Student ministers, leaders, and volunteers should: 1.Read a book or attend a stepfamily conference to more fully understand stepfamily dynamics.This fact alone should give policymakers and those whose careers focus on children reason to pause.But the social science research also is showing that the effects of divorce continue into adulthood and affect the next generation of children as well.But the ambivalent stepfamily identity can make matters even more confusing. The initial loss that ended a child’s family (out-of-wedlock birth, death of a parent, or parental divorce) and the ensuing losses that resulted (change of residence, schools, loss of contact with parent and extended family, etc.) repeatedly bring emotional costs to adolescents. “My mom and dad still fight all the time and my stepmom treats me like I’m second class compared to her kids.
By doing this, stepparents will take advantage of fun, bonding experiences with stepchildren.The irony of this for stepparents is that when it comes time to push the bird out of the nest, it can feel like defeat. But often stepparents secretly long for the day when the child begins to regularly refer to them with that term of endearment.“I’ve worked so hard to bond with this kid,” a stepmom shared, “it feels weird to let her go.” Yes, it can. If that doesn’t happen after a number of years—sometimes coinciding with adolescence—some stepparents emotionally withdraw with hurt feelings.The Effects of Divorce on America This article is adapted from a June 5, 2000 article published by the Heritage Patrick F.Fagan and Robert Rector American society may have erased the stigma that once accompanied divorce, but it can no longer ignore its massive effects.
As social scientists track successive generations of American children whose parents have ended their marriages, the data are leading even some of the once-staunchest supporters of divorce to conclude that divorce is hurting American society and devastating the lives of children.