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The Effect of a Broken Family on Development

A broken family can negatively affect all domains of your child's development.


Related Articles * Family Development Activities * Social Development and Family Planning * How Does Family Structure Impact Language Development? * The Effect of an Addictive Behavior on a Family * The Effect of Divorce on Early Childhood Development * The Effect of Language Development on Social Development

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension explains that the effects of a broken family on a child’s development depends on numerous factors, including her age when her parents separation, and on her personality and family relationships. Although infants and young children may experience few negative developmental effects, older children and teenagers may experience some problems in their social, emotional and educational functioning.

After a divorce, children from pre-school through late adolescence can experience deficits in emotional development. Children of all ages may seem tearful or depressed, which is a state that can last several years after a child’s parents’ have separated, explains psychologist Lori Rappaport. Additionally, some older children may show very little emotional reaction to their parents’ divorce. Rappaport explains that this may not be developmentally beneficial. Some children who show little emotional response are actually bottling up their negative feelings. This emotional suppression makes it difficult for parents, teachers and therapists to help the child process her feelings in developmentally appropriate ways.
Slowed academic development is another common way that divorce affects children. The emotional stress of a divorce alone can be…...

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