Students of divorced parents can have difficulty adjusting

Divorce appears to be an uncommon event in Hopkinton but common around America.

The town has a divorce rate of 8 percent, according to Point2Homes, a real estate website, which can cause a turbulent home life for students. In America, the divorce rate is about 40-50 percent, according to the American Psychological Association. These often ugly legal battles result in children of divorced parents struggling academically.

Guidance counselors are often notified of changes in a student’s home life and agree that these changes often have an effect on students grades.

“Divorce certainly can cause problems with a student’s academics depending on age, it can affect their skills and abilities,”  guidance counselor Patrick O’Brien said.

Senior Taylor Velazquez has been a child of divorced parents for 11 years.

“It was hard at first with packing and switching houses, but now it isn’t too bad,” Velazquez said. “It was hard at first academically, but it was so long ago that it doesn’t affect me today.”  

Unfortunately, it is common for teenagers whose parents are getting divorced to turn to alcohol and drugs. Studies have shown that 14 percent of students admitted that they started drinking alcohol or drinking more heavily after the divorce. It also shows that 13 percent had admitted to experimenting. Those numbers could seem low but overall conjoin to be a total of 27 percent.

O’Brien said,“Unfortunately, we do not have a support group for students of divorced parents. We have had groups in the past for students who have lost a parent.”

O’Brien does not currently have statistics on students in HHS  who have turned to alcohol or drugs after parents divorced.

Some students chose to deal with a divorce differently.

“I coped with it by playing sports and doing well in school. I just chose to ignore it, ”   senior Natalie Shambo said.

Although HHS does not have support groups for students, they have large support groups such as guidance counselors and close friends.

Although some students parents at HHS are divorced, many are not.

“I do think It would negatively impact me academically if they were because that’s adding more stress and anxiety to worry about,” junior Reganne Murphy said.

  Even though kids whose parents aren’t divorced experience stress, it’s not like the stress that kids of divorced parents experience.

“I had close friends that were dealing with the same thing during the same time.  I knew I could always go them for advice but I did feel embarrassed at times. I had a counselor that I would talk to for the first few years and I think it really helped,” Shambo said.

HHS tries to help in many ways with kids dealing with divorced parents,but there is no set group for the students here when events like that occur.