Effects of Divorce

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The society might have basically deleted the stigma that had accompanied the issue of divorce in the past but essentially it can never ignore the massive impact of divorce. Divorce is basically hurting the society and essentially devastating the lives of the children (Cathi, 2010).The effects of divorce are actually obvious in educational attainments, emotional and physical health, job stability, crime and drug use (Patrick &Robert, 2000). Effects of divorce have since continued up to adulthood and will basically affect even the next generation (Patrick, 1999). Divorce generally portrays more diverse effects than good. The following story is hence of a divorced Nigerian family who left their home to come to Australia; the effects of divorce and the social and cultural factors on their health.

Case study

The family came from Nigeria and had been in Australia for roughly three years. Clara got divorced after seven eight years of abuse. Few months after the wedding, he changed drastically and was no longer nice to her. He grew critical and sad most of the time and threw things at her, yelled and insulted her. There was a time that the younger daughter was molested by the husband’s daughter and the husband chose not to undertake any legal action. During this time they already had four children and she had always wanted to leave the man in vain. Divorce changed her dramatically and had adverse effects on the children. It had reached a point where the man was entertaining other women in the presence of the children.

The divorce was so crappy that it cost her even her profession as she was making a living through telling people how they ought to run their entire lives since she was a psychologist. The reason she had to go to Australia as an illegal alien was to make a living in a place where she was less known and forget all the past scandals.

Divorce has adverse effects on people’s health as it leads to some cardiovascular catastrophe (Gary, 2006). People’s who are over 40 years are more subjected to cardiovascular risks and psychological problems. Both women and men also do suffer mental health problems for prolonged periods. After any cancer diagnosis, married people might recover but the divorced are less likely to actually recover because of the emotional trauma (Amy, 2001). Children from divorced families do have problems adjusting in the new arrangements of the family.

According to the article on Australian government, Australia is actually a culturally diverse society that is usually tolerant and is made of people who come from diverse backgrounds.  Children do live in divergent forms and the common pattern is that they do live mostly with the mother and have less contact with the father. Children are hence forced to make some new alterations that they were not ready for and most of the children do suffer a lot after divorce and end up feeling confused (David et al, 2010).

Children who experience divorce in their families does score lower as far as education, social development, self concept, emotional well being and physical health is concerned (David et al, 2010).

Divorced families who are poor face financial problems and as they move to other new places in search for healthier pastures do face problems to do with cultural shock. They have first to adjust to the new places, learn their language, culture and other social factors to enable them fit in. They then have to look for a job in a place they know no one and make sure they are taking care of the children who are psychologically affected.

These parents hardly have enough time for all this and when they get a job that is time consuming, they never have time for their children.

Brofenbrenner’s model and the case study

Children adjust according to the mesosystem layer and develop their behavioural characteristics. They connect with what is around them for example, the neighbours, teachers, parents and the church. In this case study, the first born connected with the neighbours and peers who were also drug addicts as well as with the parent who was too stressed and hence withdrew from them. The workplace schedule of Clara acted as the exosystem layer where the children ended up not interacting and functioning directly. The children felt the negative force of the workplace and their communication breakdown with their mother. The macro system did not offer concrete answer to the growing problems as it never gave the resources that were needed to help Clara be a responsible parent and raise the children as expected. This hence affected Clara’s perspective and thus led to stress because of their inability to be responsible as she watched her children suffer in a new environment.

As the children grow older they might be in a position to reform as they will understand the current problem with much ease. This is in the chronosystem level where they basically react differently to some of the environmental changes and be in a position to determine on how the changes will actually have influence on them. Bronfenbrenner’s ecology theory does state that as children develop, interactions in the environment become harder thus the environment in which the children are brought up in play a major role in enhancing development. For parents to be in a position to help their children, they must realize that they are deficient thus need help. When relationships in immediate Micro-systems end up breaking down, children are usually deprived and have no any tools to actually explore the environment.

They hence start looking for affirmation in all the wrong places. Parents and teachers need to provide long term and stable relationships to the children. Divorce is never a tremendous thing. Couples at one point or another do always get in war tugs over children, assets and property. In cases where children grow to be rebellious is because others who are in the surrounding have already made them to be like that (Bill, 1996). Clara did not see the need to go through that and though it would take lot of time thus she had to move which wasn’t easy. The ecological system theory does look at the children’s development in relationship systems that do form their environment (John, 2001).

The Microsystems layer which is usually close to children and does encompass relationships that children have with their surroundings for example school, family, neighbourhood and others. Clara’s children became aloof and always complained of the new environment. They had no friends thus were lonely most of the time. What they had already learnt in school, they had difficulties remembering it.  The older child became more arrogant and started using drugs as he got some bad influence from the neighbourhood. Bi- directional influences occurred because the mother also got completely carried away by the whole scenario that it led to depression and most of the time she was in and out of the hospital. She could not even afford private hospitals and she could wait for long cues to get medication. The children could no longer communicate effectively with the mother as she worked for long hours and the children always looked distracted.

They were not accessed to quality health care due to the fact that they were new in the place and were too embarrassed by their current problems to seek for help. The main barriers to quality health care are lack of information, access problems and language barrier (Abouzahr & Vlassoff, 1996). Basically in the past years and what has led to breakdown of most marriages is that family unit has basically been outmoded and has declined as far as stability and the loss of the authority of the parents are concerned (Aspin, 1997).


Role of the health profession

Divorce is not easy and health practitioners need to be consulted during this period. I will help them to remain focused, work on the recent problem, counsel the children to be able to move on with life, help them deal with emotional and psychological challenges that do come up after divorce. As a health professional I would assist the family to first accept reality and learn how to raise her self esteem. The children ought to go for counselling services where they will be subjected to positive means of handling their life.  Clara’s children need to be counselled on the normative divorce process and let them know that despite everything, they are not alone and offer living examples of families who are divorced and do live a healthy life.

Other resources I may need

Other resources that I may need are finance due to the fact that this is a poor family and before you get into therapy, they need to be catered for in form of food supply and finance to cater for the needs of the children. As a health professional I ought to be aware of the sociological model  that do place more emphasis on sociological, environmental and social causes of an illness rather than just focusing on the aspect of biology. There is a need to focus on the beliefs, values and cultural affiliations of the patients and not just focus on medicine and counseling.

 Community Resources

Most of the states require the parents to fill in the parent educational program to increase the understanding of the issues that the children might go through after divorce. This is one of the resources that is present in my community and that might be of help to Clara. The educational program teaches the parents on how to manage their conflicts, how to avoid mistreating the children and how to maintain the positive relationships with all the children.

Clara needs to consult ‘Beyond blue’ which is a national depression initiative that does deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, community training in times of disaster and the postnatal depressions. There is also CSA, which is a child supporting agency in Australia that she ought to contact. It does register children, support financially and offer information to the parents on supporting children issues. These are an effective resource within her surrounding that she should use to help her in her current predicament.

There is also a program like Child Centered solutions that is dedicated to protect children in the divorced families as well as custody cases. The other is divorce care for kids (DC4K) which usually helps reduce as well as eliminate the long and short term negative impacts of divorce on children..

In order to offer assistance to children who are affected by divorce to continue with school, there is a children’s foundation program waiting list. Given that in my community there are no many people and lawyers are quite many, the waiting list is not so long thus it is possible to get a lawyer who will represent Clara in court in order to get some personal items from the divorce. He can also consider visiting a psychologist or a psychiatrist to book an appointment. She can book an appointment with a psychologist by emailing, Nadeem Esmail nadeem.esmail@fraserininstitute.org. The resources are usually available but in case of any inconvenience, she should not give up. She should fill for do it yourself forms that are available online in case she has no access of a lawyer.


There ought to be a primary relationship on children with people who can offer a caring sense and fostered by people who are within immediate child’s sphere.  Teachers and parents should work in support of creating environs that does nurture family (Yukti, N.d). They can do this as they come to the realization of Bronfenbrenner’s ideal of creating a policy that does ease and reduce family and work conflicts (Yukti, N.d). We should foster the societal attitudes that do value the work that is done as far as children are concerned and lobby for economical and political policies that do support the role of the parent in the development of the children (David, 1996).