One (or more) out of three marriages in the United States ends in divorce, involving numerous children. The result of a broken home by divorce may be similar to the death of the parent, affecting the emotional growth and development of children. Attention is focused here on the confusion in the parents and children, their projection and compensation for guilt feelings, retaliation by the use of the children, feelings of helplessness and magic in the children, their wishes to reunite the parents, the effects of relocation, and the influence of internal realignments on external realities. The initial emotional response is that of separation anxiety; following divorce finalization, there is a mourning reaction. The manifestation of these responses vary according to the child's age, sex, level of psychosexual development, previous history, and current arrangements. Some understanding and definite guidelines to visitation rights, parental dating, and remarriage are considered. If in spite of their own emotional upheaval the parents are alert to the child's anxiety or depression, they may be able to institute prophylactic measures. This requires parental cooperation which may be quite difficult. Here the advice and explanations of an informed and perceptive pediatrician may be of unique value.

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