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Study researches impacts of divorce on parent-child relationship


Illinois residents who are going through a divorce may be interested to learn that children may be impacted more if the divorce happens in the first few years of the child's life. A two-part study conducted at the University of Illinois revealed that when people who experience divorce in early childhood may have insecure relationships with their parents when they are adults.

The first part of the study looked at data from 7,735 subjects that participated in a survey on-line. Over one-third of the participants' parents were divorced. The survey asked questions about personality and close relationships. The survey revealed that people from divorced families were less likely to view their current relationships with their parents as reliable.

Participants whose parents divorced when they were between 0 and 5 years old were more insecure in their relationships then those whose parents divorced when they were older. There also appears to be some connection between anxiety in romantic relationships and experiencing divorce.

The study further suggested that divorce has a greater impact on the relationship with the mother then the father. The second part of the study examined why this is with another group of 7,500 participants. In this study the participants were asked which parent was given primary custody. 74% of participants reported living with their mothers after the divorce. Study participants who lived with their father after the divorce were more likely to have a strained maternal relationship while participants who lived with their mother were more likely to have an insecure relationship with their father. The study is only preliminary, but further research may be useful in making child custody decisions.


Source: Medical News Today, "Early Divorce Can Affect Parent-Child Relationships Later," Kelly Fitzgerald, July 1, 2013

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