Divorce May Cause Long-Term Health Effects for Children

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There is little question that divorce can create serious emotional and pyschological challenges for children. A recent study, however, suggests that divorce may also make children more prone to potential ill health in the future. In the study, as reported by The Atlantic, Canandian researchers found that the children of divorced parents were more likely to become smokers as adults, than the children of parents who did not divorce.

The article noted that for children, “‘divorce’ can be experienced in any number of ways and be associated with a number of other behaviors and mental states” – for example, depression and anxiety. An increased likelihood of becoming a smoker, as defined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now appears to be one distinct behavior that correlates to how children of divorced parents experience and deal with divorce later in life as adults.

This study underscores the importance of helping children to understand and cope with the trauma of divorce. A number of good, free resources exist in Northern Virginia, which may assist parents and children going through a divorce, and a good family law attorney can provide a referal to a mental health professional who can assist children with specific divorce-related problems While divorce presents serious challenges for children, these challenges are not insurmountable. By working with a mental health professional trained in family counseling and divorce, children may become better able to cope with and adapt to divorce and, hopefully, avoid long-time ill-effects of divorce, both mental and physical.

Hayden Lee, Esquire


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