How divorce can negatively affect your child's health well into the future
It doesn't take a doctor to know that when a divorce hits a family, everything begins to decay. Everything from relationships to the day-to-day activities that the family enjoyed begins to fall apart. A recent study, however, looked at the way divorce physically affects children. It has been well documented that the process puts them in a negative mental state, but this new research shows that it could also be poorly influencing children's health as well, at the time and in the future.
The study – which was done by WM Troxel and KA Matthews at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychology -- suggests that childhood adversity can disrupt the development of the stress response in children and increase the sensitivity or reaction to stressful circumstances later in life. Of the 5,632 women and 3,900 men who fit the divorced-parent criteria and whose health records were looked at, later ailments included a higher risk of stroke for men, sometimes up to three-times as much. The study didn't find the same risk for women.
So what's the solution? Well, the study couldn't conclude one other than not getting divorced. Other than that, the best way to avoid negative results is to resolve differences and work out conflicts in ways that diminish rather than escalate conflicts. While it may save your kids from future (literal) heartbreak, it could do wonders for your situation in the present, as well.