The Parents Get A Divorce, the Kids Get…??
Effects of divorce on children
If you’re one of the approximately 10 percent of Minnesotans who have been divorced at some point, you know, from personal experience, what the effects of the divorce were as far as you’re concerned. What’s harder to know is how
your kids fared.
The effects of divorce on kids can be wide-ranging. First, there’s the psychological impact. Research in this area has provided a fairly broad array of conclusions, but one overarching theme is that there are at least some negative consequences for children of divorced parents in terms of psychological adjustment and educational attainment. However, psychologists have had difficulty trying to figure out how to measure to what extent any negative consequences are the result of the divorce as opposed to the result of other factors such as lower financial security or domestic violence.
Divorce Makes…Fat Kids?
Second, divorce can lead to very real physical consequences for kids. A Norwegian study recently found a link between children of divorce and obesity. Those with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be overweight and a whopping 89 percent more likely to have abdominal obesity. It’s anybody’s guess whether the divorce is the cause or just another effect though: did a lack of family time lead to poor nutrition and thus obesity as well as to divorce, or did the divorce cause the obesity in some way, maybe through overeating from stress or a rushed evening schedule involving fast food, since the custodial parent was left to complete all household and childcare chores by himself or herself?
If you’re looking at an impending divorce, keep in mind that it’s not all bad news: at least one study has found that the long-term consequence for most children of divorce is resiliency rather than dysfunction. There are also positive steps you can take to mitigate any potential negative consequences of the divorce on your children. For example, try to adjust the style in which you argue with your spouse or ex-spouse, since the manner of conflict between parents has been determined to affect child adjustment. Skip the name-calling and head for the reasoned, calm negotiations instead.
Rosengren Kohlmeyer, Law Office