Tuesday, 27 March 2012


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Jill was 11 years old when her parents divorced amicably. Her mother got custody of Jill and then, years later, got married again. Discuss some of the research findings concerning divorce and remarriage that may help us to understand what effects the divorce and remarriage may have had on Jill.

Research findings have proven that adolescents whose parents have divorced, when compared with adolescents whose parents had not, were more likely “to have academic problems, to show externalized problems (such as acting out and delinquency) and internalized problems (such as anxiety and depression), to be less socially responsible, to have less-competent intimate relationships, to drop out of school, to become sexually active at an earlier age, to take drugs, to associate with antisocial peers, and to have lower self esteem (Conger & Chao, 16).” However, the above can occur in any adolescent, regardless of their parent’s marital status. Furthermore, the majority of adolescents who come from divorced families do not have these problems (Emery, 1). The personality and temperament of the adolescent previous to the divorce is an important factor to be considered. Although in Jill’s case, we do not know of her temperament, we do know that her parents divorced on friendly terms. When this happens, research has shown relatively low adjustment problems among adolescents. In the year following the divorce, a disequilibrium is said to occur, including diminished parental skills. However, by two years, restabilization has occurred and parenting skills have improved (Hetherington, 18).

Thus, since Jill’s mother remarried two years later, it is likely that she was well readjusted. So, as far as her parents amicable divorce, Jill most likely was in the majority of adolescents who did not experience the earlier specified problems that arise from divorce. Jill’s new family structure includes a step-father and normally occurs when the mother has custody and remarried, introducing a new father figure into a child’s life. Jill’s Relationship type would be Matriarchal. There is a period of adjustment that occurs when a step family is becoming acquainted, very similar (in effects) to that of divorce, “academic problems, externalizing and internalizing problems, lower self esteem, early sexual activity, delinquency, and so on (Anderson & others, 1).” Overall, I would say that Jill was obviously effected by her parent’s divorce; however, the fact that her parents split amicably and that her mother did not remarry until two years later, gave her the best case scenario to have little adjustment problems.

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