The structure of the nuclear family in the twenty-first century is going through some significant changes, which raises a number of specific areas of concern. When a parental relationship fails in a family, it is not just the lives of the parents that are changed; effects of the separation appear to have significant consequences on the children involved (Cohen & Finzi-Dottan, 2005; Nicholson, Fergusson, & Horwood, 1999; Pryor & Rodgers, 2001). Children appear to respond differently to divorce and parental separation. Although some studies appear to indicate that negative affects displayed in children will alleviate over time, other research seems to suggest that problematic behaviours and poor emotional adjustment may persist throughout a person’s lifetime (Cohen & Finzi-Dottan, 2005). The common factor throughout current research though, suggests that children from divorced families frequently display higher levels of behavioural and adjustment problems than children from intact families (Bryner, 2001; Kelly, 2000; Lengua, Wolchik, Sandler, & West, 2000; Nielsen, 1999; Wolchik et al., 2002). This article will look at research relating to the effects that parental divorce and separation has on the adjustment and wellbeing of children.
It can happen at the most unexpected times. A simple conversation with your partner suddenly becomes a heated argument. Both of you trying to get your point across but nobody seeming to listen. Quickly it escalates until either one person resentfully walks away or you both compete to see who can shout the loudest.