Study Suggests Younger Children More Affected than Older Children in Divorce

A new study suggests younger children suffer greater impact in a divorce than older ones. Specifically, the study argues that younger children have a more difficult time establishing strong relationships with both parents then do the older kids. The research is set for publication next month in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The study also demonstrates that children 5 years old and younger had a greater level of insecurity in their parental relationships after divorce then children older than 5. This is contrary to some who have argued the opposite is true; that older children are often more affected or suffer more negative behaviors as a result of their parent’s divorce. Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that parents need to be aware of the impact a divorce may be having their children and seek to address their children’s concerns.

The study was conducted by a professor and graduate student at the University of Illinois. The team surveyed more than 7,000 individuals relating to personalities and relationships with parents.

Best Interests of the Child

Just because your children may be very young, under the age of 5, doesn’t mean they do not have an understanding of what is happening in a divorce or do not have needs associated with the divorce. As the mentioned study suggests, young children even just a couple of years old can be considerably damaged by a divorce if parents do keep their best interests in mind. A parent who is not acting in their children’s best interests in a divorce will inevitably contribute to a child’s difficulty in the process. In the end, issues such as child custody, parent time, child support, etc. are all about the child’s needs. Parents who act in their own self interest in these areas and not in the children’s normally do not do well at court.

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