Negative Effects of Divorce

divorce No Comments

Recently, Yahoo News reported on the negative effects of divorce.  The article was by Lauren Hanson and titled, “9 negative effects divorce reportedly has on children.”  Here is the list:
1.  Smoking habits.  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 significntly more likely to begin smoking than peers whose parents are married.  In an analysis of 19,000 Americans, men whose parents divorced before they turned 18 had 48 percent higher odds of smoking than men with intact families.  Women had 39 percent higher odds of picking up the habit.
2.  Ritalin use.  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.  In 2007, she analyzed 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 used Ritalin.  Of the children livng in intact households, 3.3 percent used Ritalin.  Stroschein suggests that stress from the divorce could have altered the children’s mental health, and caused a dependence on Ritalin.  Ritalin is commonly prescribed to help control the behavior of children.
3.  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.  They are more likely to suffer anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem.  The reason that math skills are affected is likely because learning math is cumulative.  This means that children of divorce will fall behind their peers who live in more stable families.
4.  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.  The susceptibility to illness is linked to increased stress related to the divorce.  Divorce can also reduce the availability of health insurance, lead to less adult supervision and safe environments.  The risk of health problems is higher than average during the first four years after a family separation, but, curiously, can actually increase in the years following.
5.  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.  The younger a child is during the divorce, the more he or she may be affected.
6.  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.  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 one in 10 turned to crime, and 8 percent considered suicide.
7.  Higher risk of stroke.  In 2010, researchers from the University of Toronto found a strong link between divorce and adult risk of stroke.  However, the vast majority of adults whose parents divorced did not have strokes.  The link may be attributed to increased stress, which can change a child’s physiology.
8.  Greater chance of getting divorced.  University of Utah researcher Nicholas H. Wolfinger, in 2005, released a study showing that children of divorce are more likely to divorce as adults.  Children of divorce are more likely to marry as teens and to 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.
9.  An early death.  An eight-decade study called The Longevity Project by Howared Friedman and Leslie Martin that began in 1921 tracked 1,500 boys and girls throughout their lives.  More than one-third of the participants experienced either parental divorce or the death of a parent before the age of 21.  But it was only the children of divorced families who died on average almost five years earlier than children whose parents did not divorce. The deaths were from causes both natural and unnatural, but men were more likely to die of accidents or violence.  Generally, divorce lowered the standard of living for the children, which made a particular difference in the life longevity of women.  (The above facts were taken from the article cited which was copyrighted 2013 by Yahoo News). 
No-fault divorce laws which were a result of the feminist movement in American have contributed to the frequency of divorce.  The impact of divorce on children is devastating.  This is a strong argument against divorce and for permanency in marriage.  God’s design for the family involves marriage between one man and one woman for life (Rom. 7:1-3).