Long Term Effects of Divorce on Children

Long Term Effects of Divorce on Children

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Long Term Effects of Divorce on Children

 

A Short Guide to the Long Term Effects of Divorce on Children

 

Unfortunately, studies have consistently shown throughout the past five decades that there are significant long term effects of divorce on children, and that these effects are almost exclusively negative. While many of these studies were conducted in the 1980s with the children of late 1960s and early 1970s divorces, there have been many others conducted right through today. Despite the continued evidence for the long term effect of divorce on children, these effects may be smaller than you anticipate, and most doctors agree that they have more to do with how parents handle the aftermath of a divorce than with the actual divorce itself.

 

Evidence for the Long Term Effects of Divorce on Children

 

The internet can be an incredible resource for you if you are looking for damning statistics regarding the long term effects of divorce on children. Did you know that one 1980s study conducted by Robert E. Emery indicated that children of divorced parents had more psychological issues than those with a dead parent? Yet since no one is advocating death as a responsible alternative to divorce, these statistics can be of little use to most families.

 

However, later studies showing the long term effects of divorce on children may give individuals a hint more hope. For instance, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology followed 1471 individuals in Finland from adolescence to the age of 32.  The women who came from divorced homes were more likely to have been divorced, or not to have been married at all, but there was no significant difference for men. By and large, individuals indicated that their greatest problems with the divorce came from deterioration in their parental relationships, with the mother-daughter relationship being particularly vulnerable to the long term effects of divorce on children.

 

Treating the Causes

 

The Finland study then offers an important ray of hope for parents who anticipate a divorce. While it has been consistently shown that there are long term effects of divorce on children, these effects have less to do with the divorce itself than with the way relationships are handled afterward. Make sure, above all, that the relationship with both parents remains regular, with weekly visits. A sense of parental abandonment is the leading cause of long term effects of divorce on children.

 

There are other important risk factors to be aware of for long term effects of divorce on children. A deterioration of economic status adds trauma to an already traumatic event, so try to ensure that child support payments are regular and fair. Similarly, geographic moves make divorces rougher than they might otherwise be, though occasionally these can’t be avoided. Of course, using your child as a pawn in your divorce battle will also lead to the long term effects of divorce on children. Exposing them to your anger, bitterness and dejection will only lead to a loss of faith in both parents, so cooperation should always be the rule in maintaining ex-spouse relationships. 

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