Loading
New study reveals spiritual effects of divorce on children

.- A new book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, chronicles a three year study which found, among other things, that many children of divorced parents experience a profound lack of trust in God and faith in the Church. Elizabeth Marquardt of the Institute for American Values and Professor Norval Glenn of the University of Texas at Austin co-directed the study, which was funded by the Lilly Endowment.

Noting the divorce rate which has skyrocketed in the U.S. over recent decades, Marquardt and Glenn interviewed 70 young adults face-to-face, and compiled telephone surveys of 1,500 young adults--half of whom were raised in divorced families and half from intact families.

The findings were surprising. They report that young people from divorced families “experience a loss of trust that affects their belief in God—making them overall much less religious than their peers from intact families,” although for some, the experience dramatically strengthened their faith.

In addition, many of the young people raised with divorce “often say the church failed them. Of those children of divorce who were regular [attendees] at a place of worship, two-thirds say that no one from the clergy or congregation reached out when their families broke up.”

As a result, a greater percentage of children of divorce claim to be “religious” or attend church than their two-parent counterparts.

Children of divorce are also “much less likely to say their mother and father taught them how to pray and prayed with them – and are much more likely to say they doubt the sincerity of their parents’ religious beliefs, do not share their parents’ values, and to say there are things their parents have done that they find hard to forgive.”

Perhaps most strikingly, the pair found that many “feel pain and loss evoked by the idea of God as a father or parent.”

Marquardt and Glenn cited one child of divorce, who said “when she prayed as a child she thought of it as a letter to God. She exclaimed, ‘But then you kind of wonder about it ’cause they never answer. So that made me wonder—well, I wrote to him. I didn’t get a letter back. That sounds like Dad!’

The study however, was not all negative. Marquardt and Glenn further found that for many of these children, the experience actually strengthened their faith, which gave them something to hang on to.

In fact, thirty-eight percent of young people from divorced families (compared to 22 percent from intact families), say, “I think of God as the loving father or parent I never had in real life.”

Despite this, the authors conclude that there is no such thing as a “good divorce”, and encourage greater compassion toward both the divorced couple and their children. 

The book is now available through Crown Publishers for $24.95.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Aug
20

Liturgical Calendar

August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Gospel
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 34: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 20: 1-16

Saint of the Day

St. Bernard de Clairvaux »

Saint
Date
08/18/14
08/17/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Homily
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: