Spotlight 1- Memory

As college students, our lives revolve around learning and memory. I am always on the lookout for new study tips and the most effective ways to study for certain courses. Study tips are never in short supply either. They can be found all over the internet, blog pages, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Just like most other things, not everything we read about study tips on the internet is true.

A few years ago, The Huffington Post published an article called “9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students”. Many good tips were included in the article such as the use of flashcards. Flashcards are a great tool since they allow you to practice retrieving information. They also make it very easy to interleave content. By shuffling the flashcards, the material can be studied out of order. This allows the student to practice recalling the material with fewer retrieval cues such as the word right before it or its location within the chapter. Another good tip was to take multiple tests. This is great since it allows the student to learn and practice in a method similar to the real exam. This is part of the context effect which explains that we can better remember things in an environment similar to where we learned the material. This then leads to another tip that was given. The article stated that it is best to “alternate study spaces”. This may not be the best idea because of the context effect. If possible, it is best to study in the place where the exam will be taken or in a space similar to the classroom.

A second article I read was targeted towards high school students. This article also contained useful advice. One of the tips was concentration. It talked about staying focused in class and paying close attention to what is being taught. I though tis was very interesting because this is a very true and helpful tip that is not usually discussed. Our sensory memory allows us to take in information about our surroundings. This information, however, only lasts about a second if it is not used. Therefore, attention will determine what comes out of our sensory memory and into our working memory. If the student is paying attention to his or her phone and only faintly listening to the teacher, then he or she will most likely not retain the material. Another slightly unusual tip was given which was making flashcards using colored index cards. I’m not sure exactly how much this would help. The colors may stimulate the brain but the studies regarding this would have to be looked at since no evidence was provided in the article.

The third article I read was targeted towards parents. Since it is best that the students do their own work without their parents doing it for them, most of the tips revolved around creating a good study environment for the student and helping them get organized. One of the tips was to help the child create a plan to split up large projects or multiple homework assignments. This is a good tip since distributed practice is a great method for effortful encoding. By studying material in smaller chunks the material can be properly organized. Studying a small amount daily will also strengthen the connections in the brain. Another tip was to set up a “homework-friendly area” where the child can complete their work without any distractions around them. This goes back to attention discussed in the previous article and how attention determines what makes it into our working memory.

Overall, all of the articles I read had a lot very good tips, many of which I saw in all three articles. I think it is important to check the credibility of a source when investigating study tips. Also, each person has different preferences and organizes things differently so study methods should be tested since a method that works for one person may not work for all. It is best to test what works best for you personally and as long as study habits are established and proper time management skills are exercised, the student will be very likely to succeed.


9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students. (2011, May 25). Retrieved April 2, 2017, from The Huffington Post:

Gabor, E. J. (2015, January). Top 10 Homework Tips. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from KidsHealth:

WISE Study Tips Top 10 Skills for High-School Students. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2017, from Auburn University:


Children of Divorce


Throughout the years, the amount of divorces in the U.S. has seemed to increase significantly.  This has led parents to question whether or not divorce is the best option for their family in the long run.  Divorce is not something that only affects the two people involved, but it can dramatically change the lives of their children, as well.  As this question of whether or not divorce is the best decision for children of bickering parents began to surface, many people reacted by assuming the worst.  Rumors began to spread that the children of divorced parents were worse off than if their parents had stayed together.

As I researched this topic, I found very different opinions on how divorce affects kids and, especially, how parents should handle their dilemma.  I first stumbled upon the rumored negative affects that divorce seems to have on children, while reading “How Divorce Affects Children” by Dr. Robert Emery.  He presented four points on how divorce impacts children and what parents can do to help their children through this difficult time.  First, he addressed that in almost every situation, divorce is a stressful time for both the parents and the child/children.  He said that sometimes the parent-child relationships can become strained or contact can become lost between one of the parents and the child.  Dr. Emery presented the method of making the legal process go as smooth and stress-free as possible.  This will significantly help the child make the adjustment to this dramatic change in their life quicker and easier.  Dr. Emery also stated that divorce will often increase the risk of the child developing psychological and/or behavioral problems down the road, not to mention, a lack of motivation for school or other activities.  Children can sometimes become depressed, anxious or overly responsible; where they end up wanting to care for their parents, instead of letting their parents care for them.  Later in the article, Dr. Emery diseases the negative emotional impacts divorce can have on children and how it can still affect them in adulthood.  He refereed to a survey, done by himself and Lisa Laumann-Billings, in which college students who had experienced their parents divorce, as recent as three years ago, were asked to choose the description that represented their current emotional pain level from the divorce.  Although, she held less resentment/pain than others, almost all the students believed that their life would have been different if their parents had stayed together.  This does not necessarily mean it would have been a better life though, as we discuss this later.

In the second article I read, titled “The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents”, the negative impacts of divorce on children were given based on their particular age and Dr.Carl Pickhardt discussed how they might react in different ways to their parents’ separation.  He explained how a child’s world is very dependent on his/her parents or legal guardians.  Their social and everyday activities revolve around what the parent is doing or wants them to do.  An adolescent’s (or teen) life, however, is a more independent one and the circle of friends they form becomes a big part of their life along with their parents and other outside influences.  Dr. Pickhardt goes on to describe the different ways a child and an adolescent will react in a divorce.  For a younger child, seeing the love of their parents be broken by a legal document shakes their trust.  The child will often feel confused, as they visit each parent separately in different households.  This change in routine, can create a sense of instability and anxiousness within the child’s life, which will often lead to the child crying at bed time, breaking practiced toilet training, wetting the bed, and more frequent crying and tantrums.  Although, most of these anxieties will fade over time as the child adjusts to life with divorced parents, this process can still be very traumatic for the child stuck in the middle of a difficult separation.

In one of the Huffington posts, titled “7 Ways Divorce Affects Kids, According to the Kids Themselves” seven different responses were given from children (young and old) of parents who had gotten divorced in their life.  Many of the negative affects it had on the children, seemed to be either minor or temporary and the article focused on both the negative and somewhat positives that can come from a divorce.  Some of the children who were interviewed said when their parents first got divorced, it was a very hard experience for them.  They often wanted to blame their parents for putting them through this and for many, having to go back and forth between different houses was a hard concept to grasp and to get used to.  Although, the process of divorce can be a confusing and hurtful time for the kids, something good can come from it.  One girl said that although, it was distressing at first to see her parents divorce, she was happy to see them thrive afterwards.  She said her dad seemed more full of life and energy after the divorce and both parents were, overall, more content with their lives.  One person said that they were relieved once their parents finally got divorced, even though they (the child) had to wait until their early 20’s until it happened.

In another Huffington post, titled “Why a Good Divorce is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids” multiple points are given as to why getting a divorce and working out the issues of that situation is much better than putting your kids through a life of arguments, fighting, and emotional instability under one roof.  One of the points the article made was that even though, yes, divorce will be difficult for the children, it is much better than living in an aggressive, combative home, full of anger and resentment for most of their childhood.  Many parents stay together for the kids sake and will decide to divorce once the children are adults.  As the article points out, this may not be the best decision for the children’s sake.  When parents decide to divorce, they are an example to their children, in a positive way, showing them that they value personal happiness.  In this way, the children can learn from their parents’ actions that it is important to be happy in life, even though it might mean making hard desicions about their future.

In all four of these articles, it is shown that divorce is not an easy thing to go through as a family, especially the confused children in the middle of it all.  I believe, however, as the Huffington post articles suggest, that if the parents work together to make things go as smooth as possible for the child and for themselves, good can come from divorce.  In the end, the parents who had to make a hard decision about their futures, choose their own happiness, which doesn’t mean they will neglect their child’s happiness and well-being.  I believe that a family can make it through divorce and come out the other end (although separated) stronger and happier than ever.




Spotlight Blog 1 – Divorce

The amount of divorces in the United States is becoming more and more common in recent years. There has been many debates as to what the effects are on the children within the divorcee’s relationship. Some researchers and people claim that there is no effect on the children involved in the divorce, while others argue that there is a great impact on them. My viewpoint on the matter is that divorce does impact the children involved in some way, however, how much it impacts them depends on factors such as the child’s age, their relationship with their parents, how the divorce is handled/settled, how the parents later treat each other in the settlement, etc. Most people may view that divorce is overall bad for the child, yet they need to also take in consideration of how the child could perhaps be even more negatively affected by the unhappy/unhealthy relationship their parents have when together and if that relationship were to turn into something more toxic.

In the research article The Effects of Divorce on Children, it was presented that there is vast negative effects on children. The relationships within the family that the child had become broken, their emotional status is deflated into negativity, there is greater resentment towards the parents, their behavior and social skills become hostile, and they typically fall in their educational performances. This research article goes hand-in-hand with the scholarly journal “Social Justice, Spirituality, and Responsibility to Needs: The “Best Interests of the Child” in the Divorce Transition”. This particular journal was written to give the reader possibly new viewpoints of just how harsh divorce can impact a child’s spirit and what they view to be ‘social justice’. Within the journal, it is argued that divorce damages a child’s view of how their relationship with their parents are sacred, as well as the expectation that good and not harm will be bestowed upon them in life. Divorce, as explained, practically crushes the child’s spirit. Both of these articles share valid points within each, however it is not expected for every child to go through their parents divorcing in the same way. These are common consequences of divorce that children present after the fact, yet there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration that may explain why not all divorces are devastating on children, or are – at the least – not as bad.

In the two articles “Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce” and “An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children” are both coming from the standpoint that yes, there can and are negative effects of divorce on children; however, there are going to be certain children more effected than others, and how there are ways to prevent such a negative impact on the kids being put in the middle. It is states that

Children’s psychological reactions to their parents’ divorce vary in                                           degree dependent on three factors: (1) the quality of their                                                           relationship with each of their parents before the separation, (2) the                                       intensity and duration of the parental conflict, and (3) the parents’                                           ability to focus on the needs of children in their divorce (Corcoran).

This is an agreed statement within both articles, yet displayed in different ways. The article “An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children” gives ways that children can be dealt with during a divorce so that they may not be impacted as heavily. There are areas where a child is more likely to be effected in, however it also is a depending factor on how the adults in the situation react to their child’s behavior.

I think that all four articles have valid areas being brought to the reader’s attention, and should be considered when two adults are going through a divorce that have children. The psychological needs of a child is very important to be kept in check while going through a vulnerable stage of their lives, such as when their parents have decided to separate. Although there is debate of just how divorce impacts children, there is no doubt that there is some sort of mental change within the child. There has to be adjustments made when going through a divorce, for both adults and children involved. Both the negative and neutral resources give references to both sides fairly well. These resources were found both by using the Abell Library’s website, as well as the search engine Ebscohost.




Works Cited:

An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children. (2004, May). Retrieved March 31, 2017, from

Corcoran, K. O. (1997, June). Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from

Fagan, P. F., & Churchill, A. (2012). Marri Research. The Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from

Kruk, E. (2013). Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. Social Justice, Spirituality, and Responsibility to Needs: The “Best Interests of the Child” in the Divorce Transition. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from ebscohost.

Spotlight Blog- Memory

          In Campus Explorer’s tips for studying by college students, they recommend:

1.    Taking good notes

2.    Staying organized

3.    Unplugging from devices

4.    Not cramming at the last moment

5.    Do not over-study

6.    Finding the best environment to study

7.    Take breaks every once and a while

Taking good notes helps to focus attention on something important, which can help move the information from working memory to long term memory though encoding. Staying organized may also help to pay attention and encode as well as keep track of due dates. This tip mostly helps to ensure someone is studying over a longer period of time, rather than cramming at the very end. Someone is more likely to remember something if they use distributed or spaced practice by rehearsing the information multiple times over a long period of time. Tip number four, not cramming, goes along with this point. Unplugging from devices helps to focus attention on material rather than something else, and since the amount of attention someone pays something determines if they can later recall it, this would help transfer information to long term memory. Tip number five, which advises against over-studying, is not consistent with the principles of memory since understanding and remembering more than you need to can actually help recall information. According to elaboration, the more someone can elaborate or expand on the meaning of information or make it personally relevant, the easier it is for the person to remember it. Finding the best environment to study is by personal preference since people need different amounts of stimulation to focus and give attention to the information. Taking breaks does help studying because it allows someone to fully devote themselves and focus on the information while studying rather than only half focusing since you are also watching TV or looking at social media.

          In WISE study tips, they recommend the following to high school students:

1.    Have time management

2.    Have good study habits

3.    Set reasonable goals

4.    Concentrate

5.    Take good notes

6.    Compete assignments

7.    Review notes daily

8.    Stay organized

9.    Motivate

10.  Concentrate

Having good time management, good study habits, and reviewing notes daily is similar to what was previously discussed about spreading studying out to use distributed practice to your advantage. Setting reasonable goals and concentration both cause increased attention on information which helps to transfer information to long term memory. Taking good notes and completing assignments helps to reinforce information to make successful recall more likely. Staying organized increases the amount of distributed practice. Motivation and concentration both help increase the amount of attention given to information while studying and can increase the amount of study attempts.

          The Child Development Institute recommends to parents the following:

1.    Turn off the TV, but allow music if it works for the child

2.    Set rules during study time

3.    Designate areas of the home for studying or homework

4.    Keep a regular schedule

5.    Set time for homework and for breaks

6.    Stay organized

7.    Teach that you have to study and do homework, not just do homework

8.    Develop note-taking skills

9.    Have a dictionary available

10.  Help the child to have confidence for tests

11.  Watch for signs of frustration during homework

12.  Help with homework if it is productive

13.  Handle report cards by having reasonable expectations

Turing off the TV helps focus the child on studying, and music is okay if it is needed for the child to be stimulated. Setting rules, designating areas of the home for studying, keeping a regular schedule, and staying organized all help to make studying a part of a daily schedule to increase distributed practice. Setting time for homework and breaks helps to focus attention while studying and provide a reward for successful studying. Teaching that studying is critical to success and not just completing assignments helps to increase the amount of rehearsal of information, which helps encode the information into long term memory. Development of note-taking skills helps to give attention to the important points which helps to ease memory. Having a dictionary available is a helpful study tip that helps children stay engaged even if they don’t completely understand a word and have to help themselves learn to continue the task. Watching for frustration, helping with homework, and handling report cards properly are all great things for parents to do to help their kids succeed in school. These things all contribute to the Pygmalion effect, which stated that the more individual and positive attention a child receives, the more successful they will be on tests.


Spotlight post 2: Study tips

For this spotlight post we are asked to evaluate websites that provide study tips to middle school/high school students, college students, and parents of students. We are then asked to compare this information to what we know about memory and how it works. For this post, the article directed towards high schoolers and middle schoolers will be referred to as “website 1”, the article directed toward parents will be referred to as “website 2”, and the article directed at college students will be “website 3”. These numbers correspond to the numbers of the links in the “sources” section.

Website 1 provides ten tips to high school students on how to study more successfully. These tips are:

  1. Study alone
  2. Create your perfect study area
  3. Get it all out (referring to study materials as in “make sure you have all your books”)
  4. Turn your notes into flashcards
  5. Snack healthy while you study
  6. Narrow it down (focus on main ideas and important topics)
  7. Take a break
  8. Put yourself to the test (quiz yourself over the material)
  9. Get some sleep
  10. Study all semester long (don’t cram)

These tips all have their merits, but it is important to note for what reasons they have merits. Tips 1, 2, 3, and 5 have are important for keeping the studier focused, which is the first step towards long term memory. If you lose focus you won’t be able to move the information into short term memory, forget about long term memory. It seems odd that 5 would be categorized this way, but it is included to keep the energy up for the studier so they can focus without growing tired. These four tips are very basic memory tips. Tips 4 and 6 are focused towards organization of information, which is very important in transferring information into long term memory as we learned in Dr. MacFarlane’s mini lecture. It is easier to remember things that have a specific meaning to you, and organizing notes into an order that makes sense to you will aid in their recall later. Tip 7 is both to aid in focus, and to improve transfer of information into long term memory (this will be explained when we discuss the tenth tip). Tip 8 is very useful because it puts you in a similar situation to the exam. It forces recall of material and gets you thinking about possible questions that can be asked, and it makes you do something with the material rather than just hearing or reading the information. Having personal experience with material will improve your ability to store and recall it. Tip 9 is also important because sleeping, especially sleeping just after looking over material, helps to consolidate information and improve recall as is discussed in this article: over learning, memory, and sleep. Finally, tip 10 suggests spacing out of studying over a longer period of time, rather than just cramming the night before. This is one of the most important steps in creating long term memories as was discussed in lecture and the mini lecture. Spacing out practice is necessary for correct organization of material for easier recall.

Similar to website 1, website 2 provides ten tips to improve studying for exams. These ten tips are:

  1. Get organized
  2. Know the expectations
  3. Designate a study area
  4. Develop a study plan
  5. Think positively
  6. Create a study group
  7. Practice active listening
  8. Review test taking strategies
  9. Read actively
  10. Look to the future

Some of these will look very similar to those discussed above for website 1, however all of the tips given here are geared more towards improving the basic focus of those reading these tips, not for improving memory or recall. For that reason, this is very clearly directed at the parents of a younger audience. These tips are okay for a younger student, however for a student in later high school or college these tips will not help the student study as these tips should be automatic at that point. I would also like to point out that tip 6 can only work if the students do not get distracted. Study groups work best when the students understand the material but create questions for the others in the group to practice which simulates a testing situation.

Finally we arrive at website 3 which does not give a certain number of tips, but instead discusses many methods of improving your encoding and recall of the information. This website provides the best advice for studying from a memory standpoint as all of its tips are directly related to what we have learned about memory and how it works. For example it suggests that taking notes properly with no distractions is an important step, which is supported by what we have learned of attention and converting memories from sensory to working memory. It also discusses color coding and spreading out study times which are tips for organization, and as was mentioned above, organization is an important step in providing meaning for the information you are trying to learn. This website also discusses sleep and the importance of getting enough of it for proper memory formation and retrieval. Finally this website also points out that creating a pneumonic device to remember mundane information is very effective. This is because it chunks all the information together in a way that has systematic retrieval cues, which makes recall much easier later.

To conclude, website 2 just had very basic study tips that should be completely automatic for any serious student. Website 1 was one step above that, touching on a couple of memory recall and formation strategies, while website 3 had the best study tips for actual long term memory and command over the material.


  5. Comer, Ronald, and Elizabeth, Gould. Psychology Around Us, 2nd Edition. N.p.: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print. Pg273-292

Spotlight Post: The Effects of Divorce

Divorce can have both negative and positive effects on a child’s life. The high risks of divorce has a negative outcomes for both children and parents. In the first article I read, How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?  has really good information and reasons of negative effects that a divorce can bring to a child’s life. The negative effects on a child are that it can cause emotional trauma, suffer academically, become delinquents, and develop an influence of drug and alcohol use. Parents who divorce have to deal with the child’s resentment to the custodial and absent parent because the children believe there is only one family relationship and, that is the mom and dad being together. A psychologist named Judith Wallerstein followed up a group of children from the years 1970’s- 1990’s with interviews over 5,10,15, and 25 years after the divorce happen to see their development and the effects the divorce had impacted their lives. She learnt that, even after 25 years the kids that suffered from divorce, keep experiencing troubles in life with fear of loss, failure, and fear of change or fear of conflict.Due to these kinds of effects anxiety builds up through the years of childhood all the way into adulthood which can have negative effects in future relationships.

Kathleen O’ Connell Corcoran’s article, Psychological and The Emotional Aspects of Divorce explains, that child’s reactions towards the divorce is affected by how close the child was with either parent before the divorce, the intensity and the duration the conflict between the parents been going on, and the ability for the parents to focus on the needs of the child after the separation of the parents. The children who suffer from divorce may go through child neglect if one of the parents no longer cares about him or her and focuses only in the new family or the life of the parent has created after the separation of the original family.Young children don’t understand divorce as easy as older children who do understand what it troubling the family leading for the young child to question the absence of one parent.Children would feel guilt, denial, anxiety, stress, depression, abandonment, low self esteem, lack of information, and anger or hostility.Children can be resentful leading them to become full of hatred and be vulnerable to get into bad decisions.This article is the most credible I think since it explains and provides useful information to the reader about the effects of divorce on children and parents.It also explains the process that leads to divorce and the statistics of divorce.

In the article, Divorce and Kids: 5 ways Divorce benefits Kids, by Dr. Shoshana Bennett for your gives some points about the benefits for children when parents are divorced. Divorce can also have positive effects in a child’s life because all the tension between the parents is gone, meaning the child can relax without worrying about the parents conflicts. It can also lead to better relationships with parents because if the parents are happy then the kids can become happy for both of them instead of both parents trying to hurt each other. Children also get to experience both parents full attention since most of the times in a relationship one parent sometimes has more attention to the children than the other. Its also teaches the kids when parents divorce that is better to be in a healthier marriage than an unhealthy marriage.This article lacked more information about the benefits of divorce.In the article by Vickie Shemin, 4 Benefits Of Being A Child Of Divorce, shows that children can be fair minded, individual, high achievers, and emotionally intelligent. Children become more mature and learn to take responsibilities of their actions and wiser. The children learn to be more independent and learn from the mistakes that both parents made which helps them prevent those actions to happen again. I believe this article has some good points but can be controversial since not children feel these reasons lead to beneficial effects on divorce.

I believe children who are affected by divorce have more negative effects than positive effects because it leads to a low self esteem and causes more harm than good.The increase of divorce through the years can lead to problems in a child’s life causing trauma. It also affects the children’s way of living and future relationships.I believe that divorce for children is something serious and it can damage a kid’s living conditions.




spotlight post

In this spotlight post I found three different websites that offer study tips to students of various age groups. One website is targeted toward college students, another is targeted at adults, and the last is targeted toward middle school and high school students. I will compare the study tips offered by the websites to those we were taught in class and what we read in our psychology book.

The first website I found was an article written by the Huffington post. The article recommends nine different study habits for college students. These study tips are, alternate study spaces, having homework groups, using flashcards, taking tests, sleeping, don’t categorize yourself, go to class, don’t immerse yourself in one topic, and manage your time. Most of these tips are actually supported by our professor’s video lecture and our class textbook. Our professor’s video lecture does say to work in study groups, to use flashcards effectively, to make practice tests for ourselves, and to use distributed practice (studying multiple topics over a length of time). also our textbook does say that ” students who pull all-nighters…wind up working less efficiently and effectively than they would if they were to sleep the 8 or 9 hours they need” (Comer and Gould 213). However there is no support in our textbook or online lecture for, alternating study spaces, not categorizing yourself, going to class, and managing time. I will say though, that going to class and having good time management are extremely important for succeeding academically. I am not certain that alternating one’s study space or not categorizing one’s study habits are credible ways to improve study habits based off of the information we learned in class. Overall I would say that this website offers some good study habits, but not all of them seem valid.

The next website I found was a blog on a universities website called which has five study tips for adult learners. These tips are, use varied study materials, focus on time management, be well prepared and take notes, don’t procrastinate, and connect with learning resources. The first study habit of using various study methods is supported by our video lecture because using flashcards, studying in groups, or even making practice tests, all fall under the broad category of various study methods. Again time management is not necessarily supported by any evidence from our textbook or our class video lecture, but I still believe it is essential to manage time wisely for studying. Taking notes is crucial to being able to review the material, but using more than just one’s notes to study is what is recommended by our professor in our video lecture. Procrastination is definitely something to be avoided, as stated in our video lecture studying the material over a long period of time is much better than procrastinating and having to cram last minute. The last study habit, connecting with learning resources, is another way of saying study in groups and use tutoring services, which is supported by our professor’s video lecture. This website contains good study habits and seems to be supported with the material covered in our class.

lastly, I found a website that has six study tips for middle school and high school students. The tips are, find the right spot, set the mood, use time management, limit distractions, have a check list, and a check- in. There is not much evidence in our book or in the video lecture that supports finding certain locations and setting the mood to be helpful during studying. The only thing that is relative to that is the idea of context and retrieval which our book states that ” it is often easier to retrieve particular information when we return to the setting… in which we first encoded it” (Comer and Gould 286). while this is true, if encoding takes place in an are that is not similar to an exam setting, such as playing music in the background or laying in bed, then there is no benefit. I do believe, as I have said earlier, that time management is key to studying successfully, even though there is not much support of this in our textbook. Limiting distractions is also important for studying because, as stated in our text book, we cannot encode properly without attention and we cannot pay attention to anything if we are distracted. Having a check list can allow us to not forget things, which can help us remember what to study, but it does not play an active role in the process of studying. lastly, the author of this article mentions that checking in with a parent for help can be a good study habit. I would say that it would be better to study with groups of other students, and then if the students were to get stuck they should get a parent to help with the problem.



The Effects of Divorce

Over the years, divorce has not only increased in frequency, but has increased in acceptance throughout Western culture. Members born in earlier generations most likely do not need statistics to recognize the fact more marriages end in divorce today than they did decades ago. Perhaps this trend was initially a result of the modification of traditional gender roles which took place in the 20th century (I.e. the addition of more women to the workforce, the development of birth control, and even simply the incorporation of the 19th amendment). Although divorce primarily serves as a method for married couples to make changes which each individual hopes will promote future happiness, it also serves as an extremely heavy change in events for the children involved. In an article on the impact of divorce on children and adolescents, psychologist Carl Pickhardt claims “divorce tends to intensify the child’s dependence and it tends to accelerate the adolescent’s independence.” He claims children tend to experience a short-term, but anxious reaction to divorce as their worlds become filled with negative and even frightening ideas about what will happen in the future and if whether or not they are at some fault. His claims are quite reasonable, as divorce really does have a strong impact on any child of any age, causing them to mentally grow up real fast. Firsthand observation of divorce really symbolizes firsthand observation of life in the real world. This unexpected exposure to the negativities of the real world may be the reason why adolescents tend to exhibit aggressive and controlling behavior towards their own lives, as Pickhardt claims they do.

Although divorce is never an ideal resolution to marital conflict, I personally believe parents who retain their marriage for the sake of the kids promote a false sense of security and well-being. Children are impressionable, as they have not yet solidified their own foundation of happiness. In addition, children are most influenced by their parents. If a child observes an unhappy marriage despite their parents’ marital intactness and false claims of happiness, how will they know what a happy marriage really looks like? Furthermore,  an article published in Scientific American states that divorce really only affects most children in the short run, although these effects are quite negative and emotionally draining. This claim ties in with the claims made in Pickhardt’s article. The journal goes on to claim that children of divorce do well in the long run and cites studies which state it is actually the high levels of parental conflict which contribute to a child’s poor performance. I agree with this claim and the research which supports it. If a divorce truly allows each parent to live a happier life, then a more peaceful home environment is promoted. I also liked how the article offered suggestions which will allow the children to fare better after the divorce, such as suggesting that parents should consistently provide emotional warmth and comfort throughout the divorce, while minimizing conflict associated with the divorce (or at least minimize exposure to conflict). For the most part, I was in agreement with the article until I came upon the last line, which states: “most children bounce back and get through this situation with few if any battle scars.” While I do believe divorce results in more negative short-term effects which diminish with time, I do believe children of divorce always carry the battle scar of divorce with them, as symbolized by things such as the absence of a parent in the household. Much like a scar, a person will always possess the memories associated with a divorce and will live with the internal effects the divorce caused them (although they will diminish- like a scar).

One final thing to mention is the influence of divorce on self-esteem. A quasi experiment performed by undergraduate students at Indiana University South Bend revealed there to be no significant effects between parental marital status, gender, and adult self-esteem. It points out the important role the environment plays in child development and suggests divorce tends to disrupt a child’s developmental environment. One very plausible claim made is if the pre-divorce period is filled with conflict and fighting, a divorce will practically relieve the child’s self-esteem. While I do agree with the point which the study attempts to make, I think further studies should be conducted to determine an average rate at which these children regain their self-esteem. It would appear to me that while adding a divorce to conflict would resolve much tension and anger, it would only result in fearful thoughts made by the child, such as pondering if whether or not they are at fault for the divorce. Overall, I believe that like most impactful and traumatizing events, the evident effects of divorce diminish with time. That is not to say a person does not still retain the emotional effects and past memories associated with the divorce throughout their lifetime.


Works Cited:

Divorce- Spotlight Post

In the last few generations, divorce has become more normalized, which many will argue is hurting the family unit, which in turn hurts the children as well. Yes, divorce does hurt the kids at first, because many will think it’s their fault, or will feel like they aren’t loved by one or both parents. But, what many don’t consider is the fact that divorce can hurt kids more than the parents staying together; what decides how well off the children will be is how the divorce is handled by everyone involved.

If the divorce is done in an angry, bitter, drawn-out cloud of arguing and problems, then of course the children will be affected. In a paper written by Jann Gumbiner, this idea of a bad divorce is played out, but she argues that there is no idea of a good divorce; the problem with her argument is that the divorce described was a bad divorce in a time where divorce was still not normal, so had her situation been different, then maybe she would think different. Dr. Shoshana Bennett highlights the benefits of a good divorce in her article in the Huffington Post, where she points out many things, like shared custody and supportive relationships, neither of which Gumbiner had, which shows how a good divorce can change how the kids are affected by the divorce. Susan Pease Gadoua also argues in support of divorce, by saying that kids are resilient, and that it is important to test the waters to fully prepare the children for divorce.

There have been many studies done about this topic, but the one that argues in favor of the parents staying together the most was posted in Daily Mail. Going through the study, it seems like a good study, which actually shows how kids are affected, but what it doesn’t show is how the children act if the parents stay together. This comparison is important because it compares what would happen if the kids were allowed to stay in the darkness, versus they were given more room with the divorce.

Overall, it’s best to have a happy set of married parents, but life isn’t perfect, so if the marriage isn’t going great, it’s better to settle things amicably, and make sure the kids are happy, rather than to give a false sense of happiness to kids who know better.


Divorce: Spotlight Post #1


In the Article, Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids, the author, Rachael Rettner, discusses how children are better off with divorced parents than living with parents who fight often. She stated, “Constant exposure to their parents’ strife is likely what causes children’s future relationships to suffer”(Rettner). This sounds sensible because it is a known fact that children are impressionable. To see their parents exemplify volatile behavior can lead to future volatile behavior in their personal relationships. In a similar article titled, Divorce Doesn’t Harm Children – Parents Fighting Harms Child, the author, Susan Gadoua, expresses how staying married for the sake of the children does not benefit them at all. Gadoua asserts, “Children are resilient and when you are happy, they are much more likely to be happy”(Gadoua). While additionally stating, “Regardless of whether parents stay together or split, if there is fighting going on between them, the children will suffer”(Gadoua). I agree that any form of conflict coming from the parents will later affect the children. It does not matter if the parents choose to stay together or not, if conflicts continue to arise, the children will likely be harmed mentally and emotionally.

On the contrary, some researchers have argued that the separation of parents will hurt their children in the long-run. With divorce rates soaring in the United States, the number of potentially scarred children increases as well. In the short article, Divorce ‘permanently harms learning and affects their ability to make friends’, Jenny Hope, discusses one interesting finding that entails how children with divorced parents tend to struggle in the educational environment. She states, “By following 3,585 children from around the age of four — Children of divorce experience setbacks in maths test scores and show problems with interpersonal skills and internalizing behavior”(Hope). This is a reasonable finding because divorce forces children to deal with personal matters that can consume them to the point of losing interest in their academics. Children can also become so consumed with their feelings and no longer have the ability to be attentive in the educational/social setting. Additionally, the article, Divorce Hurts: Three Ways Divorce Harms Children, the author discusses how children need a sense of stability to feel comfortable with their everyday lives. Parents who divorce are interrupting the “routine” that children have and wish to stick to. Later in the article the author discusses how the loss of a parent leads to the loss of material things. By the parents splitting “the child may still feel a sense of loss because that parent is no longer present in the household” and children lose out on material things because “it costs more to operate two households than it costs to operate one”.

In my opinion, the divorce process should be depicted as a peaceful one. This is an emotionally challenging event in a child’s life and to see their parents in conflict, only adds to the trauma. If a married couple is unhappy with one another, they should split. Staying in a marriage for the sake of the children will not make the children turn out to be better individuals. Experiencing consistent conflict will cause them to have behavioral issues themselves later in life. What’s important is what’s being depicted in front of the children.


“Divorce Hurts: Three Ways Divorce Harms Children.” Meriwether & Tharp, LLC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Hope, Jenny. “Divorce ‘permanently Harms Learning and Affects Their Ability to Make Friends’.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 02 June 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Rettner, Rachael. “Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids.” LiveScience. Purch, 30 June 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Gadoua, Susan Pease. “Divorce Doesn’t Harm Children – Parents Fighting Harms Child.” Psychology Today. N.p., 15 Nov. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.