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Divorce and Child’s Mental Health in the UK


The given project is devoted to the investigation of children’s mental health and factors that might impact it, specifically, parents’ divorce. The choice of the given issue is preconditioned by several factors. First, children’s health is one of the major concerns of contemporary society as they are the future of the nation and should be provided with the beneficial conditions for their growth. Second, the divorce rates among adults remain high and comprise about 7.5 cases per 1000 married couples (Beardsmore, 2017). These factors justify the topicality of the selected theme and the need for its investigation.

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In such a way, the main aim of the given research is to evaluate the impact of parents’ divorce on a child/children’s mental health in the UK. The importance of the given goal comes from the necessity to consider all factors that influence young people in their development and mitigate the negative impact of some of them. In general, divorces are stressful and unpleasant events in the life of every family; for this reason, the following hypothesis is formulated:

Parents’ divorce has an extremely negative impact on child/children’s mental health and creates the basis for the appearance of multiple undesired effects.

Regarding the aim of the research and the hypothesis, the following objectives are established:

  • to investigate the climate in families undergoing divorce
  • to determine the effects divorce has on children’s mental health
  • to analyse how parents’ behavioural patterns during divorce impact children
  • to conclude about the contribution of divorce to the mental health of a child
  • to conclude about the overall effect of divorce on children aged 13-18 years

The introduction of these very goals will help to investigate the problem from various perspectives. First, it is essential to determine what factors or climate in the family precede the divorce process and how they impact children. Second, parental actions might also be a potent aspect impacting child mental health. Finally, there is a need for a summary of all information and its discussion.

The following research question is also offered:

What are the effects of divorce on children aged 13-18 years in UK families?

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Answering this research question, the project will contribute to the acquisition of improved knowledge about divorce and help to understand how this process affects children. Moreover, the goals and aim of the study formulated previously can be employed to collect information and answer this very question.

The novelty of the investigation is guaranteed by several factors. Although there are many research projects aimed at the analysis of divorce and how it might impact children, the theme remains topical. The fact is that social stereotypes and factors affecting every family alter every year and adults and children start to experience the influence of various aspects modifying their behaviours and responses to particular stressors. For this reason, it becomes critical to acquire relevant and up-to-date information about the impact problems in the family have on children, their development, and mental status. The given knowledge is demanded for the enhanced understanding of the roots for the emergence of problematic or undesired behavioural patterns in children, their analysis, and introduction of some methods to mitigate them.

Altogether, the project is devoted to the relevant and essential issue of parents’ divorce and its impact on children, their growing, and mental capabilities. The research question, aim, goals, and hypothesis help to collect relevant information and conclude about the existence of certain regularities or effects associated with divorce. The study can also be used as the background for the new investigations about children and their mental health.

The aim of the research, goals, and research question presuppose the use of specific methods of data collection and analysis. Regarding the topicality of the issue, and the existence of multiple investigations devoted to the topic, a literature review is chosen as the method to collect data needed for the secondary research. The employment of this methodology is justified by the fact that this approach helps to assess and evaluate the problem and prepare a conceptual foundation for the discussion. Moreover, both qualitative and quantitative studies can be taken into account to create the theoretical framework for the project. It means that by using this method, the study will be able to either prove or refute offered hypothesis with the help of data collected from credible sources.

Another factor justifying the use of a literature review is this tool’s ability to guarantee the collection of relevant and up-to-date data about the topic of interest. For this reason, the project presupposes analysis of selected sources with the primary goal to answer the research question and achieve the established goals.

Data selection and collection procedure presupposes several stages. First, it is necessary to create a pool of works related to the topic, and that can be used to improve the understanding of divorce’s impact on children. Because of the critical demand for the credibility of information, only peer-reviewed and relevant articles from scholarly research journals will be used. It will ensure the absence of false facts and increase the value of the research. Second, the analysis of chosen research projects will help to collect data regarding the introduced problem and use it to answer questions.

Demands to the Demographics

There are also specific demands to the demographics that are investigated. The focus of the study is the parents’ divorce and its impact on children aged 13-18 years. For this reason, young people belonging to this cohort should comprise the sample. There are no specific demands to gender, race, ethnicity, and cultural background, as the project does not aim at the analysis of how various subgroups within this larger group cope with the stress. Instead, there is a need for the collection of data about all children belonging to the outlined age range to understand alterations in their mental status that might emerge under the impact of conflict between their parents. The only demand is the absence of the previous history of mental diseases as it can corrupt final data and precondition the appearance of misunderstanding about child reactions to divorce. Moreover, all participants should live in the United Kingdom as there is a focus on the analysis of this cohort’s response to this stressing factor.

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The analysis of the collected data also presupposes several stages. First, it should be structured and discussed by cogitating about the deviations or problematic issues that emerged during the divorce process. This discussion will help to understand the nature of undesired patterns, their possible impact on a child and his/her development, and ways in which these negative effects can be mitigated. Second, the acquired information can be compared to the existing standards and norms of child development to determine the degree to which mental capabilities of an individual and his/her status altered under the impact of divorce. Finally, the conclusion resting on the discussion will be formulated to structure all generated knowledge and provide it to readers.

Altogether, it is expected that the adherence to this very approach will help to conduct the research and acquire credible data that can be used to formulate a conclusion and prove the existence of multiple adverse effects associated with parents’ divorce on the mental health of a child who experiences this process.


Beardsmore, R. (2017) ‘Report: insights into children’s mental health and wellbeing’, Children & Young People Now, 2(24). Web.

Brown, P. (2017) ‘Helping children to cope with our stressful world’, Early Years Educator, 18(11). Web.

Danese, A. et al. (2019) ‘Child and adolescent mental health amidst emergencies and disasters’, The British Journal of Psychiatry. 

D’Onofrio, B. and Emery, R. (2019) ‘Parental divorce or separation and children’s mental health’, World Psychiatry, 18(1), pp. 100-101. Web.

Goddard, C. (2017) ‘Adult problems made in childhood’, Children & Young People Now, 2016(11), vol. 2016, no. 11. Web.

Lauroba, E. (2014). ‘The effects of divorce on children’, International Journal of Legal Information, 42(1), pp. 55–66. Web.

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Lucas, N., Nicholson, J. and Erbas, B. (2013) ’Child mental health after parental separation: the impact of resident/non-resident parenting, parent mental health, conflict and socioeconomics’, Journal of Family Studies, 19(1), pp. 53-69. Web.

Marryat, L. and Frank, J. (2019) ‘Factors associated with adverse childhood experiences in Scottish children: a prospective cohort study’, BMJ Paediatrics Open.

Morris, P. (2014) ‘Separation and divorce: unexpected consequences of serious injury’, British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 10(3), pp. 150-151. Web.

Mughal, F. and England, E. (2016) ‘The mental health of young people: the view from primary care’, British Journal of General Practice, 66(651), pp. 502-503. Web.

Pitchforth, J. et al. (2019) ‘Mental health and well-being trends among children and young people in the UK, 1995–2014: analysis of repeated cross-sectional national health surveys’, Psychological Medicine, 49(8), pp. 1275–1285. Web.

Tabony, E. (2019) ‘Young people, mental health and significant loss’, British Journal of School Nursing, 14(3), pp. 148–149, Web.

Selwyn, R. (2017) ‘Children’s mental health’, Children & Young People Now, 2017(11). Web.

Stafford, C. (2018) ‘Behaviour and mental health’, SecEd, 2018(25). Web.

Thomas, J. and Hognas, R. (2015) ‘The effect of parental divorce on the health of adult children’, Longitudinal Life Course Studies, 6(3), pp. 279-302. Web.

Thornton, S. (2017) ‘Family break-up: supporting children and young people’, British Journal of School Nursing, 12(2). Web.

Weston, F. (2013) ‘Effects of divorce or parental separation on children’, British Journal of School Nursing, 4(5). Web.

Wickramasinghe, Y. et al. (2018) ‘Burden of adverse childhood experiences in children attending paediatric clinics in South Western Sydney, Australia: a retrospective audit’, BMJ Paediatrics Open. 

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