DIVORCE AND ITS EFFECTS ON STUDENT’S ACCADEMICS

DIVORCE

Effects of divorce To a Student

Divorce is now a common act that people do when they no longer want to be married, but divorce is different when children are involved. “Family relationships have become increasingly complex due to rising divorce rates and subsequent (step) family formation, potentially threatening intergenerational exchange of family support” When parents go through a divorce, they are not the only ones affected. Divorce affects children in a multitude of ways. “Ongoing conflict, blocked communication and power imbalances between parents are problematic for child and family functioning”

Children who experience their parents going through a divorce are susceptible to becoming depressed, being withdrawn, acting out, and acting differently. “It is well documented that psychosocial stressors constitute a significant, pervasive risk for children’s mental health problems” (Velez, 2011, 244). When children experience their parents going through a divorce, the actions of the parents affect the children all throughout their childhood, and eventually may overlap into their adulthood. “It is well documented that parental divorce is associated with multiple problems for youth that extend into adulthood, including internalizing and externalizing problems, interpersonal difficulties, poor physical health, and substance abuse” (Sigal, 2012, 150).

Divorce Rates

Divorce rates have increased dramatically on a global

These are 8 ways divorce can impact a child’s academic pursuits.

1. Emotionally Distracted

Research suggests that the effect of divorce on children can create emotional distress. This can lead to behavioral problems and a general disinterest in life.

Emotional distraction can make it difficult for a child to focus on schoolwork. Hiring a tutor and helping with school assignments can help the child re-focus on schoolwork and improve their grades.

2. Lower Educational Aspirations

There is no doubt that divorce is tough on children. One study found children whose parents are divorced have lower educational outcomes.

This is no surprise since during a divorce a child may be asked to take sides, move, and hear unseemly things about their parents. This can have a negative effect on their educational desires.

3. More Likely to be Held Back

The William H. Jeynes study “The Effects of Several of the Most Common Family Structures on the Academic Achievement of Eighth Graders” shows that children of divorced parents are more likely to be held back a grade. This can have a negative effect on the child’s self-esteem and maybe looked down upon by educational institutions in the future.

4. Lower Grade Point Average

Regardless of the schooling age of the child, research reveals the effects of divorce on children can cause them to have lower GPA than students with married parents.

In the Common Admissions Test (CAT), children of divorce scored in the 48th percentile for math and verbal. Children from intact married households scored 10 points higher, coming in at the 58th percentile.

5. Comprehension Suffers

Divorce can weigh heavy on a child’s mind. They are going through a painful experience that can leave them feeling lost, sad, depressed, and confused. Because of this, studies find that children of divorce are more likely to suffer from ADD and hyperactivity disorders than those from nuclear families.

Studies go on to show that on average, by age 13, children of divorced parents have a half-year different in reading ability than children from intact families. Math, history, and science were also commonly lower than children who have married parents. They are also more likely to be held back a grade.

6. Less Likely to Attend College/University

Adolescents of divorced parents are statically less likely to pursue higher education, with only 27% obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher. Many factors come into play as to why. This may be because they did not finish high school. Another common reason is financial in nature, as living in a single-parent household has created limited funding for educational pursuits

7. Behavioral Issues at School

Any child, regardless of how they grew up, is bound to experience a little trouble at school. This may be caused by are bullying, difficulty with comprehension or because of their romantic entanglements.

That said, there is no question that divorce can create emotional turmoil in youths. This can lead to children acting out and skipping school. Studies show that children of divorced parents skipped 60% more class periods than their peers.

This may be done as a way to act out and get parental attention or may stem from a disinterest in education.

Research done by Yongmin Sun shows that children of divorce a more likely to experience psychological, academic, behavioral, and drug-related problems than children from intact households. This disruptive behavior may cause children to lash out at teachers, disobey rules, become aggressive, or refuse to participate.

8. May Not Complete Highschool

Living in a complex (divorce, nonmarital) household creates instability in children, regardless of their age. This living environment lacks the same stability, boundaries, and routines that married-parent households do. Because of this, children of a divorced-parent household are statistically 24% less likely to receive a high school degree.

One research study reveals that children of divorce are also 26% more likely to drop out of secondary school. Suspensions and expulsion are also more common. The study goes on to say that remarriage will not alleviate the effects of divorce on a child’s educational future.

The effect of divorce on children is far-reaching. It can impact how a child views romantic love, may dissolve household stability, and can even negatively impact their education

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