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Divorce and Kids

Divorce and Kids

     Divorce is transforming the lives of American children.In the past World War 2 generation, more than 80 percent of children grew up with both biological parents.  Today only half will do so.  Each year

more than a million children experience family breakup: about as many are born out of wedlock.

     At the same time, the problems associated with family disruption have grown. Overall child well-being has declined,despite historically high public spending. The teen suicide rate has almost tripled. Juvenile crime has increased and become more violent. School performance has been poor.

     In 1971 Judith Wallerstein, a clinical psychologist, and her staff began interviewing middle-class children in the San Francisco area at the time their parents broke up. She discovered the children seemed to be doing worse. Five years after breakup, her research shows, more than a third of the children were experiencing moderate or severe depression. At ten years a significant number to be troubled, drifting, underachieving. At 15 years many, now adults, were struggling to establish strong love relationships of their own.

     Research shows that girls in single-parent families are at greater risk for teenage marriage, nonmarital birth, and divorce than girls in two-parent families---and that this is true regardless of race or income. Also, children in disrupted families are nearly twice as likely to drop out of high school. Boys are at greater risk of dropping out than girls and are more prone to aggressive behavior.

     Over the past 25 years Americans have been conducting a vast natural experiment in family life. The results are becoming clear. Adults have benefited from the changes, but not children. Indeed, this may be the first generation to do worse psychologically and socially than their parents.

     The novelist Pat Conroy has observed that"each divorce is the death of a small civilization. "No one feels this more acutely than children.

離婚與孩子

    離婚正在改變美國孩子的生活。在二戰後成長起來的一代人中,有80%以上的孩子都在親生父母身邊長大。今天只有50%的孩子是如此,每年有100多萬的孩子經曆家庭破裂。這與私生子女的數量大體相當。

    與此同時,由於家庭破裂所帶來的問題日漸增多。盡管政府公共開支曆來很大,孩子的總體福利卻下降了。青少年自殺率翻了三番,青少年犯罪率也上升了,他們的暴力行為也增加了,他們在學校的表現也一直不好。

    1971年,臨床心理學家朱迪斯·沃勒斯坦和她的研究人員走訪了舊金山地區父母離異的中產階級家庭的孩子,她發現孩子的情況每況愈下。她的研究發現,在父母離異五年後,有1/3多的孩子患有中度或嚴重的抑鬱症。10年後,許多孩子生活困難,漂泊流浪,學習成績不理想。15年後,這些孩子長大成人,他們就拼命建立自己牢固的愛情關系。

    研究表明,單親家庭的女孩比雙親家庭的女孩更可能未成年就結婚,非婚生育,更易於離婚——·不管她們是何種膚色,收入如何,情況都是如此。  同時,破裂家庭的孩子的退學率比健全家庭的孩子的退學率高出一倍。男孩比女孩更易退學,也更容易尋釁鬧事。  在過去的25年裏,美國人一直在進行家庭生活中的一項自然實驗。其結果已日漸明朗。成人從變化中受益而兒童則不然。確實,這可能是在心理上、社交方面比父輩做得更差的第一代子女。

    小說家帕特·康洛伊發現,「每一次離婚都是一個小的文明社會的泯滅。」沒有人能比兒童更能感受到這一點了。

  • 關鍵字 : children, 孩子, years, 女孩, their, parents, girls, family, families, 離婚, worse, shows, parent, greater, generation, divorce, breakup, Divorce, 非婚生育, 離婚正
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2010-08-07T07:56:00+0000


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