The Effects of Parental Separation on Children

Infants and young children, ages 0-7 years, are particularly vulnerable when faced with prolonged separation from one or both parents. This may be due to the absence of a primary caregiver at a time when biological and psychological needs require continuous caregiving. Parent-child separation may result from various situations such as the death of a parent, separation or divorce, military deployment, or parental incarceration. Most instances of separation involve a significant degree of restructuring in the home which may include, but is not limited to, adjustment in income, responsibilities, living arrangements, physical or mental duress, care giving relationships, or associated stigmas. Protecting the parent-child bond in the presence of disruptive life events is an important consideration to aid a child’s resiliency.

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