Family The importance of having a strong family life is very crucial to a developing child. This is the base unit of life needed to structure a child’s future. So what is the difference between a broken family, having no family, a religious family with high standards for the children, and an abusive or rather uncaring family? There are several differences that distinguish each child’s future characteristics. The way they are treated at home will certainly influence their life a tremendous amount. Children might be influenced by outside sources as well, throwing off any exact personality types seen in some situations, but for the most part, home life determines a child’s personality. The first family type discussed will be the broken family. I have witnessed several families breaking and am a part of one. At the young age of eight years old my parents decided to get divorced and did so a couple more times. The mental effects a divorce has on children is not understood by parents. The family is the most important part of life to a child and the image of family was changed dramatically in my case. It affects so many people worldwide every single day. A study was done by the American Psychological Association and they concluded, “…about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce.” This statistic shows that nearly half of all American marriages end up in divorce. So many people experience this, but what the statistic fails to show is how it affects the children. Another study done by Robert E. Emery P.H.D. states, “…divorce clearly increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. Troubled children are particularly likely to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations. School achievement also can suffer. Other children become sad for prolonged periods of time. They may become depressed, anxious, or become perhaps overly responsible kids who end up caring for their parents instead of getting cared for by them.” This is proof that divorce negatively affects children. On the flipside of that, what effect does a religious family with high standards do to the children? Does it cause them to rebel, follow in the parents footstep or expectations? I’ve known several people who have been the sons and daughters of bishops in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the LDS Church. These kids are expected to be worthy at all times of their childhood, serve full time missions, and excel in almost every other category to please their parents. I’ve seen some live up to these standards completely, and others, not so much. Some completely rebel and want nothing to do with the church or the standards that they are expected to live up to. This is not the family’s fault, it is simply environmental factors that play in that come from outside sources. How does an abusive family affect children? The Joyful Heart Foundation listed things that children who have suffered abuse may struggle with: “Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, withdrawn, dissociation, difficulty with making and maintaining relationships, experiences flashbacks, hypervigilant, persistent fear.” All this on top of “Weakened brain development” can cause a child to have lifelong problems. These children are not able to fend for themselves and struggle to do what many of us consider normal. Children like these deserve better. In conclusion, not all family types bring about a negative atmosphere and cause children to suffer from all sorts of different afflictions. The ones discussed here were mainly ones that brought about a different side of things than people are used to seeing. Children are affected in so many ways over the course of their lives from something that happened in their youth. The developmental issues that occur are far from what any study shows. These children do not deserve this and are affected every day.