The divorce rate in the United States is currently half the rate of marriages. Whether this rate will continue is not known. Millions of American children have already experienced their parents' divorce and millions more are likely to share the experience in the future. This makes divorce a problem that frequently appears in a pediatrician's patient population. Most children of divorce will experience it at the least as a potent transient stress that disrupts virtually all aspects of their lives. Many will accommodate to their new life circumstances successfully, but a substantial percentage will suffer long-term negative effects. Many of the problems of these children and their families can be anticipated, prevented, or alleviated by thoughtful and timely intervention. The pediatrician can be helpful by serving as the child's advocate, offering anticipatory guidance, helping the family weather the turmoil of the acute stage, screening for maladjustment or maladaptive behavior of children and parents, providing counseling, and referring the children and family for more specialized mental health input when indicated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health