Written by Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse
Elizabeth Marquardt, an affiliate scholar with the Institute for American Values and author of Between Two Worlds surveyed 1500 people ages eighteen to thirty-five and found that the one-million American children every year whose parents divorced experience inner conflict, they “inhabit a more difficult emotional landscape than those in intact families.”
One comment was particularly poignant, Ms. Marquardt wrote, “Children of divorce feel less protected by their parents, and they’re much less likely to go to their parents for comfort when they are young, or for emotional support when they are older.”
Judith Wallerstein noted that often children of divorce lingered longer in the adolescent stage before embracing adulthood than children in married-couple families; they tended to be less socially competent and were more worried, underachieving, and self-deprecating adults.
While children with married parents generally feel “emotionally safe,” Andrew Cherlin, a family demographer at Johns Hopkins University, said that even those with very successful lives as adults carry “the residual trauma of their parents’ breakup.”