Research Proposal and Preliminary Bibliography: The Psychological and Behavioral Impacts of Separation on Children

2021-07-08 20:25:59
5 pages
1136 words
University/College: 
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Research proposal
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The research topic that I have chosen for this project is the psychological and behavioral impacts of separation on children. Although there was a wide choice of research topics to choose from, I decided this particular one because it interests me. Sometimes back, I came across a newspaper article in which the author stated that children from broken families had a higher likelihood of being violent compared to those from stable families. Although there is a lot of literature regarding this topic, the findings are inconclusive and sometimes confusing. For example, some studies cite divorce as having adverse effects on a parent-child relationship. Nonetheless, another study established that divorce was less harmful to children compared to parents who stay together but are always fighting. This study will aim to determine the exact psychological and behavioral effects placed on children when their parent's divorce.

The leading research question that will guide this research is: what are the psychological and behavioral effects placed on kids when their parent's divorce? The reason why I chose this research topic is that studies show that around 50% of marriages in the country will end in divorce, and the figure is higher for second and numerous remarriages (Amato, 2010). These statistics mean that about 1 million American children experience the divorce process every year. Exposure to divorce and marital conflict puts these children in danger of developing numerous emotional, physiological, and behavioral problems that may proceed to adulthood. This research will seek to establish the exact psychological and behavioral effects of divorce on children.

The three main theories that I will use in addressing the research question are; the family system theory, the emotional security theory, and the attachment theory. Additionally, the study will use data gathered from secondary sources like journals, magazines, videos, and books. According to a preliminary research that I did earlier, there is a lot of past research regarding the research area. Availability of previous studies means that there is a lot of information out there regarding the effects of divorce on children.

Annotated Bibliography

Amato, P. R. Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 72, 2010, pp. 650-666.

This article presents an overview of research on divorce and its effects on the family as a whole. By including studies from the past decade, this article gives the current status of research on divorce. The author also identifies existing gaps in research and provides suggestions for future research. Although this report is not detailed, it offers a rich background to the research topic.

Kelly, J.B. & Emery, R.E. Childrens adjustment following divorce: Risk and resilience perspectives. Family Relations Journal, vol. 54, no.2, 2003, pp. 352-362.

In this report, the authors use a new perspective of divorce and its effect on the emotional well-being of children. Contrary to conventional studies on the effects of marriage annulment on children, this report argues that the psychological impact of divorce on children is a mixture protective and risk factors. According to the authors, the long-term effects of marriage dissolution on children depends on the impact of stressors like parental conflict, initial separation, loss of relationship with close friends, and diminished parenting among others. Because of the new perspective adopted by the authors, the conclusions of this report will form a significant part of the final paper.

Furstenberg, F.F. & Kiernan, K.E. Delayed parental divorce: How much do children benefit? Journal of Marriage and Family, vol.63, no. 2, 2001, pp. 446-457. The authors of this report address one of the most crucial topics in current research on effects of divorce on children- marriage delay. By conducting an original study, the authors discuss some issues that are of great importance to this research. For example, the authors attempt to establish whether the difficulty experienced by children in adjusting to divorce is more associated with external factors or a mixture of internal and external factors. This report is vital in writing my final research paper because it challenges the common assumption that sticking in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children is the right thing to do.

Ahrons, C.R. & Tenner, J.L. Adult children and their fathers: Relationship changes 20 years after parental divorce. Family Relations Journal, vol. 52, no.4, 2003, pp. 340-351

This report is a close examination of the effect of divorce on the relationship between children and their fathers. The authors argue that the relationship between fathers and their children deteriorate after separation. Moreover, the article concludes that it is in the best interest of children to have a continued relationship with fathers after divorce. I find the findings of this report relevant to writing my final research paper.

Portnoy, S. M. The psychology of divorce: A lawyers primer, Part 2: The effects of divorce on children. American Journal of Family Law, vol. 21, no.4, 2008, pp. 126-134.

In this article, Portnoy describes how parental conflict and parenting affects children during divorce. The author concludes that divorce cases involving familial strife can have devastating psychological effects on children. The main argument of the author of this article is that the actual separation has a less mental effect on children compared to the relationship between the parent and child. A good parent-child relationship can help children adjust to divorce.

Huurre, T., Hanna, J., & Hillevi, A. Long-term psychosocial effects of parental divorce: A follow-up study from adolescence to adulthood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, vol. 256, no. 4, 2006, pp. 256-263.

The authors of this article aimed to establish how divorce affects children. As part of the study, the authors intended to determine whether separation has any long-term psychological effects on the children involved. The authors of this article are Ph.D. holders and have contributed a lot in this area. This report concludes that separation should not be perceived as a single incident but rather as a multi-stage one which alters family relationships. Same with other studies, this report finds that divorce affects children psychologically.

Works cited

Ahrons, C.R. & Tenner, J.L. Adult children and their fathers: Relationship changes 20 years after parental divorce. Family Relations Journal, vol. 52, no.4, 2003, pp. 340-351.

Amato, P. R. Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of marriage and family, vol. 72, 2010, pp. 650-666.

Furstenberg, F.F. & Kiernan, K.E. Delayed parental divorce: How much do children benefit? Journal of Marriage and Family, vol.63, no. 2, 2001, pp. 446-457.Huurre, T., Hanna, J., & Hillevi, A. Long-term psychosocial effects of parental divorce: A follow-up study from adolescence to adulthood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, vol. 256, no. 4, 2006, pp. 256-263.

Kelly, J.B. & Emery, R.E. Childrens adjustment following divorce: risk and resilience perspectives. Family Relations Journal, vol. 54, no.2, 2003, pp. 352-362.

Portnoy, S. M. The psychology of divorce: A lawyers primer, Part 2: The effects of divorce on children. American Journal of Family Law, vol. 21, no.4, 2008, pp. 126-134.

 

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