I don’t know what’s going on lately, but everyone around me seems to be getting divorced! Neighbours, friends … the list goes on. While I know that divorce is hardly an exception anymore, it still hits home when it happens to someone close to you.
According to an article written by Lauren Hansen in 2013 (published on The Week website), with the rate of marriage steadily dipping over the past decade, and the divorce rate holding steady, you are actually likely to know more previously married couples than those who are legally bound. Accompanying this trend are multiple studies analysing the effects that divorce has on children. And the results aren’t good, even if the stigma of divorce has faded. Here are just some of the negative effects divorce reportedly has on children:
In a study published in the March 2013 edition of Public Health, researchers at the University of Toronto found that both sons and daughters of divorced families are significantly more likely to begin smoking than peers whose parents are married.
Dr Strohschein, a sociologist at the University of Alberta, wanted to know what was behind the increase in children prescriptions for Ritalin over the past two decades. And so, in 2007, she analysed data from a survey that was conducted between 1994 and 2000. In it, 5 000 children who did not use Ritalin, and were living in two-parent households, were interviewed. Over the six years, 13,2 percent of those kids experienced divorce. Of those children, 6,6 percent began using Ritalin. Of the children living in intact households, only 3,3 percent used Ritalin. Strohschein suggests that stress from the divorce could have altered the children’s mental health, and caused a dependence on Ritalin.
Poor math and social skills
A 2011 study by the University of Wisconsin – Madison, found that children of divorced parents often fall behind their classmates in math and social skills, and are more likely to suffer anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. What’s more, lead researcher Hyun Sik Kim says it is unlikely that children of divorce will be able to catch up with their peers who live in more stable families.
Susceptibility to sickness
In 1990, Jane Mauldon of the University of California at Berkeley, found that children of divorce run a 35 percent risk of developing health problems, compared with a 26 percent risk among all children.
An increased likelihood of dropping out of school
A 2010 study found that more than 78 percent of children in two-parent households graduated from high school by the age of 20. However, only 60 percent of those who went through a big family change – including divorce, death, or remarriage – graduated in the same amount of time.
A propensity for crime
In 2009, the law firm Mishcon de Reya polled 2 000 people who had experienced divorce as a child in the preceding 20 years. And the results did not paint a positive picture of their experiences. The subjects reported witnessing aggression (42 percent), were forced to comfort an upset parent (49 percent), and had to lie for one or the other (24 percent). The outcome was that one in 10 turned to crime, and eight percent considered suicide.
Greater chance of getting divorced
University of Utah researcher, Nicholas H Wolfinger, released a study in 2005, showing that children of divorce are more likely to divorce as adults. Despite aspiring to stable relationships, children of divorce are more likely to marry as teens, as well as marry someone who also comes from a divorced family. Wolfinger’s research suggests that couples in which one spouse has divorced parents may be up to twice as likely to divorce. If both partners experienced divorce as children, they are three times more likely to divorce themselves.
I know that sometimes divorce really is the only remaining option, but I do think that sometimes people just throw in the towel and are not in it for the long haul anymore. Here are seven reasons to try just a little bit harder to stay together if you have kids. It really does change their lives, and usually not for the better.
I am a frazzled working mom who loves her husband and her children. All six of them – two human, two canine and two feline. I spend most of my day managing the crazy chaos that is my awesome life, and what’s left, writing about it … Read more