The Psychological Divorce

Reports suggest that Donald Trump Jr. and his wife, Vanessa Trump may be getting divorced.

Vanessa Trump, a former model, is seeking an uncontested divorce from the president’s son, according to a public court record filed Thursday.

Details of the divorce complaint haven’t been made public.

The couple, both 40 years old, married in 2005 and have five children

The crude divorce rate for the number of divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population decreased by 0.1 t 1.9 in 2016 based on ABS statistics.

In Australia, the application for divorce is $865 and lawyers fees can go into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Although there is a financial cost of a divorce, there is also a psychological cost as well.

The people who feel it most are the children, parental divorce affects children’s physical health and longevity. Those who experience parental divorce or separation are more likely to have health problems (often in spite of maternal remarriage) such as a significant increase in injury rates, an increased risk of asthma and increased risk of asthma-related emergencies. Children whose parents divorce are also more likely to contract cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract, the esophagus, anus, pancreas, lungs, and cervix. Researchers Kari Hemminki and Bowang Chen state, “The results show that offspring of divorced parents have increased cancer risks at tobacco-related, alcohol-related and sex-related sites.” A Swedish study showed that young men with divorced parents had a slightly heightened risk of hospitalisation and significantly increased the risk of mortality.

Divorce wreaks havoc on the psychological stability of many children. Furthermore, the psychological effects of divorce are persistent: Children from divorced families have more emotional and behavioral problems, negative feelings and less psychological well-being than adults from intact families.

Upon the divorce of their parents, children experience a wide range of emotional reactions, including sadness, anger, loneliness, depression (which frequently lasts into later phases of life), heightened anxiety, worry, lower life satisfaction, lower self-esteem and self-confidence, fear, yearning, rejection, conflicting loyalties, and a sense of fault for their parents’ problems. An analysis by David Popenoe of the National Survey of Children found that divorce was associated with a higher incidence of several mental health problems in children: depression; withdrawal from friends and family; aggressive, impulsive, or hyperactive behavior; and either behaving disruptively or withdrawing from participation in the classroom. Parental divorce may also contribute to the development of mood disorders, bipolar I disorder, dysthymia (mild chronic depression), depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

When children experience parental divorce before age five, they are particularly vulnerable to emotional conflicts at the time of their parents’ separation. They will frequently cling to their parents and “regress” to bedwetting and other behaviors more characteristic of younger children. Older children, rather than clinging, frequently withdraw from home life and seek intimacy elsewhere. If divorce occurs while the children are teenagers (12 to 15 years old), they tend to react in one of two very different ways: by attempting to avoid growing up or by attempting to “speed through” adolescence. Early sexual activity, substance abuse or dependence, hostile behavior, and depression are all more likely to occur following divorce. These reactions are most likely if the parents divorced prior to age five, slightly less so if they divorce after age 10, and seemingly least of all during the five- to 10-year-old phase.

Divorce is related to increased depression and anxiety for both boys and girls of all ages. However, boys find parental divorce more emotionally disturbing than girls do, and “boys with divorced parents tended to be more depressed than those from two-parent families regardless of the psychological adjustment, level of conflict, or quality of parenting manifested by their parents.”

Psychological problems are less severe for those whose pre-divorce families were high-conflict families. According to Paul Amato of the Department of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University, child and adult well-being may actually improve after the end of an extremely conflicted marriage.

Although this is sad news we also need to look at the other areas which need addressing.

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