Divorce and children aren't two words that seem to fit well together. Many parents thinking about getting divorced worry about the impact it will have on their children. A new study may make these parents breathe a little easier after finding that a majority of children do not suffer harmful effects after their parents get divorced.
The study found that most children with divorced parents are able to cope with the divorce and do not experience serious problems later in life. Researchers said that a small percentage of kids have issues relating to their parent's divorce as adults but most children are not traumatized by divorce like so many parents often worry about.
While divorce does impact most children in the short-term, the study found that most children are able to recover from their parent's divorce rather quickly. After divorce, many children experience shock, anger and even anxiety for a short time but these emotions are gone after two years in a majority of children.
The study also looked at the long-term impact of divorce and found that most children with divorced parents do not have any differences in behavioral problems, academic achievements, relationships or self-concept compared to children with married parents. In addition, as children with divorced parents become adults, many of them are well-adjusted and do not have any major problems associated with the divorce compared to other adult children with married parents.
So what does this study mean? Parents who are considering getting divorce should still consider the impact it will have on their children and family life but don't stress over possibly ruining the rest of your child's life. Parents contemplating divorce should take into consideration how everyone's life will be impacted by the divorce and then decide if divorce is the right answer. If it is, parents should each consult their own divorce attorney to discuss their specific situation and what next steps to take.
Source: Scientific American, "Is Divorce Bad for Children?" Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld, March 19, 2013