A badly handled divorce can impact child’s health

Children|May 26th 2017

Children’s health can suffer if their parents do not handle divorce well, new research suggests.

While previous studies have found a link between parental divorce and ill-health in children, Spanish academics claim it is not the divorce itself which is the real problem. When a couple bring their marriage to an end, “improper handling of the situation by the parents” is to blame for any side effects felt by their children according to co-author María Dolores Seijo Martínez, a researcher at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) in north-western Spain.

Data was taken from 467 young people between the ages of two and 18 years old. Those whose parents had divorced were found to be twice as likely to develop maladies such as stomach problems, neurological (nervous system) issues and skin conditions as their peers from married households.

When parents do not deal with their divorce amicably, there are “very high levels of … conflict, which makes it very difficult to maintain a good relationship”, Seijo Martínez explained. If children are exposed to this environment for long periods of time they “often experience toxic stress” she said. The USC researcher claimed this was the main cause of the health issues her team identified.

It was vital “to support families in order to reduce these consequences” Seijo Martínez said. She added that people who work closely with children, such as care workers and school staff, “have a very important role in reducing toxic stress, as they are in a position to design and implement new interventions oriented towards protection and prevention”.

The study was published in the academic European Journal of Education and Psychology.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andy says:

    Question is raised.
    Is there such thing as a good divorce…
    From a solicitors view point..No.

  2. Paul says:

    I can testify this is absolutly true. From my own upbringing. I would say parents don’t get the ‘impartial’ advice and emotional support they need at this time.
    I absolutley do not blame the parents involved. We are human and we are emotional beings. To heir is human.
    Attributing blame does not resolve.
    They get advice from family who are also angry and upset. Emotionally compromised. Re-enforcing destructive emotions in the parents.
    In most devorce one person is intent on seperation. One person is reluctant unhappy or still harbouring strong feelings.
    These people need to find acceptance.
    In a lot of cases one party will have dealt with the seperation in an incendry manour. Making things more chaotic than they need to be.
    Both these people need impartial advice at this time to make smart adult decissions.
    This is why I maintain the ‘adverserial’ nature of our court system is counter productive. You do not get people to be more co-opperative and heal rifts by drawing battle lines and encourging them to take as much as they can off each other.
    We probably have the worst possible way of legislating over a devorce.

  3. Andrew says:

    “Children’s health can suffer if their parents do not handle divorce well, new research suggests.”
    New research? People going through a divorce and their lawyers have known that since the dawn fo time, or at least the dawn of divorce.
    Please can I have a big grant to investigate the theory that money can’t buy happiness?

  4. JamesB says:

    Can I please have a big grant to investigate the over representation of lawyers in parliament.

  5. JamesB says:

    Obama made the same point in a speech in Chicago recently. Is about the over influence of lobbyists for example Gingerbread and women’s aid. Or for an American example, sorry, but the Jewish lobby that Clinton and most Presidents struggle with every time they disagree with Israel.

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