With so many feelings and practicalities to deal with, you are probably concerned about how your teenager is handling the situation. Here are some ways that your teen might be feeling, as well as some suggestions on how you can help.
Want to learn more about this and related topics? Sign up for our twice-monthly email newsletter. My name is Gordon Berlin.
I am the executive vice president of MDRC, a unique nonpartisan social policy research and demonstration organization dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of disadvantaged families. We strive to achieve this mission by conducting real world field tests of new policy and program ideas using the most rigorous methods possible to assess their effectiveness.
I am honored to be invited to address your committee about what we know and do not know about the effects of marriage and divorce on families and children and about what policies and programs might work to promote and strengthen healthy marriages, especially among the poor.
My goal is to briefly summarize the evidence in three areas: The central focus of my remarks will be to explicate the role that marital education, family counseling, and related services might play in promoting and strengthening healthy marriages and to discuss what Effects of divorce on adolescents know about the potential of strategies that seek to ameliorate the key stressors for example, job loss, lack of income, domestic violence, and childbearing that make it difficult to form marriages in the first place or act as a catalyst that eventually breaks up existing marriages.
To summarize my conclusions: First, children who grow up in an intact, two-parent family with both biological parents present do better on a wide range of outcomes than children who grow up in a single-parent family.
Single parenthood is not the only, nor even the most important, cause of the higher rates of school dropout, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, or other negative outcomes we see; but it does contribute independently to these problems.
Neither does single parenthood guarantee that children will not succeed; many, if not most, children who grow up in a single-parent household do succeed. Third, we do not know whether these same marital education services would be effective in reducing marital stress and eventual divorce among low-income populations or in promoting marriage among the unmarried.
Low-income populations Effects of divorce on adolescents a wide range of stressors that middle-class families do not.
The evidence is limited, and mixed, on whether strategies designed to overcome these stressors, for example, by providing job search assistance or by supplementing low earnings, rather than relying solely on teaching marital communication and problem-solving skills would also increase the likelihood that low-income couples would marry or that married couples would stay together.
Fourth, to find out whether and what types of policies and programs might successfully strengthen marriage as an institution among low-income populations as well as among a wide variety of ethnically and culturally diverse populations, our national focus should be on the design, implementation, and rigorous evaluation of these initiatives.
The rationale is reasonably straightforward: About a third of all children born in the United States each year are born out of wedlock. Similarly, about half of all first marriages end in divorce, and when children are involved, many of the resulting single-parent households are poor.
For example, less than 10 percent of married couples with children are poor as compared with about 35 to 40 percent of single-mother families.
Moreover, research shows that even after one controls for a range of family background differences, children who grow up living in an intact household with both biological parents present seem to do better, on average, on a wide range of social indicators than do children who grow up in a single-parent household McLanahan and Sandefur, For example, they are less likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, be arrested, and be unemployed.
Put another way, equalizing income and opportunity do improve the life outcomes of children growing up in single-parent households, but children raised in two-parent families still have an advantage.
If the failure of parents to marry and persistently high rates of divorce are behind the high percentage of children who grow up in a single-parent family, can and should policy attempt to reverse these trends?
Since Daniel Patrick Moynihan first lamented what he identified as the decline of the black family in his report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, marriage has been a controversial subject for social policy and scholarship. The initial reaction to Moynihan was harsh; scholars argued vehemently that family structure and, thus, father absence was not a determinant of child well-being.
But then in the s, psychologists Wallerstein and Kelly, ; Hetherington, began producing evidence that divorce among middle-class families was harmful to children. Renewed interest among sociologists and demographers Furstenberg and Cherlin, in the link between poverty and single parenthood soon emerged, and as noted above, that work increasingly began building toward the conclusion that family structure did matter McLanahan and Sandefur, Of course, the debate was not just about family structure and income differences; it was also about race and gender.
When Moynihan wrote in24 percent of all births among African-Americans occurred outside of marriage. Today, the black out-of-wedlock birthrate is almost 70 percent, and the white rate has reached nearly 24 percent.
If single parenthood is a problem, that problem cuts across race and ethnicity. But the story has nuance. In fact, there is some evidence that second marriages can actually be harmful to adolescents.
Moreover, marriage can help children only if the marriage is a healthy one. Marital hostility is associated with increased aggression and disruptive behaviors on the part of children which, in turn, seem to lead to peer rejection, academic failure, and other antisocial behaviors Cummings and Davies, ; Webster-Stratton, While our collective hand-wringing about the number of American births that occur out-of-wedlock is justified, what is often missed is that the birthrate among unmarried women accounts for only part of the story.
In fact, birthrates among unmarried teens and African-Americans have been falling — by a fourth among unmarried African-American women sincefor example Offner, Because the nonmarital birth ratio is a function of 1 the out-of-wedlock birthrate births per 1, unmarried women2 the marriage rate, and 3 the birthrate among married women births per 1, married women - the share of all children born out of wedlock has risen over the last thirty years, in large measure, because women were increasingly delaying marriage, creating an ever larger pool of unmarried women of childbearing age, and because married women were having fewer children.The effects of Divorce on Children and adolescents Divorce or the parent separation is a major life change for the children and can lead to dreadful consequences.
We work with a lot of adolescents going through family transitions at the National Family Resiliency Center, Inc. Last month, news came about the Shriver/Schwarzenegger family which was a hot.
The project’s findings led the researchers to conclude that children and young adolescents suffered long-term negative effects following divorce. 14) Teenagers who experience parental divorce score lower than their counterparts from intact families on math, science, and history tests.
If you are going through a divorce, you’re undoubtedly stressed and likely overwhelmed. With so many feelings and practicalities to deal with, you are probably concerned about how your teenager is handling the situation.
While. MDRC 's evaluation of MFIP examined program effects on employment, income, marriage, and other family outcomes up to three years after entry. Because MFIP treated two-parent family recipients (who were receiving welfare at the onset of the study) and new applicants differently, outcomes for these groups were examined separately.
The Effects of Divorce on Adolescents: Potential Maladjustment and Therapeutic Implications. Hasz, Montfort O. This document presents a literature review concerning the relationship between family divorce and subsequent .
The effects of Divorce on Children and adolescents Divorce or the parent separation is a major life change for the children and can lead to dreadful consequences. We work with a lot of adolescents going through family transitions at the National Family Resiliency Center, Inc. Last month, news came about the Shriver/Schwarzenegger family which was a hot. The Impacts of Divorce on Teenagers. By Chris. Divorce is painful. It is painful for parents, for kids, and for close friends and family. We all respond to pain differently depending on who we are and our stage of life. Teenagers are not immune from the effects of divorce.