Mental Health Issues of Adolescents after Parents Divorce

Aim of study: Divorce is the process of terminating a marriage. Mental health in divorce are taken as social stigma which people don‘t want to discuss especially in city like Bahawalpur and remain disconnected with the society. These children are bullied in their schools due to absence of their parent. The purpose of this study is to check mental health issues of adolescents after parental divorce.

Method: This study was conducted from March 2019 to September 2019 at Bahawalpur. It is cross sectional descriptive study. Data collected by door to door movement and face to face interviews by modified questionnaire. A total of 202 adolescents kids whose parents were divorced were examined. Data analysis done through descriptive statistics and frequency distribution.

Results: Out of 202 patient, the frequency and percentage distribution of depression, 88(44.0%) were normal , 72 (36.0%) were mild, and 38(19.0%) were moderate and 2(1.0%) were severe. Frequency of anxiety, 31(15.5%), 33 (16.5%) were mild, 108(54.0%) were moderate and 4(2.0%) were severe. Frequency and percentage distribution of stress, in which 180(90.0%) were normal, 18 (9.0%) were mild, 1(0.5%) were moderate and1(0.5%) were severe.

Conclusion: The results of this study shows high level of stress and anxiety in adolescents from divorced parents as compared to depression with frequency of adopted positive and negative coping skills.

Keywords: Divorce, adolescent, mental health, depression, stress, anxiety, positive coping skills and negative coping skills

Received: July’2020                        Accepted: Sep’2020


A divorce is a lawful activity to end the marriage, resulting in a miserable frustration particularly amongst children. In fact, separation is a multifaceted process of conjugal conflict, mostly related to poor psychological behaviour to divorce which results in elevated level of family stress and causes high level of conflicts between single mother and adolescent kids. Prospective study shows that family bond got disturbed and stress have adverse effect on the child and parent relationship with financial difficulties. When children experience parental division before age five, they are particularly unprotected and search for closeness elsewhere. Statistics show immature age, sexual orientation or ethnicity which may add a contributing factor to deterioration of family dynamics. Division of property is another legal issue of division of property rights and commitments. Early studies found that maternal work was connected to increasingly successive and serious clash amongst the parents. If partition occurs in children (12-15 years of ages), they will react by and large in various ways or by attempting to speed up in adolescence. Early sexual development or abuse of compromising behavior are bound to happen following a divorce.

The results of this study shows high level of
stress and anxiety in adolescent kids of divorce
parents as compared to depression with frequency
of adopted positive and negative coping


In the United States rising divorce rates were seen during 1960s, 1970s and in 1992 it was assumed that about half of all marriages would end in a divorce. Recent statistics from Norway implied that almost every second marriage (47.8%) will end in divorce and the guardians are extremely worried about the impacts like mental health, emotional and behavioral adjustment on the kids. To enjoy balance life activities it is important to achieve psychological resilience. According to WHO mental health includes “subjective well-being, self-efficacy, autonomy, competence intellectual and emotional potential coping with normal stresses of life. Normally, 10–20% of young people experience emotional illness, which remain un-diagnosed and undertreated. Depression and anxiety are the result of misery as experienced in parental divorce to the tune of 4.6% to 20.8% and from 10.5% to 28.8% respectively. It is more typical in ladies than men at puberty in the form of low confidence, sentiments of insufficiency, absence of enthusiasm, low vitality, and memory issues, trouble working at school and the office with passionate issues to sexual adjustment and rebellious issues. Indications of stress issue are feelings of apprehension, frenzy, unease, muscle snugness, dry mouth, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet, sweaty or cold hands or feet, rapid or unpredictable heartbeat. Children who witness divorce have a higher incidence of depression and social withdrawal. Anxiety issues are the most widely recognized in young in the range of 3.5% and 23.9%, about twice in females starting before the age of 25 years and less normal after the age of 55. Generalized anxiety disorder GAD, personality and emotional disorder with dietary problems. Struggle between separating guardians have more tendency to rebuff the miserable youngsters, resulting in aggression, violent behavior and criminal mind. The stress of divorce damages the parent children up to 40%. Similarly, separation from mothers have specific discipline issues in Bahawalpur. The utilization of drugs like tobacco, liquor and cannabis are extra concerns. With watching of films to release the mental pressure. In 2016 in a study conducted in 130 nations, 5.6% of 15–year old children had utilized cannabis, smoking with suicidal tendency which is the third driving reason for death in young people (15– 19 years). About 90% of the world’s youths live in low salaried nations and juvenile suicides are more common amongst them. Our study is highly significant because mental health is main issue of our society. Normally, parents are first sight of love and teacher and home is first learning place or a school. But in divorcing parents these children lack the trust and confidence hence their behavior toward the society become wearied due to depression, stress and anxiety and may involve in criminal acts, especially the mothers are seen more concerned about their daughters for their future marital problems. We enlisted 740 patients in our study suffering from depression and anxiety (18-65 years), 59% males and 41% females, out of them 44 participated in the investigation. The prevalence of adolescents with substantial distress and anxiety symptoms were 14% as compared to non distressed and non divorced parents and 30% among those with divorced and distressed parents. Long term effects of anxiety and depression were stronger among girls than among boys. 120 guardians (60 separated and 60 wedded) were taken as sample for this investigation. We made a comparative study of their age, gender, livings arrangements, economic position of the family, health related and behavior issues were also analyzed. According to results, the predominance of different results varied as per the family structure. Behavior issues were discussed amongst kids and young people especially in single-parent families or step-families or nuclear family units, after adjusting for age, sexual orientation. Rremarriage was increasingly troublesome for the young ladies and the stability of the longterm adjustment of boys and girls differed, with externalizing being more stable in boys and internalizing more stable in girls. In fact, children in divorced families encountered more negative life changes than children in non- divorced families. British youngsters (10,438) were surveyed utilizing the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA), evaluated that 2.1% of youngsters suffer anxiety and attention deficient/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suicidal ideation and depression. Approximately 1 out of 10 youngsters were anxiety prone to treatment at the ages of 17-18 up to 25 years in a New Zealand, during the Christchurch Health Study of 635 males, 630 females. The individuals who experienced parental separate n had a higher danger of depression. Young people between the ages of 14-19 years (Mean = 15.73 years), from either sex from Chile showed 400 teenagers stress, depression, anxiety, self-destructive musings and use of liquor in 56.6% of females and 41.4% of the males.


A cross sectional random study of 202 participants which dealing with the mental health issues of adolescents children of divorced families in Bahawalpur for six month duration. The data was collected from selected participants. Data was collected after face to face interview through a self- prepared questionnaire. We grouped depression, stress and anxiety into normal, mild, moderate and severe. We grouped into positive and negative coping skills which they have adopted after parental separation to survive. Questionnaire contained depression, stress and anxiety. Sample size was calculated by using standard formula at prevalence of 50% and confidence interval of 95% and probability of 0.05%. The calculated sample size is 202. The formula for sample size is zp(1-p)/d

Inclusion criteria: The adolescent children of divorced families and separated parents.

Exclusion criteria: Families and adolescent children who refuse to participate and not available during study period. The data was analyzed using statistical package of social sciences version 23. independent variables are age, gender, education, job, residence and dependent variables were depression, stress, anxiety and positive and negative coping skills were measured in frequency and percentages. The study design was presented to Institutional board of review (IBR), bio-ethics committee approval for the study was obtained. Study was non-invasive and did not touch any ethical barriers and social norms.


Data of 202 subjects was obtained with the help of a questionnaire. Data analyzed with SPSS using descriptive statics. The results showed that out of 202 participants 116 (58%) are males and 84 (42%) are females. 161(80.5%) had their urban residence and 39 participants (19.5%) had their rural residence. This low percentage may be due to difficult assess to rural areas. 117(58.5%) participants were literate (having education more than 10 years) and 83 (41.5%) participants are illiterate (having education less than 10 years). Out of 202 partipents 122 (61%) are above 15 to 20 years of age, 78 individual (39%) are between 20 to 25 years of age, 51(25.5%) were employed and 149 (74.5%) were unemployed. Frequency and percentage distribution of depression, in which 88(44.0%) were normal and 72 (36.0%) were mild and 38(19.0%) were moderate and 2(1.0%) were severely affected. Frequency and percentage distribution of anxiety, in which 31(15.5%) were normal and 33 (16.5%) we mild and 108(54.0%) were moderate and 4(2.0%) were severely involved. Frequency and percentage distribution of stress, in which 180(90.0%) were normal and 18 (9.0%) were mild and 1(0.5%) were moderate and (0.5%) were severe. Frequency and percentage distribution of time spend with friends, in which 171(85.5%) replied yes and 29 (14.5%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of exercise, in which 150(75.0%) replied yes and 49(24.5%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of writing dairy, in which 125(62.5%) replied yes and 75(37.5%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of sleep less than 6 hours, in which 127(63.5%) replied yes and 72(36.0%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of sleep more than 8 hours, in which 112(56%) replied yes and 87(43.5%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of watching movies, in which 156(78.0%) replied yes and 44(22.0%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of harm yourself, in which 65(32.5%) replied yes and 135(67.5%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of ever try unsafe sex, in which 39(19.5%) replied yes and 160(80.0%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of ever try to suicide, in which 56(28.0%) replied yes and 144(72.0%) replied no. Frequency and percentage distribution of ever tried any drug, in which 42(21.0%) replied yes and 158(79.0%) replied no.

Chi square test shows p value is < 0.05 which is significant for anxiety in children.


This study was carried out on 202 adolescents on mental health issues after parental divorce in Bahawalpur. We visited them to get information after face to face interview. The aim of this investigation was to check their emotional issues after divorce.5. 1,4 Out of these participants, 99 were from joint parents and 103 from divorced parents, out of 99 participants only one was normal and 96 were abnormal. 3 participants were missing. 2,3 Healthy well-being only exists in mentally and socially useful individuals. (Ghaderi et al., 2018).6 Yet, with regards to looking for proficient wellbeing, individuals look for the help expertly advice but feel ashamed to discuss as the social supportive network oppose them for doing so. In Pakistani individuals are reckoned as pagal or zehni mareez (crazy) with shame. Moreover, it gives explanation that the psychiatrist will give them prescriptions which they will ultimately get dependent of.7,8 The separation procedure entails loss of information, skills and money related issues of the parents (Anon, 2019). Wolchik et al. guarantees that contrasted with youngsters of un-separated from separated guardians, have a higher danger of creating mental issues, to drop out of school or may get pregnant (Anon, 2019). 9,10,11 A researcher from Kuwait, among 4467 checked the closeness of youth and misuse them. There is an unequivocal association between youngster parental separation, at the point when guardians separate, kids go into new living way of life with separated parents, as indicated by the legal counsellors and the courts.12. Youngsters invest the majority of their energy with one parent and just constrained relation with the other (Anon, 2019). This part gives an assessment of current investigation on psychological wellness issues of young people in Bahawalpur. We also noticed that due to separation depression, stress and anxiety occurs in adolescence and this partition costs a load of damages.14. Because of social taboos they are not prepared for personal meetings to resolve the children’s difficulties. If unresolved, it will affect the state of mental health of unsound youngsters who are the real backbone of a nation. They are rather bullied and harassed by the society which needs future research.15.16 Cross-social investigations in Japan and the United States have shown self-destructive thoughts. A meta-analysis of 72 investigations showed that parental separation has a solid impact on the adolescent reprobate acts. Boys from separated families displayed more hazardous conduct than young men from intact families especially in highclash family units, and display more serious damaging conduct than the kids of wedded pairs. British youngsters (10,438) were surveyed utilizing the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) program, 2.1% of youngsters suffer anxiety and attention deficient/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suicidal ideation and depression. Approximately 1 out of 10 youngsters are anxiety prone to treatment at the ages of 17-18 years.


It shows that there is a definite effect of parent divorce on anxiety level of children, and chi square test shows p value is < 0.05 which is insignificant. Frequency of watching movies, unsafe sex, suicidal tendency, usage of drugs were positive with embracing attitude and positive or negative coping skills to get adjusted in the environments. Recommendations: Government ought to make orphans’ asylum or open establishments for the care of such divorced parents to ethically help them, not to be socially shamed of their lives and should manage their emotional issues in order to prevent such youngsters, may not get trapped in any criminal act. Moreover, Society ought to counsel the act of separation and to pacify and redress such reasons for the benefit of the future generation.


Mental Health Issues of Adolescents After Parents Separation
Gender: Male/Female
Job Description.
Address: City

Note: Please read each statement and circle a number 0, 1, 2 or 3 which indicates how much the statement is related to you. The rating scale is as follows:

0 Did not apply to me at all
1 Applied to me to some degree, or some time
2 Applied to me to a considerable degree
3 Applied to me very much

1 (s)I found it hard to co-relate. 0 1 2 3

2 (a) I was aware of dryness of my mouth. 0 1 2 3

3 (d) I couldn’t place any positive feeling at all. 0 1 23

4 (a) I experienced breathing difficulty (e.g. excessively rapid).0 1 2 3
(Breathing or breathlessness in the absence of physical exertion)

5 (d) I found it difficult to work up the initiative to do things. 0 1 23

6 (s) I tended to over-react to situations. 0 1 2 3

7 (a) I experienced trembling (e.g. in the hands). 0 12 3

8 (s) I felt that I was using a lot of nervous energy. 0 1 2 3

9 (a) I was worried about situations in which I might panic and make a fool of myself.0 1 2 3

10 (d) I felt that I had nothing to look forward to. 0 1 2 3

11 (s) I found myself getting agitated. 0 1 2 3

12 (s) I found it difficult to relax. 0 1 2 3

13 (d) I felt down-hearted and blue. 0 1 2 3

14 (s) I was intolerant of anything that kept me from getting on with what I was doing.0 1 2 3

15 (a) I felt I was close to panic. 0 1 2 3

16 (d) I was unable to become enthusiastic about anything. 0 1 2 3

17 (d) I felt I wasn’t worth much as a person. 0 1 2 3

18 (s) I felt that I was rather touchy. 0 1 2 3

19 (a) I was aware of the action of my heart in the absence of physical exertion (e.g. sense of heart rate increase, heart missing a beat).0 1 2 3

20 (a) I felt scared without any good reason. 0 12 3

21 (d) I felt that life is meaningless. 0 12 3

Positive Coping skills

1.Do you spend time with friends? Yes No
2.Do you exercise? Yes No
3.Do you write dairy? Yes No
4.Do you you sleep less properly? Yes No
5.Do you watch movies? Yes No

Negative coping skills

1.Do you try to harm yourself? Yes No
2. Do you ever try unsafe sex? Yes No
3. Do you ever try to suicide? Yes No
4. Do you ever try any drugs? Yes No
(alcohol, cannabis, sedatives etc.)

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13. (2019). [online] Available at: https://

14. Britannica/Divorcewikisource, the free online libraryAvailabl

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