The Children of Divorce

Sociology / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper looks at Judith Harris’ book, `The Nurture Assumption,` which deals with the affects of divorce on children.

The author challenges the thesis presented by Judith Harris, in her book `The Nurture Assumption,` that divorce does not have a long-term affect on children. The author first reviews Ms. Harris’ book, and then, using research by other people in the field, such as Judith Wallerstein, refutes her theories on children and divorce. Some of the topics discussed include the parent-child relationship, family structure, economic affects of divorce and single-parent families.
“Harris holds the view that living in a nice neighborhood the children of single parents do as much better as other kids. Children of single parents are no more likely to drop out of school or get pregnant than the children of two-parent households, she writes, as long as they stay in the same middle-class neighborhoods. Wallerstein and her co-authors do not agree. The authors write: “Although many people no longer believe the myth that children always benefit from a divorce that makes parents happier, it continues to exert subtle, unconscious influences on how we think about divorce and our reactions to it. It has encouraged parents to expect that their children will approve their decision.” According to the authors this attitude makes it easy for divorced parents to concentrate of their search for new lovers and jobs devoting less time to their children and not properly preparing them for the effects of divorce. The children pay the price.”


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