Family Conflict More Harmful Than Divorce
Posted on Feb 25, 2010 9:00am PST
Ruth Bettelheim, a psychotherapist, marriage and family counselor, and
author, wrote an article in which she claims divorce isn't what's
damaging to children-family conflict is. Bettelheim points out that multiple
studies have shown that divorce and re-marriage do not harm a child's
emotional or psychological well-being. What's most damaging to children
is being exposed to parental or family conflict.
Bettelheim points to a study by E. Mavis Hetherington that found on all
meaningful measures of success-social, economic, intellectual, and psychological-that
adult children from divorced families were no worse off than children
whose parents are still married. In her study, Hetherington writes that
although adult children might look back at their parents' divorce
as a painful or sad experience, they were still able to achieve success
in young adulthood-finding a job, establishing a career, getting married,
building a solid life, etc.
So what needs to change? Bettelheim says we need work on eliminating a
legal system that breeds conflict. When the parties in a divorce or custody
battle are pitted against each other, it's not a healthy environment
for the children. Bettelheim says that children exposed to family conflict
may suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or have difficulty
forming meaningful relationships.
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When it comes down to it, Bettelheim is suggesting that parents need to
make a better effort to resolve their cases without conflict.
For more information about the benefits of an
uncontested divorce, contact a Jacksonville divorce lawyer at Hutchinson Law today!