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Psycology Of Divorce Essay, Research Paper

Many people are quick to make accusations why the children of this age are doomed. Recently, with the high school shootings, people are pointing fingers to determine what has caused the recent outbreak of “youth violence.” It doesn’t seem like that youth violence has happened to this extent at any age throughout the history of the United States. Why is there this increase in violence? People are looking at what has been the biggest change in the United States in the past fifty years. Most people would agree that the answer is technology. If technology has been the greatest change in the United States, it must be at the root of the change towards heightened youth violence. It seems feasible. Much of the technology has brought along aspects of violence. Turn on the TV or pop in the best selling video game title, and it is not difficult to see why people have this impression. However, I strongly disagree that violence on the screen is at the root of youth violence. One aspect of this theory that I feel is particularly disturbing is that people think video games are responsible for violence in youths. I have grown up with video games my whole life. I annihilate over a million aliens, monsters, and green slimy things every year. Yet, I have never felt compelled to commit any act of violence that I see on the screen. What is on the screen stays on the screen. I have known that from the very beginning. My parents taught me at an early age that what is on the screen is for fun, and it is not to be done off the screen. Video games actually act as a release. If there is trouble in the home or problems in school, one has the opportunity to play a video game to displace anger; much like beating up a pillow. “‘But such claims (why video games cause violence) are bases on more on popular wisdom than any scientific evidence,’ said Jenne Funk, a clinical psychiatry professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio. ‘Scientifically we don’t have a lot of studies at this point on the subject. It takes, I believe, a child who is already troubled,’ she said.” (Associated Press) Depictions of increasingly graphic violence in video games have raised concerns about the affects of such games on their users. Opponents assert that such gratuitous violence leads to violent behavior in the children. Let us say that for an instant the video games actually do cause out breaks of violence in children. Then tell me what is the difference between playing video games in the 1990’s and playing Cowboys and Indians in the 1920’s? On Dateline this week, there was a story on an experiment that had taken place. This experiment involved preschoolers who were placed in a room unattended filled with toys including toy guns that looked identically like real guns. It turned out that all of the children gravitated towards the guns, but the most interesting results had to do with a particular child. One of the preschoolers was being raised in an environment where he was told everyday of his life that guns were wrong. That also means he was not exposed to TV violence or video game violence. Even if this particular child would turn to a station that had violence of any type, he would quickly change the channel because he knew that guns and violence were wrong. Strangely, this child only took ten minutes to pick up the pretend guns and open fire on his play partner. Some parents have decided to go as far as to not let children have toy guns. This seems like a responsible attitude at first glance. If guns cause violence sheltering a child from guns will prevent them from ever using one, right? Well, first of all, your children will resent their parent for this there entire childhood for doing this. Second of all, you are really not sheltering them from guns. Children are inventive and resourceful; they have not developed functional fixedness like adults have. If they are not given guns, they will make there own guns using sticks, cardboard, paper towel roles, or whatever is available. If you allow your children to have toy guns and teach them to act responsibly, consequently, they will know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to violence. I would like to explain my theory of this increased “youth violence.” If TV and video games are not corrupting children’s minds then what is? I intend to try and wrestle with the idea that children are being corrupted from another source. My Grandparents just celebrated their sixtieth anniversary. They led a very difficult life. They were forced to move to Chicago because the dust bowl had completely destroyed their family’s farm. My grandpa went to World War II and left my grandma with a very young child. Albeit their life was difficult, they seem to have led a pretty simple life. My Grandpa worked at Johnson & Johnson working machinery and my grandma took care of three kids and worked part time as well as volunteered. They went to church ever Sunday and always had a mouth full of gossip. They defiantly had their rough times, but never once did they think about splitting up. When my grandpa retired my grandma took care of him and cooked meals and did the laundry. My grandma always told us how he was just dead weight (half-kidding and half-serious). It was very difficult for my grandpa to do things; he had a very severe case of arthritis. However, something unexpected happened one year. My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She gradually began to fade away from reality over a period of four years. Eventually she took on an almost vegetable like state. It was a very hard time for my whole family. We all thought that my grandma and grandpa should go to a retirement home. My uncle actually wanted them to move in with him. My grandpa wouldn’t hear of it. He wouldn’t even discuss it. He felt that it was his obligation to take care of his wife just as she took care of him when he was ill. He did all the laundry, cooking, and cleaning. He even mowed the 2-acre lawn with a push mower at 87 years old! It was just amazing to watch the man who had been a factory worker all his life become a man that could do any household task. He still treated her if she was normal and he would ask, “Do you like two spoons of sugar in your coffee or one?” He would never get a response. He was with her the whole time, even when they laid her in her grave. Now that is true love. What are the chances that a couple married in their early twenties would make it even twenty years these days? The chances are slim to none. If a relationship begins to hit rocky ground, people almost always go the quick way out. That usually means divorce. Four of my cousins over the age of thirty have had relationships that ended in divorce. Three of those couples had children. My cousin of five years told excitedly told his classmates at show-and-tell that he gets two houses now, he didn’t even know what was happening to him. Now his full time mother has become a full time mother plus a full time worker, which poses many obstacles for the family. She is very lucky that she has a loving family that will help take care of the kids, and help her out in anyway possible.

Other people are not so lucky. So why are people getting divorced so much in this time period? Economists have found, for example, that as women’s incomes rise in a country, the divorce rate rises, too. It seems that when most women have low incomes, few feel that they can afford to divorce. When many women make enough to barely survive on independently, more bail out of marriages that make them miserable. The current trend, and the trend required if women are to achieve economic equality, is for women to greatly increase their incomes. That may increase the divorce rate. However, during the 1980’s, when women’s average earnings were rising considerably in the United States, divorce rates leveled off. Clearly, many other factors influence divorces rates. If people spent as much time as they do on their jobs than they did on their marriage there would be far less divorces. It takes time and hard work for marriages to work. I don’t think that we will ever know why divorce rates have jumped so considerably over these past few decades. (Apostolic.net) However, everyone is effected by divorce, even children that do not have divorced parents themselves. The biggest problem about divorce is the effect on the children of the couple that is getting the divorce. Divorce hurts children! It is the collapse of a God intended design, the family nucleus. Children can get robbed of a special experience and protection called “Family.” They move on in their lives as individuals without the understanding of what familial security and bond is. They look out into the world and wonder why it has dealt them a cruel card in life. “Why me? Why can’t it be Tim, the big bully? Surely he deserves it more than I do?!” Children from divorced families often feel rejected. The feeling that the two closest people in the world have abandoned one often leaves scars that are difficult to heal. The child is left to try to understand why these two people cannot stay together and may even personalize the blame because they feel that they are not good enough to bring them back together. When seen through the eyes of a child, divorce takes on a different perspective. Imagine yourself as a seven-year-old child. You have realized that mom and dad fight a lot, but you have always assumed that is just the way families are and things will work out. You haven’t given any serious thought to the possibility they will divorce. One night your parents sit down with you and you can tell things are tense. Your dad tells you that things haven’t been going well with mom and dad and he is going to move out and they will be filing for a divorce. He assures you he loves you very much and will be seeing you on a regular basis. He tells you not to worry because everything will be O.K. If you are like most children you will have such feelings as confusion, hurt, anger, rejection, betrayal, sadness, fear, difficulties with trust, self-deprecation, feeling unlovable, and self-blame. Because feelings drive behavior, you can expect some major changes in behavior in a child who is developing and sorting through these feelings. They have just been betrayed by the two people that meant the to the child. Think of what that can do to a developing child’s mind. Divorcing causes problems in children that would normally not be problems in a normal marriage. For instance, manipulative children will capitalize on divorce very quickly. These are the children who would play one parent against the other to get what they want. If mommy says “no” to a new pair of in-line skates, never mind; let’s ask daddy instead. If I am not allowed to watch too much television, I’ll just spend more time in the other parent’s place because that parent treats me much better. Parents often fall into this trap, as they feel responsible for what they have put their children through and would try to compensate for it to reduce or absolve their own guilt. What’s more, they are also achieving the goal of being the better parent. This confirms to them that their ex-spouse was difficult to live with, not realizing, of course, they are playing into the child’s trap. Experience has shown that divorce often includes a variety of conflicts between spouses that can continue well beyond the legal divorce. When parental conflict is present, children are adversely affected and may suffer for long periods of time. Children of divorced parents do not get the benefit of being “parented” as much as a child with a “normal” set of parents. Therefore, children unfortunately do not get as much supervision and care as normal chidden. This means that they probably will not have as many rules and regulations. However, with the added freedom come responsibility, and many young children need adults to supervise them, which doesn’t happen as much with a single parent. Children at a young age are told to make their own dinner, get themselves ready for school, get their homework done, and bring home good grades. Children need the added push at a young age to realize the importance of learning and growing. If they don’t have the “push” it is only natural for them to do what they like (which usually doesn’t include their homework). Children from divorced families feel rejected. The feeling that the two closest people in the world have abandoned them. Often times they may even personalize the blame because they feel that they are not good enough to bring them back together. When seen through the only way for a child to ever have hope of reaching its full potential. Even though I consider myself very liberal, I would give anything to go back to the day when marriage actually meant something. I am not the world’s authority on what causes children to lash out and cause destruction. However, I do know that if a child is brought up in a safe loving environment with two parents that love and care for the child, the child will become a loving and caring person. State senates are creating new laws to prevent violence in video games. (PR Newswire) I think that they need to address the real cause.

So you can get a taste for the actual “trend” of divorce: 1900 – 1 out of every 12 marriages ended in divorce 1920 – 1 out of every 7 marriages ended in divorce 1950 – 1 out of every 5 marriages ended in divorce 1990 – More than half of all marriages end in divorce. 2000’s-? (crystalcathedral.org)

Works sited: “PA State Sen. Introduces Ledgeslation Addressing Video Game Violence.” PR Newswire. 1999 http://web4.searchbank.com/itw/ses 994/29919627w3/3!xrn_1_0_A54497102.

“Divorce.” http://www.apostolic.net/sgm/divorce.htm.

“Divorce Trend.” http://crystalcathedral.org/html/divorce.html.

“Do Video Games Trigger Violence?” The Associated Press. 7 may. 1999. http://www.aol.com/mynews/news/story.adp/ cat=010706&id=1999050701549744

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