How does divorce change the concept of family?


Psychologists and sociologists have carried out research which shows that divorce changes the concept of family completely. The central question this paper is how does divorce change the concept of family? The effects of the divorce mostly depend on the age of children during the time of divorce. Other factors which contribute to how divorce changes the concept of the family are personality, children’s gender, support from friends and family, and the level of disagreement between the parents.

It has been suggested that (McLean et al. 101) parental divorce disrupts the lives of many children. This paper will discuss how parental divorce has changed the family idea.

In this paper, I will address how divorce affects the family idea and changes it totally. Evidence shows that children brought up by single parents, as a result of parental divorces, do not reach the same occupational and educational levels as the other kids brought up in two-parent families. The central question of definition being discussed here is important because very many families, nearly one out of every five families, are experiencing this challenge. The sufferings experienced by children whose parents have separated are as a result of changes in the family idea or structure. These kids do not get love and care from both parents and therefore they will feel uncomfortable and lesser when compared with the other children. There will be reduction in family resources available to these children. There everyone is responsible to show love, care, and support to these type children in our society.

Divorce changes the family idea because it introduces a considerable change into the lives of the children no matter their ages. These children witness loss of love between the two parents, having their parents break marriage commitment, daily absence of one of their parents, and adjusting to going back and forth to stay with any of the two parents. These challenges create a difficulty new family situation thus completely changing the initial family concept (Brown et al. 75). To these young kids, parental divorce is a dividing event and life that follows is considerably changed compared to how life was before.

While almost every kid suffers the lost security and relationship from the both parents as evaluated above, for majority, the emotional feelings have additional, most noticeable consequences. Researches carried out over the years continue to disclose the negative effects of parental divorce on the children.  The evidence from the research which has been comparing children whose parents are divorced to kids with married parents, has clearly shown parental divorce has changed the whole family concept. MacGregor (41) states that the statistics from the research show that a greater percentage of the children from divorced families suffer academically. These children experience behavioral problems and a less likely to compete their high school studies.  These kids are also the majority among those are imprisoned for committing crimes as juveniles. Spain (17) argues that, since the total parental income drops significantly after the divorce, these kids are five times more probable to live below poverty line than the other children with married parents. Also statistical evidence from the research shows teenagers from separated parents are more likely to be engaged in alcohol and drug abuse as well as immorality.

Before one says, “Not my kid,” he/she should remember these children and teenagers represented in the above research data are normal children, most likely not very different from yours. Parents to these children did not think that this could happen to their kids.

Another research carried out by an independent institute shows that kids and teenagers from divorced families experience sickness more often and they recovery from the illness slowly. They are also much likely to undergo child abuse because some of them are left without anyone to take care of them and they end up living as street children eating and sleeping nowhere. This is much experienced in third world countries where the country economy is weak and there are no organizations to take care of these vulnerable children. There is also strong evidence that children whose parented have divorced frequently suffer from psychological distress symptoms and the divorce emotional scars which last forever. Therefore, parental divorces have completely changed the concept of family in all parts of the world Emery (59). This is a global problem which is affecting all classes of people, whether rich, middle class or poor.

However, not every child from a divorced home commits crime or drops out of school. Some of them do well in studies and they end up becoming successful people in future. Now we all know what these children undergo. They even experience everlasting and deep emotional trauma. It is now our responsibility to provide for these families and play all our parts the society expects from every one of us.


All children have an attitude that their two parents must be able to solve and settle all the issues they encounter in life. The parents are perceived by their children as most competent people who have the abilities to satisfy their needs. Therefore to children, parental divorce betrays this basic expectation they have on their parents. Generally, children have a belief that there is one right home relationship, that is, mother and father being together. Thus any other relationship is a betrayal of their fundamental understanding of life. Parental divorce has indeed changed the concept of family all over the world.  Majority of the children whose parents have divorce undergo a lot of suffering in their teenage.  With full understanding of this plus its effects to the children, then we must play our part society responsibly.


McLean, Bethany and Peter Elkind. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. New York: Portfolio, 2004.

Brown, Laurene and Brown  Marc. Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families: Paw Prints, 2008

MacGregor, Cynthia. The Divorce Helpbook for Teens, Rebuilding books, for divorce and beyond : Impact Publishers, 2004

Peterson, Richard.  Women, Work, and Divorce, SUNY Series in the Sociology of Work and Organizations Series : SUNY Press, 1989

Emery, Robert. Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation: Guilford Press, 2012

Spain, Kalani. Family Diversity: A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Divorce and Family Structure on the Academic Performance of College Students: ProQuest, 2008


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