Does that of the history of marriage in Canada,

divorce effect children? Many children in society come from divorced parents. Having
parents that are divorce can be difficult and must have some sort of impact on
the young people witnessing this. Divorce is becoming more prevalent in today’s
society, in 2011 an estimated 1.2 million
marriages or common-law relationships came to a halt where kids were involved
(Sinha, 2015).  The effects should be researched in order to
help kids through a difficult ordeal, just like any other issues that arises in
society. By researching how this is negatively impacting kids, society can help
to prevent other children from feeling that same and ensure that they do not go
down a dark path. Also, by understanding what the effects are, society can
hopefully one day look at making divorce seamless for those involved.












Review of Literature

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

The history of divorce in Canada has contrasted that of the
history of marriage in Canada, up until WWII, Canada had the lowest divorce
rates in western society (Ward, 2016). Post WWII rates gradually increased
and in the last twenty years divorce has been on a steep incline; four in ten
marriages end up in partners parting ways, in
2011 an estimated 1.2 million marriages or common-law relationships came to a
halt where kids were involved (Sinha, 2015).
Divorce can be a very difficult concept and situation for children of any age
to completely comprehend and manage, thus creating a plethora of effects.
In most cases divorce involves negative effects rather than positive ones.
Usually the only way that a situation such as this one can have a positive
impact on a child is if they are being freed from an abusive and/or oppressive
relationship. According to the Feldstein Family Law Group, effects can be
organized into two categories; short-term or long-term effects. Long-term
effects are generally just short-term effects that should have subsided after
the child has adjusted and time has passed on, however that did not occur
(Feldstein, 2014).
The most relevant and common reaction
for most if not all children is to act out or behave in ways that are not
normal to them.

 Some children begin
to have a challenging time conducting themselves in society and socializing in
the same manner they did prior the divorce.
A child witnessing the divorce of their parents may become increasingly
aggressive, violent and uncooperative; thus, leading to him or her to lash out
at people around them like friends, family and teachers. The
feeling of resentment towards one parent, the former partner or both can arise,
creating the pathway to a rocky relationship.
A study completed in 1997 found that seventy percent of long-term prison
inmates came from broken homes (Horn, 1997). Several
studies also suggest that this out lash in behaviour wreaks havoc upon the
child’s education and school life. For example, children that come from
intact families are less likely to have behavioral issues at school; first-grade children born to
married mothers are less likely to exhibit disruptive behavior, such as disobeying
a teacher or behaving aggressively towards peers, than children born to
cohabiting or single mothers (Cavanagh, 2006).

On the other end of the spectrum some children do not become
more aggressive during the divorce process but instead become more quiet and
In rare occasions if the child
witnessing the divorce is young and does not fully comprehend the situation at
hand, they might feel guilty because they feel as if they are the root of the
problem and the reason for divorce. According to the Feldstein Family Law
Group the adolescents involved may express “hermit-like” behaviour and symptoms
of depression.
 Divorce is almost, if not always stressful for
both parents and kids, many aspects of life are turned upside down and inside
out, going from living in one house to two and adapting to step parents and
siblings. All of these can leave children in a mental state they
should not be in thus resulting in psychological problems such as the ones
mentioned above.
Children also tend to become increasingly
needy during this time out of fear of being abandoned. In
a way they act in such a manner to remind the parents in an indirect way how
much the child needs them (Feldstein, 2014).

Divorce maybe but an ideal situation
for some and for others not so much. It is stressful, time consuming and
puts children that are a part of the relationship in an uncomfortable position.
Especially at an early age when the minds are most impressionable and
susceptible struggles such as behavior issues, psychological issues and a lack
of focus in school can all develop. These points have been proven through
several studies conducted by many different institutions using multiple methods
to gather information.



Primary data was collected by conducting
face to face interviews, thus resulting in qualitative results. By conducting
an interview, it allowed the discovery of other vital details, stories and
emotions that might have been otherwise missed while using an alternate method.
The data was collected by conducting interviews from a 17-year-old Guyanese, a
17-year-old Canadian and a 17-year-old Trinidadian, all from Brampton. All the
candidates were females in high school that have witness and/or have been a
part of a family that has gone through a divorce. Interviews were conducted at
Heart Lake Secondary School located in Brampton on December 22, 2017.

This information will be analyzed by
placing similar answers in the same category and finding what the average
response was. If there is story or fact that was remarkable and/or interesting
also including that. Most of this data will based on finding the average of
what everyone went through. When selecting the population/personals that will
be interviewed there are not a lot of criteria that the subjects have to meet
besides the fact that they must be kids that have divorced or separate parents.
Everyone’s experience is different and by placing multiple qualifications you
risk losing great candidates with valuable experiences to share. Possible
limitations that can be that some subjects might not be completely honest which
could throw the average answer off. Other limitations include the fact that
interviews are time consuming and analyzing and organizing the data can be
difficult because the data is not numbers or statistics, they are more personal
stories and experiences.


an attempt to further analyze the effects of divorce on children I did
interviews with subjects that have been in an analogous situation to find
exactly what someone experiences. Through the interview answers to questions
such as, if the subjects were heavily involved in the divorce, do they have
sibling that were also a part of the divorce, have they been impacted in anyway
and if the divorce has changed their views on relationship were achieved.


1/3 subjects have evenly divided custody

2/3 subjects were involved in the divorce

3/3 subjects agree the separation of their parents was a
positive change

2/3 subjects have sibling that have/are suffering

1/3 subjects had school work related issues

1/3 subjects had social issues

3/3 subjects stated that their parent’s relationship affect
their views on relationship


common factor that was present in all candidates were that instead of them
getting disheartened about relationships and not wanting one, it drives them to
want one more and do things differently and have a successful relationship. An
intense sense of “I want to learn from their mistakes rather than making the
same ones” was prevalent.

 Of the subjects interviewed, two of them, the
Trinidadian and Guyanese females did not allow the separation of their parents
get in the way of their school life or their social life. For the 17-year-old
Canadian, circumstances were different. During the separation of her parents both
her school life and social life became increasing difficult. During this time
of her life she changed schools three times, she stated that this made it hard
to keep a stable group of friends as a sense of support. According to her
school became difficult for reasons undisclosed.

one case the subject that I interviewed did not have major repercussions from
the divorce however their sibling did. The sibling was a 14-year-old male who
was 9 years old at the time of the divorce. During the process of the divorce
the young male showed common effects such as becoming anti-social, losing
interest in school work and showing very minor behaviour issues, such as
becoming needier. These are examples of long term issues as the young man is
still dealing with them. Another sibling of the age and gender also faced
troubles when his parents were divorcing. He struggled with separation issues
and trust issue. The young make felt like the people around him weren’t trust
worthy and everyone around him would eventually leave him or turn their backs
on him. However, these were all short-term effect as he has made a full recovery
from them.

the data gathered it is evident that the siblings of these subjects have
suffered more than the subjects themselves. This could be due to the fact that
the siblings were of a younger age when the divorce started and did not completely
comprehend what was happening.

one of the subjects are in a place where custody is divided evenly. In the
other two situations the custody remain mainly with one parent and the other
parent is sporadically visited. This does not seem to impact the improvement of
child’s behaviour because the sibling that has shared custody is the only who
still has long-term effects.

it is difficult to say that if you are a certain age, gender, or your current
situation is certain way that this there is a set way of how the person’s life
will be affected or changed. Everyone is different and experiences and
interrupts situations in a unique way.


Divorce is becoming
more common in today’s society and it is important to understand the effects of
this situation. Divorce can be an inconvenient situation for some to comprehend
and digest. Divorce does not only affect the couple, but it also affects,
extended family, friends and most impressionable of them all, the kids. It is
important to study how children are affected because through this we are able
to better understand how to help them through a possibly messy and confusing
time in their life. Children are the future and their experience will impact
the future in which we all live in.

Since the majority of
the subjects did not experience significant changes after the separation of
their divorce, there is defiantly another end of the spectrum. It is clear that
some children can get over the separation of their parents and continue with their
life. It seems as if they understand that it may be hard for them to go through
and see the difficulty of a divorce alongside the emotional trauma but at the
end of the day they still must make a future for themselves. When the question
“Did you parent’s relationship affect your views on relationship”, all the
subjects said it did affect their views but not in the way one would except
them to answer. Some would expect them to be nervous to be in a relationship,
but this was not the case. All of them agreed that they would want a
relationship so that they can do things differently and learn from the mistakes
that their parents made. An area of research the was intriguing was that the it
seemed that the subjects that were interviewed were not as affected by the
separation of their parents than their younger siblings were. This could
suggest that the different age groups are affected on various levels.

Comparing the
findings of the interviews that were conducted and those conducted by other
institutions there are a few similarities and some outliers. An article written
by the Feldstein Law Group discussed the long-term and short-term effects of
divorce. One of the long-term effects included becoming addicted to drugs and
or alcohol (Feldstein, 2014).  Out of all
the stories that were shared none of the subjects mentioned such an experience
or showed signs of this activity. Several other sources including Robert
Emery’s “How Divorce Effects Children”
states that divorce can hinder a child’s mental being and this have proven true
through my research as well (Emery, 2000). One of the subjects has a
13-year-old brother you had social anxiety to the point even in school he would
not speak and choose to be alone even if peers invited him to join them.
Another subject also spoke about how it was difficult to keep a group of
friends due the constant moving. Also, an effect that was discussed by this
source and others.  Previous research
shows that divorce can be a positive situation to occur if the relationship was
abusive (Emery, 2000).

Although this
research did uncover valuable information on the topic, it did come with some
limitations. With the given time period given I was only able to interview a
small amount of people, therefore there were not as many experiences. Divorce
is different for everyone and therefore many outcomes can be attained.  Another limitation was that there was not a
variety of age ranges that I directly interviewed. All of the subjects were 17
years old. Alongside that they were all females, it would be a promising idea
to get the male perspective and see if there is any difference there.














To answer the question, does divorce effect
children coming from those relationships, the answer is yes. As mentioned
previously divorced does not just change the lives of the couple involved but
rather everyone one around them. The children involved are the most impacted by
a transition such as one like this. Although many say that there are both
negative effects and positive ones, the data collected in these interviews also
stated the same. All of the subjects said that there was a negative side to the
entire process but at the end of the day they would say it was a positive
thing to happen in their life. Interestingly, more information was collected
through listening to the experiences of the subject’s siblings than the
subjects themselves. The research conducted in this paper does not differ from
other research that has been done in the past. There is no data that raises an
eyebrow or completely contrasts anything already done or said. Despite there
not being any contrasting information, it is still important to understand the
effects that this could have on young minds. Even if there is not anything that
society can do directly help someone in this situation, just knowing that
people understand what you are going through can be of much help. The future of
society is based off what kind of environment children are growing up and their
parents are the biggest influencer of this. It would also in our great so if
divorce can occur without any effects.






Feldstein. (2014).
Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from
This article written by the Feldstein Family Law Group clearly and concisely outlines
the short-term and long-term effects of divorce on children. Short-term
effects such as the child feeling guilty for the divorce and long-term effects
such as alcohol or drug addictions. Alongside the negative impacts that
are associated with divorce the article briefly discussed the positive side of
situations. The article provides hope by discussing ways to prevent or lessen
the undesirable impact on young, impressionable minds by maintaining a strong
and healthy relationship with children while avoiding the creation of a
hostile environment. This correlates with the potential research paper as the
main topic is the impact that is faced by children during their parents’
Emery, R. E. (2006). How
Divorce Affects Children. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from
In Divorce Affects
Children, Robert Emery specifically examines the risks and stresses that
come along with divorce. The article explains how most kids do not want their
parents to go through with a divorce unless the relationship is full of
intense conflict and anger. Emery stated that divorce can also cause a strain
on the relationship between the child and parent, and tends to lead to contact
loss with one parent. The psychological risk associated with divorce was also
another one of the main ideas discussed in the article. Troubled children are
more likely to have behavior issues thus causing hardships in school and
occasionally having difficulty making friends. Depression, anxiety, and taking
care of parents instead of it being the other way around are also points that
validate the topic of the potential research paper. This article is dense with
impacts that are associated with divorce. 

Government of Canada,
Department of Justice, Electronic Communications. (2015, January 07). REPORT
This PDF file is jam-packed with good
information, particularly the statistics that were made available to the
public. The article made it apparent that each year 60,000 go through with a
divorce. It also shows that this number has increased compared to previous
year. Also mentioned in this piece of writing that was not necessarily
available in other articles were ways that the couple getting divorce could do
to make situations easier on themselves which in turn helped the children also
involved. Although the main topic of the research paper is divorce in Canada,
it also compared statistics in other countries which was interesting to read
just for personal knowledge. Statistics are solid facts and well strength
point in my research paper.
Desai, A. (2006, January
01). How Could Divorce Affect My Kids? Retrieved January 21, 2018, from                     
Amy Desai’s, Focus on
the Family, looks at divorce under a different microscope. Instead of
discussing just the impacts of divorce, the author also debunks the myths that
are often associated with a problem like this, for example, “what’s good for
mom and dad is good for the kid”, this is not always true in term of
divorce.  Also mentioned is how divorce
does not always make mom and dad happy which then adds to the negative impact
of a divorce. After going through all that time, money and emotional trauma
sometimes you end up back at square one but this time financial issues are
added to the mix. The article also dug up the fact that sometimes divorce
shatters the belief kids have that they can overcome any problem.  No problem should be too great for their
parents to handle. For a child, divorce shatters this basic safety and belief
concerning the parents’ abilities to care for them and to make decisions that
truly consider their well-being. This article also states points that help
argue my thesis, divorce impacts children in many ways. 
Wong, B. (2017, October 05).
7 Ways Divorce Affects Kids, According to The Kids Themselves. Retrieved
January 21, 2018, from
            The Huffington Post article written
by Brittany Wong also analyses divorce from a different perspective. Brittany
spoke with kids and researched how they felt about the topic. The article only
briefly lists and explains each of the effects, however, they give the
necessary information to get the point across. A point that was discussed in
previous articles but elaborated on more in this one, was the financial
strain. It would be hard to imagine how kids as young as ten years old
understand anything about finances. One of the stories that were shared was
about a single parent who juggled two jobs and occasional three and how the
kids understood that their parent just wanted the best for them, but it would
be nice if the parents was around more. The kids understood that if they
wanted dinner on the table and a roof over their head, this was the price they
had to pay. The information provided in this article is the most useful
because these are real-life stories and most similar to my primary research
of Divorce on Children. (2010). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from
Pickhardt, C. (2011,
December 19). The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents.
Retrieved January 21, 2018, from
Middleton, J. (2015,
November 01). 5 positive lessons children learn from divorce. Retrieved
January 21, 2018, from