Family dynamics are not the same as they once were. Changes in our cultural beliefs have compromised the values of old institutional families. That being said, the rise in divorce rates can be attributed to several individual and societal factors.
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According to Burgess (1954), there are several changes that have facilitated the transition away from institutional families. Some of these factors include, the relevance of religion on society, the increasing freedoms for women, and the shift from rural to urban lifestyle. Personal values have become more individualistic, self-expressive, and competitive. Economic factors play a role as well. For example, family breakdowns can be caused by strains emphasized by the cost of living. In sum, we are living in a society that is rapidly changing, and it is affecting our values regarding kinship and family.
In broad terms, divorce is the action of terminating a marriage. Divorce can be a difficult process for all parties involved. The effects of divorce can be especially detrimental to children. Children of divorce experience a tremendous amount of strain, anger, and anxiety. These stressors can increase a child’s risk of developing behavioral problems (Sommers, 2005). Similarly, a study conducted by Weaver (2005), found that children of divorce, when compared to children with intact families, experience more behavioral issues and negative internalizing and externalizing effects (Weaver, 2015). Due to the rapidly increasing divorce rate, more children are experiencing the adverse effects of parent separation.
Researchers have examined the topic of divorce from many different perspectives. As previously stated before, Weaver (2015) and Sommers (2005), analyzed the negative effects of divorce on children. Their work, like the work of many researchers alike, aim to understand the emotional, physical, and behavioral aspects associated with the rising phenomenon of divorce. Another important subarea of interest for researchers studying divorce deals with the impact of parent and child relationships. Researchers and therapists are commonly concerned with the lack of parent-child communication and involvement. Divorce can sever parent-child relationships because of feelings of anger, confusion, and sadness. Families don’t always work through these emotions. For instance, Schwebel et al. (1982), analyzes how mediation counseling works to reduce stress for parent-child relationships by helping divorced parents to cooperate efficiently with one another. Other related subtopics of interest may include child custody, effects of divorce on friends and extended family, and inequality in divorce settlements.
The subtopic of interest for this paper focuses on interventions for children of divorcing and divorced families. The population that will be addressed are children from birth-12 years of age. In a progressive scientific world, it is vital to become knowledgeable about developing interventions and therapies. These interventions are commonly utilized to change behavior, reduce metal health issues, and facilitate communication and healthy narratives.
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