It is no secret that a divorce affects more than just the couple getting it. It can affect all of their family members, and particularly their children. A new study definitely seems to validate that point.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin recently released a new study looking at the effects of divorce on children. What they found is slightly troubling: as compared to children in a “traditional” family unit or a stable household, kids whose parents have begun divorce proceedings have lingering developmental problems and tend to fall behind their counterparts.
According to sources, the study was based on data taken from over 3,500 students from kindergarten through the fifth grade. They were observed pre-divorce, during divorce and post-divorce. One finding: the children’s math skills, in particular, seemed to be adversely affected, as compared to reading scores. They were also found to have underdeveloped social skills and sometimes suffered from low self-esteem.
As reported in a Reuters article, the study found children did not have negative impacts before the process of divorce began. However, the effects continued after the divorce, although they did not worsen then, either.
One researcher says the children’s setbacks may be caused by the stress of seeing their parents become argumentative or depressed, or being distracted by having unstable or changing living arrangements. They may also not be on the best terms with their parents during a tough time.
The study was reportedly published in the American Sociological Review by an accident lawyer in Louisiana.