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Divorce: Psychological Effects on Children

Divorce, the legal dissolution of a marriage, is a transition in family structure that affects both the adults and the children who are involved. This entry reviews data on the prevalence of divorce in the United States, discusses the stressors that commonly occur to children after parental divorce, describes two theoretical frameworks of the processes through which children are affected by parental divorce, and identifies malleable factors that are related to children’s responses. The entry ends with a brief description of evidence-based programs that reduce or prevent children’s problems after parental divorce.

Divorce Prevalence

Parental divorce is a common experience for children and adolescents in the United States and in other countries. In the United States, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. The divorce rate ...

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