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Children’s Adaptation to Divorce

From Description to Explanation
  • John H. Grych
  • Frank D. Fincham
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)

Abstract

Divorce has become a common experience for children in the United States, where one out of every two is likely to undergo a parental divorce before the age of 18 (see Emery, 1988; Furstenberg, 1990). The high divorce rate has been viewed with alarm by many because there long has been a perception that “broken” homes adversely affect children’s adjustment. Early investigations of the effects of divorce on children appeared to support the idea that children from divorced homes were more poorly adjusted than those from intact families, but more recent investigations have gone beyond this simple comparison to investigate processes that lead to better or worse outcomes. In this chapter we examine research on children’s adaptation to divorce. To provide a context for our analysis, we begin by summarizing the epidemiology of divorce in the United States and research on the effects of divorce on children. The bulk of the chapter then examines children’s adaptation to divorce in relation to four important questions: What increases the stressfulness of divorce for children? What helps children cope more effectively? What interventions exist to facilitate children’s adjustment after divorce? What do we still need to learn about children’s adaptation after divorce? 1960s and 1970s (Cherlin, 1981). Some demographers report that the rate leveled off in the 1980s, but others argue that it has continued to rise (see Castro Martin & Bumpass, 1989).

Keywords

Community Psychology Marital Conflict Adjustment Problem Sibling Relationship Parental Divorce 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Grych
    • 1
  • Frank D. Fincham
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WalesCardiffGreat Britain

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