According to the American Psychological Association, “marital conflict has been demonstrated repeatedly to have negative effects on children. For example, children in high-conflict marriages are more likely to experience behavioral and academic problems including, but not limited to, disobedience, aggression, delinquency, poor self-esteem, antisocial behaviors, and depression.
Young adults who experienced a high level of marital conflict during childhood, are more likely to experience depression and psychological disorders than young adults from low-conflict families.
Moreover, parents in high-conflict marriages are less warm towards their children, more rejecting, more harsh in their discipline, withdraw more from their parenting role (especially fathers), and are more depressed.
Buffers that can protect children in high conflict marriages include a good relationship with one parent or caregiver, sibling and peer support, and parental warmth.”
Substance abuse can also affect children and families. As a journal article published in Social Work in Pubic Health summed it up, “The effects of a substance use disorder (SUD) are felt by the whole family.”
Young children of alcoholics may exhibit more symptoms of depression and anxiety, including crying, bedwetting, social isolation, fear of school, or nightmares. Older youths may isolate themselves for long periods of time, claiming they have “no one to talk to.” Children of alcoholics may have difficulty relating to teachers, other students, and school. Teenagers may be perfectionists, hoarders, excessively self-conscious, or prone to phobias. They often believe that they are failures, even if they do well academically, according to the West Virginia University School of Public Health.