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Impacts of Divorce on Children’s Attitudes and Behaviors

Donald is an Education and Social Researcher. He works as a freelance researcher, writer, and editor.


During the time of divorce, most parents struggle with the issue of children. The moment is challenging for the family, and children suffer the most. At this time, parents have to learn new ways to relate and care for their children. The impacts of divorce on children usually vary depending on the social status, income levels, and the agreement between the parents at the time of parting. Studies have established that children suffer most during the transition stage.

Parent's primary worry is how children will cope with the situation. While there are still many uncertainties associated with divorce, it is increasingly becoming popular across the world. A study done in America approximated that at least one divorce occurs every 36 seconds. Divorce affects the attitudes and behaviors of children towards others and life in general. Some of the significant impacts of divorce on children include attitude to education, withdrawal from social activities, difficulty adapting to change, emotional sensitivity, anger, feelings of guilt, and faith loss for marriage and family.

Poor Academic Performance

As children try to navigate through the aftermath of divorce, they experience difficulties in their school life. This is a period defined by confusion and distractions in the child's life. Due to the confusion, they lack focus on their studies, leading to poor performance in school. Divorce is dangerous because it gives students poor attitudes in school and life (, n.d.).

Emotional Problems

Another significant impact is the emotional turmoil that the children undergo. The situation is usually scary and frustrating. Young children typically struggle with the idea that they have to move between two homes to see either of their parents. The main worry that children undergo is that since their parents stopped loving each other, they may end up not loving them. When children experience emotional challenges, they are unable to socialize and perform well in life. This can have long-term impacts on their growth and development.

Withdrawal From Social Activity

Research has shown that divorce has massive social effects on children. Children whose parents have separated have a hard time relating to others and usually have minimal social contacts. They tend to avoid association with other people, especially elders. This can lead to extreme mental disorders, such as depression and PTSD. In some cases, children usually feel insecure. They fear rejection and avoid close and intimate relationships as much as possible (Battles, 2020).

Problems Adapting to Change

Children who have experienced divorce usually experience problems when adapting to change. Due to the fear and insecurity in the aftermath of divorce, they lack the confidence to navigate challenges successfully. The family's novel dynamics can also affect their associations with friends, close family members, and living conditions. This weakens their resolve to wage through difficult times.

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Engaging in Risky Behaviors

It has also been established that children from divorced families are more likely to engage in risk behaviors. Due to the traumatic experience after parents' separation, children can quickly start drinking alcohol, engage in early sexual activities, and abuse drugs. In some cases, it has been reported that children from divorced families are more likely to engage in criminal activities. When fathers separate from their children, they are a high possibility that the children will have many sexual partners. This increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (Morin & Forman, 2019).

Engaging in Violent Behaviors

Since children do not understand how to navigate through the divorce stage, they can be very irritable. This causes them to engage in violent behaviors at the slightest provocation. They may be angry at their parents, their friends, or teachers. This makes it challenging to develop because they lack parental guidance at the most critical stage. While studies have confirmed that the anger may dissipate after a certain period, if it persists, it may be a lingering effect of the experience that leads to other adverse cases.


Children who have experienced divorce are vulnerable to numerous challenges in life. This is worsened by the attitudes and behaviors they exhibit towards life in general. Studies have shown that children who have experienced divorce are likely to divorce their partners after marriage. This is because they have a strong belief that divorce is the only remedy when relationships are not working. As highlighted earlier, these impacts of divorce vary depending on the circumstances and attitudes of parents. Children may successfully navigate through the separation and succeed in life if the parent is considerate of the looming effects and see how they can collaborate to mitigate them.


Battles, M. (2020, August 13). The Effects of Divorce on Children No Parents Should Ignore. Retrieved from Lifehack: (n.d.). What Are the Effects of Divorce on Children? Retrieved from Family Means:

Morin, A., & Forman, J. (2019, August 6). The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved from VeryWell Family:

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Donald Ngonyo

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