Family Portrait Essay

1019 words - 5 pages

Introduction
“Family Portrait” by Pink portrays a social problem that is unfortunately rampant in American society today; divorce. I chose this song because I am an adult child of divorce and this song helped me a lot during my parents' initial separation and subsequent divorce years later. I feel that this song gives a voice to children everywhere who are dealing with parental divorce and expressing thoughts and emotions that many children cannot express to their parents. Nowadays it is not uncommon to know one or even several people whose parents are divorced or whose own marriages have ended in divorce. Divorce has far reaching effects; not only for the couple but among the entire ...view middle of the document...

Social Problem
The main social problem identified in “Family Portrait” is divorce; especially the effect that divorce has on children. Among marriages in the United States, about 50% of them will end in divorce (Chyi 304). This includes 45% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages (Chyi 305). With such a high divorce rate, American children are faced with a substantial degree of familial instability. Since over half of second marriages also end in divorce, it stands to reason that many children of divorce are subjected to the upheaval of their family lives more than once. Divorce can have long-term psychosocial effects on children even long after they become adults (Chyi 305).
The family disruption caused by divorce can create significant adjustment problems in children, including depression (Shansky 76). In fact, one study showed that children of divorced parents are 50% more likely than those of married parents to show behavioral problems and delinquent behavior (Shansky 80). Research shows that, especially among boys, behavioral problems are caused by impaired parenting on behalf of the mother and less involvement with their father after divorce (Shansky 76). This same research suggests that behavioral problems among girls are associated more with conflict between the parents (Shansky 77).
In “Family Portrait,” Pink states that she “doesn’t want love to destroy me like it has done my family” (P!nk). Many children of divorce are never able to fully cope with the effects of their parents’ divorce, therefore impeding their ability to form healthy romantic relationships as adults.
People whose parents divorced when they were children are more likely to get a divorce than people whose parents remained married (Chyi 305). In Judith Wallerstein’s 25 year study of how divorce affects children into adulthood, forty percent of study participants never married (Chyi 304-5). This is especially true for women who identified with their mother’s emotions after the divorce (Chyi 304). These women watched their mothers suffering as children and have developed a fear of ending up...

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