A new study has found that kids of certain age are more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems…

A first of its kind study from University College London has explored the link between divorce and the mental wellbeing of children as a result. The research examined over 6000 children and tracked their mental health at various stages of their childhood and adolescence, uncovering some interesting findings.

What’s The Damage?

The study found that children who were slightly older, identified as between the ages of 7 and 14, experienced a 16% increase in emotional problems, such as anxiety, as a result of their parents divorce when compared to younger children. Those between the ages of 3 and 7 were found to have no increased risk when compared to children of the same age who had not experienced divorce. Professor Emla Fitzsimons, co author of the study, suggested that this may be because older children have a better understanding of the situation and greater sensitivity to the emotional implications for all involved. “Family break ups may also be more disruptive to schooling and peer relationships at this stage of childhood,” she said.

It was also found that boys who experienced their parents divorce were more likely to exhibit disobedient behaviour than girls, but the study could not identify a clear reason for this. Divorce is never an easy process, no matter how well it is handled, so it’s always a good idea to seek additional support for children when needed and keep the lines of communication, with both parents where possible, open.

Have you got a top tip for helping children through a divorce? Let us know in the comments!


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  • Why is there the YouTube video as part of every article I am reading??


  • It would have a lot to do with how it was handled by the parents too I would think


  • Interesting post – guess it all depends on the situation. A divorce is better than seeing your mum or dad get beaten up/browbeaten every day of your lives – that makes for a very unsettled household.


  • I think the hardest of all is dealing with the divorce of your parents as an adult.


  • This is interesting and may help some divorcing parents do better for their kids.


  • I am so lucky that I never had to deal with divorce as my parents are happily married, and I feel for any kid who has to go through it. Between those ages there s so much going on in a childs development and hormones that this would be such a hard thing to deal with on top of all that.


  • I can imagine this would be correct as they enter the preteen and teen years.


  • Interesting. Think a lot has to do with the maturity in thinking, the healthy/unhealthy attachment with the parents and secure/insure identity of the child. Also the way the parents communicate with each other and how much they’re available after the the divorce will be of impact.


  • About the age of adolescence when they have their own growing to do, I can see how it would impact them so much more


  • Hopefully they can work out how to reduce the impact on the kids.


  • I was 11 and it messed with me a bit. Looking back, it was the best thing for them but it had such a negative impact on me for a long time.


  • Very interesting findings, but I believe personal outcomes for children depends very much on the type of relationship the parents had prior to the divorce, and have following the divorce.


  • My parents separated when I was 14 years old. They had quite a terrible relationship, so I must say that for me the separation came out as a blessing.


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