Adolescence Adjustment to Divorce and Remarriage
The adolescence is a critical stage in human life that causes family ties redefinition and realignment. The relationship between parent and the child is changed during adolescent as the teenagers establish autonomy. The style of parenting and family type adjustment influences the adolescents. Studies report that approximately 50 percent of first marriages lead to divorce. In addition, the majority of the divorced partners chooses to remarry where they bring new children into their next unions (Gunnar and Andrew, 76). In this respect child factor in the step relationship increases the complexities of solving marriage problems.
Studies indicate that adolescents of divorced parents encounter more challenges in adjustment relative to the adolescent of intact families (Booth, Judy and Judith, 33). In addition, adolescents are more likely to become sexually active at an early stage of their lives in divorced families. Similarly, they are more depressed, less pro-social, more withdrawn, more anxious, and more aggressive and can easily abuse substances (Gunnar and Andrew, 88). Divorce threatens the normal development of an adolescent because it prevents the establishment of individuation. Teenagers are unable to develop towards separation and independence from parents because they view their parents as having separated from them (Bjorklund, and Carlos, 17). During this difficult moment, parents are pre-occupied with the problems in their lives and the adolescent may feel delegated. Moreover, adolescent feel that divorce has reduced their time of development.
Consequently, teenagers, discipline is likely to reduce due to insufficient parental support when making decision. Furthermore, adolescents perceive the parents as sexual beings that ultimately increase their concerns over marriage and sex (Booth, Judy and Judith, 39). They also encounter a sense of anger and loss, opposing loyalty toward both or one parent. Reports show that adolescents run away from home in favor of their friends (Gunnar and Andrew, 90). Similarly, some teenagers sense failure to adapt to a new marriage, which leads to early sexual activities and regressive behaviors.
Research suggests that the adolescent post- divorce adjustment after is a product of economic challenges custodial parents experience following divorce (Booth, Judy and Judith, 41). Losses of properties and good life following divorce adds life stresses such as relocating to areas prone to insecurity, attending low quality schools and loss of social and community supports. Custodial parents are forced to work for extra hours in order to earn additional income for basic requirements and payments of bills (Bjorklund, and Carlos, 18). Subsequently, parent increases high levels of stress that causes reduced parental support, nurturance and satisfactions towards the adolescents.
Gender also influences the susceptibility to the effects of divorce and remarriage. Boys adapt poorly to post-divorce as compared to girls. However, the problem of boys to adapt to life after divorce only occurs only if they live with unmarried mothers (Gunnar and Andrew, 94). Therefore, when an adolescent girl lives with custodial father or remarried family, they tend to have poor adjustment. Boys adjust betters as compared to the relative to when they are in mother-custody homes.
The majority of adolescent adjustment challenges happen in the first two weeks after their parent remarries or divorce (Booth, Judy and Judith, 42). In case the divorce occurred during the first childhood, some children show proper adjustment. However, they encounter recurrence of challenges when they live reach teen age. The studies note that during the time of divorce, the behavior problems are common, but vanishes as time passes (Gunnar and Andrew, 95). Some children will ultimately adapt to the life transition and have limited long-term negative effects.
Bjorklund, David F, and Carlos Hernández Blasi. Child & Adolescent Development. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Booth, Alan, Judy Dunn, and Judith F Dunn. Stepfamilies. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014. Print.
Gunnar, Megan R, and W. Andrew Collins. Development During The Transition To Adolescence. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013. Print.