A recent 2016 study of suicide risk from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 24% increase in suicides in the United States over the 15-year period between 1999 and 2014, including a tripling of the suicide rate for females 10-14, this in a culture that posits that all family structures are the same. Research on the children of divorce provides overwhelming evidence to disprove the myth that divorce does not harm children. In fact, the divorce epidemic has contributed to the serious and growing psychopathology in American youth. One example is the 2010 study of American adolescent psychopathology published in 2010: 49 percent of the 10,000 teenagers studied met the criteria for one psychiatric disorder and 40 percent met the criteria for two disorders.
Research by Penn State sociologist Paul Amato (2005) on the long-term damage to children from divorce demonstrated that, if the United States enjoyed the same level of family stability as it did in 1960, the nation would have 70,000 fewer suicide attempts in youth every year, about 600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy and 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency.
A 2011 study demonstrated the suicide risk in those whose parents divorced before they were 18. Of the 695 participants that had experienced parental divorce before the age of eighteen, men from divorced families had more than three times the increased risk of suicidal ideation in comparison to men whose parents had not divorced. Adult daughters of divorce had an 83 percent higher risk of suicidal ideation than their female peers who had not experienced parental divorce.
· the profound loneliness and hopelessness that can develop when a youth does not experience the love of a father and a mother and their love for each other and
· when an adult lacks spousal love;
· the epidemic of selfishness/narcissism leading young females and adults to be treated as sexual objects and not as persons;
· being born into and living in unstable cohabiting unions;
· the retreat from marriage;
· a materialistic mentality;
· the severe epidemic of substance abuse disorders, particularly heroin;
· the absence of the Faith which can provide comfort and hope during difficulty emotional and financial crises.
Many young females no longer believe in romance and dreams of a faithful, loving husband and home with the little children who will be born. In view of this sad reality, a young girl could be tempted to think about why one should live if there is nothing to dream of, idealize and look forward to. (To be continued…)