Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Julia Wrigley

Subject Categories

Child Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Social Psychology and Interaction


Maritial dissolution, family, children of divorce, behavioral, academic and psychological effects


According to a statistical study (Cherlin et al. 1991) 40% of children who live in the United States will experience parental divorce before they reach the age of 18. Consequently, many children are affected by the process of divorce and its finalization. When my daughter was just nine years old, she asked incredulously why my husband and I were the only married couple in our neighborhood? After twenty-two years of marriage, I realized long-term marriages in my community are not conventional. When parents’ divorce, children often face the loss of one parent's constant presence and economic stability; as a result, stress may take a tremendous toll on the children. Although independently these consequences are consequential, they do not address the child's academic and social life, or their perspective on what a healthy relationship may resemble. Further, a child’s age may play a significant role in divorce. Research suggests that while older children tend to suffer when parents’ divorce, younger children, in most cases, suffer more. In this thesis, I will examine the short and long-term adjustments of children who go through their parents’ divorce and the specific behavioral problems that may come with the dissolution of their parents’ marriage.