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Divorce: Rates and Effects on Teenagers


Divorce refers to the dissolution of marriage through legal means (Theu 2). In any divorce case there are various duties that the divorcing parties must stream line so as to have the divorce process completed. These responsibilities include taking care of the children as well as sharing property. In most cases it is the woman who instigates the divorce process. So long as the parties involved in the divorce process share the same feelings, the court may approve a previously completed verdict, through the period of marriage as well as after the dissolution of marriage (Theu 2). The rules governing marriage differ across the world; however there are mainly two types of divorce namely: “at fault” divorce where one party is responsible for a certain mistake and the second type “a no fault” divorce where none of the parties is guilty of any mistake. Causes of divorce vary but despite this there is need for the parties involved to collaborate as well as cooperate as they will always have something binding them together. During this period the children involved in this tough scenario should have their needs taken care of or else they might be affected negatively (Gary 5).

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This paper aims at investigating the cause of divorce, examining the effects of divorce on teenagers as well as giving recommendations for the action to be taken to inhibit the negative effect of divorce on teenagers.

Causes of divorce

The causes of divorce are wide and varied and they range from issues like deficiency in the level of maturity, diminished love and tendencies of criminal behavior. One of the major causes of divorce is lack of communication which translates to the absence of an effective relationship where none of the parties shares their mutual as well as personal feelings. This leads to resentment as one does not know what the other person is thinking. Getting married early is also another cause of divorce as the couple is not mature enough to deal with marital issues. Previous researches reveal that cohabiting as well as failure to discuss ones expectation during marriage could easily breed to divorce. Some of the causes of divorce come from problems that are not dealt with during the period of courtship where the parties involved assume the problems will disappear after marriage which is not the case when the couple marries (Stewart and Brentano 34).

Family as strong foundation for teenagers’ growth

Most of the couples getting a divorce assume that they will be emotionally detached once they are divorced but this is unlikely in the presence of children as the parents’ paths will most likely cross during school functions like graduation and rekindle an old flame. During teenage the teen’s life is vibrant and filled with a lot of anxiety. Their response to divorce could be characterized by the need for a steady home, anger as well as the need for clear cut limits connecting them with their parents. Teenagers’ need a strong foundation brought about by a stable family which is absent in case of a divorce (Gary 37). As much as parents think that divorce would be a solution to their problem, the teens’ do not want to be caught up in their parent’s marital problems as this will shake their base which they need for them to grow as healthy adults.

As far as teenagers are concerned, divorce means transformation in the character of their most important relationship. It becomes challenging to them as they’ll hardly gain access to their family members while their life would turn out to be completely different from the one they were used to (First Family Institute of Kansas 1). According to research, a situation of absentee fathers will lead to underachievement, delinquency, promiscuity as well as a confused sexual identity (Gary 39). However this does not mean that the absence of a father figure could lead to misdemeanors among teenagers as poverty could also be a contributing factor.

Factors contributing to adjustment problems of teenagers upon divorce


Previous studies have revealed that boys find it hard to deal with divorce as opposed to girls. Though the reasons are not clear, it could be due to the fact that upon divorce the children’s custody is left to the mothers and hence the male child lacks the presence of a father figure to mould him (First Family Institute of Kansas 1).


It has also been found that age affects the level of negative effects on a child’s life in case of divorce. The younger the child is during a divorce, the lesser the gravity of the impact of the child upon experiencing divorce. Nevertheless in instances where the child remembers the detailed occurrences of the divorce period the effects upon the child are likely to be greater.

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According to a survey carried out in the US fifty per- cent of the divorcees are never in touch with their non- custodial parent in a yearly basis (First Family Institute of Kansas 1). After six years in divorce, there is a reduction in the number of parental visits, by fathers who lack custody of their children monthly, this reduces if the child involved is a girl and if the father has remarried. Most of the children from divorcee live with one parent. In case any of the parents divorced remarry, they may get divorced again and the teenager’s present in case of such unions they experience more than one divorce in their lifetime, which could be disastrous as they wonder why this always happens to them.

Parental conflict

There is a great relationship, between pitiable divorce adjustments as well as the parental disagreement. This is one of the most important factors in the performance of the family. It is imperative for the teenagers to have a qualitative, ongoing relationship with their parents in order for them to adjust well after the divorce.


Upon divorce the children get torn over which parent they should pay allegiance to once their parents get divorced. The children involved do not get satisfied with the weekend agreement. It would therefore be a better idea for the couple involved in the divorce case to adopt a joint custody (First Family Institute of Kansas 1).

There are varying impacts of divorce. Some families may experience tough situations before the divorce, and this may change to a calmer situation after the divorce. Divorce rates are on the increase leading to a need for a better understanding for the impacts of divorce.

Effects of divorce on teenagers’

Positive effects of divorce

Various factors within the teenager’s primary residence influence the adjustment of adolescents, in terms of academic accomplishment, absence of deviance as well as the nonexistence of depression after divorce. These factors include low instance of conflict between a teenager and the parent, a close relationship with the parent having custody of the teenager affected by divorce. Commitment while monitoring the teenagers affected by divorce ensures that their character is in check and there are no cases of misconduct reported about the teenager. When a divorced couple give the right direction to their children they are likely to develop into strong personalities without being affected negatively by divorce (Maccoby and Mnookin 14).

Negative effects of divorce

Couples on the verge of divorce usually face a trying period. However the teenagers involved in this union suffer more. This is due to the lack of understanding of the events following divorce in a mature way and hence gets affected academically, emotionally as well as psychologically. Parents should support as well as understand their children as they refrain from making any negative comment against their ex- spouse (eHow 1).

Impact of Divorce on teenage behavior

Varying levels of effect are suffered by teenagers and children caught up in a divorce saga. Nevertheless teenagers’ are affected more where they show signs of bad character resulting from the divorce. Due to the negative effects of divorce, teenagers may get into fights with their fellow students, sneak out of school as well as being rude to their parents or teachers. The major cause of this is the teenagers bid to get attention at whatever cost so that they can relieve themselves of stress caused by their parents’ divorce (Everett et al 132).

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Effect of divorce on academic performance

Teenagers affected by their parents divorce tend to undergo problems in their academic life. These problems begin as early as a year before the occurrence of the divorce. This comes as a shock to parents who imagine the teenagers will suffer less during the divorce period as well as after the divorce (Everett et al 132). This proves that the parents have the responsibility of supporting and assisting them academically even at the difficult period of divorce. A study carried on the effects of divorce on teenagers academic performance, shows that, teenagers get affected academically in a different way depending on their response to stress as well as their personality.

Measures taken to avert the problems of divorce on the teenagers

Watch out for the warning signs

In the event of a divorce teenagers suffer psychologically. It is therefore important for the parents plus the care givers to look out for any change in behavior such as acting differently, hanging out with suspicious company, as well as a change in attitude. In case of any change in behavior, a counselor should be consulted since teens are normally confused in instances of divorce. It is vital for the parents to be honest, open and very loving to the teenagers during this difficult period (eHow 1).

Deterrence of drug abuse

Teenagers could resort to substance abuse in order for them to deal with their parents’ divorce. This is due to the dilemma they face on how to handle the bad effects of their parents marital problems. They therefore turn into drugs to temporarily forget their problems. The teenagers should therefore be monitored for any warning signs of drug abuse so that the problem can be dealt with early.

Create a support system

It is imperative for the family to have a support system to help the teenagers’ in the period before, during and after the divorce. Parents as well as the extended family have to support the teenagers during this critical period and explain to them the reasons for divorce so as to ensure that they deal with the problems well without being affected negatively.


Divorce is one of the major social problems and it can have major negative effects on the affected teenager. Proper molding of teens affected by divorce could lead to development of strong individuals. Nevertheless, lack of proper guidance and counseling on teenagers caught up in cases of divorced parents may lead to development of antisocial behaviors. It is therefore imperative for families experiencing divorce to support teenagers emotionally and financially to ensure that they eventually develop into responsible adults.

Works cited

eHow, Effects of Divorce on Teenagers. 1999. Web.

Everett, Craig A et al. When marriages fail: systemic family therapy intervention and issues: a tribute to William. New York: Routledge, 2006.

First Family Institute of Kansas. The Great Divide- Divorce and Teens. ND. 2010. Web.

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Gary, Layne H. Arguing in Communities: Reading and Writing Arguments in Context, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999.

Maccoby, E and Mnookin R,H. Dividing the child: Social and legal dilemmas of custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Stewart and Brentano Cornelia. Divorce: Causes and Consequence. New York: Yale University Press, 2007.

Theu, Joe A. 7 Proven Steps: How to Defeat Stress Without Going Through the Embarrassment, New York: Author House 2009.

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StudyCorgi. "Divorce: Rates and Effects on Teenagers." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Divorce: Rates and Effects on Teenagers." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Divorce: Rates and Effects on Teenagers'. 26 November.

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