Most Studies Say Children Adjust Well to Divorce

There are many studies that have been conducted in recent years concerning the ways that children respond to divorce. Some researchers have addressed the ways in which minor children react immediately to news of a divorce, and the ways that parents can work with family therapists to ensure that their children are able to cope with the change in circumstances. Other researchers have explored, for instance, the effects of divorce on a child's future educational level, future likelihood of marriage and divorce, and even future likelihood of physical health and well-being. Some researchers have even considered the impact of divorce on adult children

While numerous studies have had mixed results concerning the ability for kids to recover from divorce, an article in Scientific American suggests that, by and large children can adjust to divorce with time

Short-Term Emotions Surrounding Divorce do Not Necessarily Correlate to Long-Term Effects

Approximately 1.5 million children experience divorce every year in the U.S. when their parents decide to dissolve their marriages. In the immediate time following the divorce proceedings, many children do struggle and, as the article suggests, feel like everything is falling apart. Yet research suggests that, in the long run, most children do indeed recover from the initial trauma of their parents' divorce. In other words, the short-term emotions surrounding divorce do not necessarily correlate to long-term effects. The article points out that that research shows only a small number of children who exhibit long-term, severe negative effects of their parents' divorce.

For example, a study conducted by psychologists at the University of Virginia found that a large percentage of kids do experience some negative effects such as anger, anxiety, and shock. Yet, within one year, these emotions diminish in most children. Moreover, based on a study conducted by sociologists at Pennsylvania State University, when it comes to children having behavioral problems and difficulty engaging in social relationships, there is little statistical difference between kids with married parents and kids with divorced parents.

How Parental Conflict During and After Divorce can Affect Kids

What does make a difference, however? How the parents communicate and get along during and after the divorce process. In other words, when parents continue to engage in disputes with one another during and after the divorce, it can be much more difficult for children to recover.

Yet this is not necessarily true for children who bear witness to marital problems before the parents separate. Those kids, for the most part, are able to bounce back once their parents separate and the marital discord ceases. Parental conflict does often affect kids in the long term, however, when the bickering and arguing continues well into the separation and even after the divorce. To be clear, the article intimates that "staying together" for the sake of the children may not actually be helpful to child development, yet successful co-parenting may be the key to helping kids cope.

Discuss Your Case with a Michigan Divorce Attorney

If you have questions or concerns about helping your kids cope during and after a divorce, a divorce attorney in Michigan can help. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information.