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Stoeckmann 1

Kaitie Stoeckmann

ENG 1201

Professor Loudermilk

17 January 2019

Research Proposal

When I was 7 years old, my parents sat my siblings and I down and told us they were

getting a divorce, we were selling the house, and we were moving to a totally new city. This was

a lot to handle at such a young age, and I did not really understand what was happening. All I

knew was that mom had a house, dad had a house, and we would be going back and forth

between the two.

I wanted to choose a topic that was personal to me and one that I had some sort of

attachment to. I’m deciding to research about how having divorced parents influences the mental

health of the children. Growing up with divorced parents, it became my new normal. It was a

normal thing to go to my dad’s house on Tuesday nights and every other weekend. It was

something I never thought twice about, because it was normal for me.

I think this is an important topic to research, especially in the minds of adolescents. I

want to focus the age group I research about to be adolescents because that’s such a strong

developmental stage. I think that having divorced parents can create low self-esteem in

teenagers, causing their mental health to go on a downwards spiral. I believe this topic is

important for parents as well as children of divorce. It can give parents insight about what to look

for and the signs of mental disorders, as well as how to go about talking to their child about it.
Stoeckmann 2

As a child of divorced parents, I already know that it’s important that parents of divorce

talk to their children to get a sense of what they are feeling about the situation and if they have

anything they want to talk about or be concerned about. A teenager’s mental health is already

compromised because being a teenager is stressful, especially today. I would still like to

understand more about the mental health of children whose parents got divorced when they were

teenagers, and if that has more of an impact than if they were in elementary school.

I am interested as to what the most common mental disorder is among teenagers who

have divorced parents. I am also interested if being an only child with divorced parents have a

greater effect in their mental health than a child with siblings going through the same thing.