MMBFD #14 Consequence of Divorce

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  • Consequence of Divorce:
    • New Right
      • A return to "traditional family values" is needed to strengthen the marriage, and "tougher" laws are required because divorce has become "too easy"
      • Morgan 1999 suggests a link between divorce and crime, "large numbers of fatherless youths represent a high risk factor for crime".
    • Rogers and Pryor (1998)
      • When they become adult they are more likely to experience poverty
      • Found that children from separated families are more likely than children two-parent families to suffer behavioural problems, to underachieve at schools to become sexually active, if female, become pregnant at an early age, and to and to smoke, drink and use drugs during adolescence
      • These findings help explain why some children experience problems with divorce, whilst the majority, as least in the long term do not
      • These suggest that it is not divorce alone which causes these problems but the association of divorce and other factors:
        • Family Conflict
          • Which may create behavioural problems with children
        • Multiple Changes in Family Structure
          • If divorce is accompanied by other changes, such as moving in with a step-family, children are more likely to experience problems
        • Financial Hardship
          • Which may have an effect on educational achievement
        • Quality and Degree of Contact With Parents Who Have Left
          • Children who have regular contact appear to cope better
        • Parental Ability to Cope
          • With changes that divorce brings, if a parent cannot cope, then the children are less likely to
    • Hetherington (2002)
      • She concluded that three out of the for children experience little long term damage from divorce
      • Her findings ree based on a longitudinal study over 25 years, covering 2500 people from childhood in 1400 families
      • She admits that 25% have serious emotional or social problems which compares with 10% of families that stay together
      • In the USA reached a similar conclusion.
      • In her view the negative effect ofn children have been exsadurated
    • Flouri  and Buchanan's (2002)
      • They are less likely to get into trouble with the police and les likely to become homeless.
      • Study of over 17,000 children from family/s that had experienced separation and divorce found that in families where fathers were still involved with their children, the children were more successful in gaining educational qualifications and continued to seek out educational opportunities in later life
      • Such children also grow up to enjoy more stable and satisfying relationships with their adult partners.
      • However Buchanan found that if conflict continued after divorce between partners, children could become vulnerable to mental health problems.
    • New Right thinker Morgan (1999)
      • They suggest that divorce is too easily available, with the result that people are not s omitted to marriage as they were in the past
      • Sociologists argue that such divorce statics are one of the symptoms of a serious crisis in the family
      • Many New Right sociologists see a direct relationships between divorce, one-parent families and antisocial behaviour among the young, and argue for a return to traditional family values as well as toughening up of divorce laws.
    • Feminists
      • Compared to the past, the present divorce laws provide freedom and choice, particulary for women
      • on the other hand had object to any barriers on divorce.
      • Restrictions on divorce may force them to endure unhappy marriages and In some cases, physical and sexual abuse.
    • Conclusion
      • A decline in the rate of marriage, increasing cohabitation outside marriage, the rising number of single parent families and single person households and the apparent increase in marital breakdown, seems to suggest the decline of marriage as an institution in modern Britain. Yet all of these changes are open to different interpreta-tions

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