Family is one of the major topics in Ielts Writing Task 2. Your job is to write at least 250 words about different aspects on this topic. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to widen your knowledge about family-related issues as soon as possible. Below is the abstract of the article “10 Negative Effects Of Divorce On Children And Ways To Mitigate Them” written by Rohit Garoo on July 10th, 2018. The abstract only mentions the first part of the article – 10 negative effects of divorce on children.

10 Negative Effects Of Divorce On Children And Ways To Mitigate Them

Ielts Writing Task 2 Family - Negative effects of divorce on children
10-Negative-Effects-Of-Divorce-On-Children (Source: Shutterstock)

Things didn’t go right with Sam and Bob. After making repeated attempts to save their marriage for the sake of their two children, they decided to part ways. But the couple was worried about the future of their children, and how their decision to divorce would impact the little souls.

Divorce is the most difficult phase of a married couple’s life. As adults, they might eventually get over the tough period, but children become a collateral casualty. Their minds are tender and can slip into a state of shock on seeing parents split forever.

The adverse effects of divorce can be long-lasting on children and may impact their own relationships. Studies have shown that in the US, the daughters of divorced parents have a 60% higher divorce rate than those of non-divorced parents. The number is 35% for sons.

In this post, MomJunction explains the ordeal children go through when their parents get divorced.

The Short-Term Effects Of Divorce On Children

Children who witness a divorce could be disturbed by the thought of not seeing their parents together again. Following are some of the immediate short-term effects of divorce on children:

1. Anxiety

The aftermath of a divorce causes the child to become tense, nervous, and anxious. Young children are more prone to it than the older ones since they are heavily dependent on both the parents. An anxious child will find it difficult to concentrate on his studies and may lose interest in activities that he once found enticing.

2. Constant stress

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, many children falsely consider themselves the reason behind their parents’ divorce and assume the responsibility to mend the relationship (2). This can lead to immense stress and pressure on the young mind, which can have several repercussions like negative thoughts and nightmares.

3. Mood swings and irritability

Young children may suffer from mood swings and become irritable even when interacting with familiar people. Some children will go into a withdrawal mode, where they stop talking to anyone and shut themselves away. The child will become quiet and prefer spending time alone.

4. Intense sadness

Acute sadness rushes through the heart and mind of the child. Nothing feels good in life, and the child may eventually plunge into depression, which is a long-term manifestation of this sadness.

5. Disillusion and distress

Children of divorce may feel hopeless and disillusioned because they do not have the comprehensive emotional support from their parents. This situation can become worse if the child is looked after by a single parent with no access to the other parent.

Short-term effects of divorce can hamper a child’s psychological and physiological growth, which can have a long-term impact.

Long-Term Effects Of Divorce On Children

Things can get rough for a child, who sees his parents bicker and separate. Their minds are still plastic that is they can easily get affected by the events happening around them. Following are the long-term effects of divorce on children:

6. Behavioral and social problems

A child is at a greater risk of developing violent and antisocial behavior when the parents divorce. He or she may lose temper at the drop of a hat and show no hesitation assaulting someone. In the long run, it may lead to the development of a criminal mindset, especially during the adolescent years. Studies show that most children of divorce display the characteristic traits of aggression and disobedience with varying degree of intensity. Extreme cases of these conditions make the child a social misfit.

7. Trouble with relationships

When children grow seeing a marriage fail, they develop doubts about love and harmony in a relationship. They have trust issues and find it challenging to resolve conflicts in a relationship. Such children, as adults, will start any relationship with a negative mindset.

8. Prone to substance abuse

Drugs and alcohol become the avenues for adolescents to vent out their frustration and anxiety. Research has shown a higher incidence of substance abuse in teens whose parents are divorced (4). Of course, there are other factors like the care provided by the single parent, which determine the adolescent’s tendency to have drugs. However, the probability of an adolescent succumbing to the temptation is considerably high. Long-term substance abuse has damaging effects on the well-being of the child.

9. Depression

The feeling of anguish and heartbreak caused by parents’ divorce can make a child slip into depression. Depression is a mental health problem, and children who witness divorce have a higher incidence of depression and social withdrawal. Researchers note that divorce can be a contributing factor in cases of bipolar disorder observed in children (5).

10. Poor education and socio-economic position

The adverse psychological effects of divorce diminish a child’s interest in education. Children who experience the divorce of their parents show a drastic drop in their school grades (6). It can significantly impede a child’s ability to learn at school and college. A stunted progress in education hampers career prospects of the child as an adult, which make it difficult to have a decent socio-economic status.
Divorce can take a toll on the children’s mental and physical health, but sometimes, separated parents are far better than quarreling parents. Don’t be surprised.



No. Word Word class Transcription English meaning Example
1 irritability n BrE /ˌɪrɪtəˈbɪləti/ ; NAmE /ˌɪrɪtəˈbɪləti/ the tendency to get annoyed easily Lack of vitamin B in the diet causes irritability.
2 hamper v BrE /ˈhæmpə(r)/ ; NAmE /ˈhæmpər/ hamper somebody/something to prevent somebody from easily doing or achieving something Our efforts were severely hampered by a lack of money.
3 bicker v BrE /ˈbɪkə(r)/ ; NAmE /ˈbɪkər/ bicker (about/over something) to argue about things that are not important The children are always bickering about something or other.
4 plastic adj BrE /ˈplæstɪk/ ; NAmE /ˈplæstɪk/ soft enough to be changed into a new shape This metal is plastic at high temperatures.
5 social misfit n BrE /ˈsəʊʃl ˈmɪsfɪt/ ;

NAmE /ˈsoʊʃl ˈmɪsfɪt/

a person who does not conform to others’ views of what is normal or acceptable in society On the other hand, an intentional social misfit could refer to a loner who does not believe he or she should go along with cultural norms.
6 frustration n BrE /frʌˈstreɪʃn/ ; NAmE /frʌˈstreɪʃn/ the feeling of being annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want, or something that makes you feel like this Dave thumped the table in frustration.
7 prone adj BrE /prəʊn/ ; NAmE /proʊn/ likely to suffer from something or to do something bad Working without a break makes you more prone to error.
8 anguish n BrE /ˈæŋɡwɪʃ/ ; NAmE /ˈæŋɡwɪʃ/ severe pain, mental suffering or unhappiness He groaned in anguish.
9 social withdrawal BrE /ˈsəʊʃl wɪðˈdrɔːəl/ or /ˈsəʊʃl wɪθˈdrɔːəl/ ; NAmE /ˈsoʊʃl wɪðˈdrɔːəl/ or /ˈsoʊʃl wɪθˈdrɔːəl/ Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy. Some Veterans show signs of social withdrawal or social isolation while transitioning from military to civilian life or during other major life changes.
10 bipolar disorder n BrE /ˌbaɪˈpəʊlə dɪsɔːdə(r)/ ; NAmE /ˌbaɪˈpoʊlər dɪsɔːrdər/ a mental illness causing somebody to change suddenly from being extremely depressed to being extremely happy There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels.



  1. Collinsdictionary
  2. Liveabout
  4. Oxfordlearnersdictionaries 
  5. Dictionary.cambridge 
  6. Makethconnection

In the article, the negative effects of divorce on children are classified into 2 categories: The Short-Term Effects Of Divorce On Children and Long-Term Effects Of Divorce On Children. These 2 key ideas are then carefully analyzed.

The ideas of the article are summarized and illustrated in the diagram below:

IELTS writing task 2 family

Diagram 1. 10 negative effects of divorce on children

It is definitely crucial for you to explore various issues relating to the topic “Family”, because it will help you not only to prepare for the IELTS Writing Task 2, but also to understand better about your own family. Divorce is a hot topic with innumerable burning questions that need to be answered. Some of its serious consequences have been mentioned in the article above. Hopefully, they will be useful for your preparation for IELTS Writing Task 2.


Now, it’s time for you to practice. You should spend 40 minutes to complete the task below.

Divorce is now one of the most serious modern issues. What are the primary causes and effects of divorce?

Write at least 250 words.