeed changing. Many people believe that the institution of family in our society is experiencing a collapse while other people view the changes as a normal adjustment to a growing and changing society that we have made for ourselves. Because of such changes, we are also experiencing an extremely high rate of divorce. I believe that the heightened occurrence of divorce is truly one of the greatest changes and challenges that families nowadays are repeatedly facing or experiencing.
Divorce puts an unbelievable strain on families and can severely impact the lives of the children involved. Divorce disrupts the lives of children and forces them to face the challenge of residing in two separate households, never being with both parents at the same time, or depending upon the custody agreement, never seeing one parent at all. Substantial research even shows that children raised in single parent homes struggle more in every aspect of their life then children who are from intact, two-parent households.
Divorce affects children in numerous ways. Many children of divorce have academic difficulties, future psychological problems such as depression or anxiety, social competence problems, and even long term health concerns. Divorce causes many children to have a much higher risk of low socioeconomic status attainment and an obvious increased chance of having marital issues and divorce in their adult lives.
Therefore, it is clear that divorce has a very high risk of permanently affecting the lives of the children involved. With such a high divorce rate, there are an extremely high number of children whose lives are negatively changed. The amount of families that fall apart because of divorce is so high that it is no wonder people believe it is causing a collapse of the once sacred and sound institution of family (Newman & Grauerholz, 2002).
In order to help solve the problems that divorce causes, I believe that more research needs to be done to investigate what factors; age and gender for example, lead to how well children adjust to divorce. Perhaps then a program could be developed to help children better cope with such situations and minimize the overall damage. Along with special programs for children, programs could also be developed for parents to help them learn skills to ensure a better job at parenting. Ideally it would be nice to prevent people from divorcing all together possibly by eliminating the policies that make getting divorced so easy, but that is not likely to happen.
Perhaps if we could examine why people are so likely to divorce we could try and eliminate the reasoning. According to the social exchange theory, divorce occurs because there are no longer any benefits of being together. Considering that there are no longer rewards to gain by being married, people get divorced in hopes of someday finding a new situation or relationship that can provide them with the most profit or gain (Newman & Grauerholz, 2002).
Newman, D. & Grauerholz, L. (2002). Sociology of families. Pine Forge Press:
Thousand Oaks, CA.