Resilience and Divorce

¿Does divorce of the parents promote resilience in their children?

 Resilience is a trait related to everybody. It is usually developed after a traumatic experience, but there are also people who develop a higher sense of resilience without having had any trauma in the past. This difference when developing resilience could be due to inherited personality characteristics, or it could be learned in childhood and adolescence.


    Divorce has been studied exhaustively in order to measure its consequences for both parents and children. Because the establishment of the new situation is not in the child’s control, they undergo a great amount of stress and they even feel shocked by the new circumstances. Divorce is not a single event, but a series of changes in the child’s lives which need to be adjusted to. Parents play a crucial role in promoting child adjustment. They influence the child’s emotional development and adjustment, and they are responsible for most of the risk factor involved in divorce. Although they are influential in the child’s recovery, most of the factors are not in their control. The children’s adjustment is crucial in order to develop resilience, since the children need to have a stable emotional condition. Resilience definition process, which entails experiencing a stressful event and being able to overcome it, fits in divorce development. Children become, not only more experienced in life situations, but also more knowledgeable and mature.

    Although there is not enough clear evidence that divorce promotes resilience, it is clear that resilience is present in divorce. Divorce is a stressful event that is overcome by most of the children that have to endure it. In order to overcome a stressful event, resilience must be developed, and once resilience is experienced, it is present throughout one’s lifetime.  Divorce fits in the resilience parameters: stressor and the ability to overcome it. Even though theoretical studies support the hypothesis that children become more resilient after undergoing divorce, there is no study that addresses this issue specifically. Further investigation must be carried out in order to see the resilience outcome from divorce.