Apparently, America had a divorce boom 30 years ago, in the 1970’s. Many studies have been done on the divorce boom and its effect on children. Last year, a documentary appeared on Minnesota’s Online News Source about the divorce boom and its effect on children. It appears the effects are not that great according to the studies that were conducted. But is that surprising? In an article that appeared on MPR online about the documentary, it was revealed that Dr. Judith Wallerstein wrote a book in 2000 about the issue and she had this to say on the issue of the divorce boom and its effects on children:
When a parent dies, a child suffers loss. With divorce, says Wallerstein, a child must cope not only with loss but with failure: “Even if the young person decides as an adult that the divorce was necessary, that in fact the parents had little in common to begin with,” she writes, “the divorce still represents failure — failure to keep the man or the woman, failure to maintain the relationship, failure to be faithful, or failure to stick around. This failure in turn shapes the child’s inner template of self and family. If they failed, I can fail, too.” As a result, some of the children of divorce whose lives Wallerstein has followed (their average age at the latest interviews was 33) have grown up to be pathological commitment-phobes, expecting all relationships to end in disaster and pain. Others, going to the opposite extreme, have rushed into reckless, spur-of-the-moment, almost invariably doomed marriages in their late teens or early 20s, or selected clearly inadequate partners who are too weak and needy to leave. Even those who are happily married remain haunted by fear of abandonment and have trouble dealing with any disagreement or conflict.
After the recession of 2008, divorce filings were down across the country and the rest of the world. It can harldy be said that there is a “divorce boom” at this time in our history. At the same time, as the economy slowly regains its footing, things are expected to change. As is the changing laws in different states and countries. New York, for example, is perched on the edge of history and the future with a pending law that would allow couples to file a unilateral divorce over and above the will and desire of their spouses. Many are afraid that this change will increase the number of divorce filings in the state (New York currently has one of the lower divorce filing rates in America) creating a new type of divorce boom. What will this to to the children of the state?
It is not just New York. All over the world, laws have become more relaxed, allowing couples, even in traditional families to end marriages that are no longer working for the adults. This suggests that a new divorce boom is on the horizon. A global divorce boom. It’s hard to opine whether this is good or bad. But if the past American divorce boom is any prediction, one can arguably already conclude what the fate of children around the world will be.