For many couples who consider divorce, one of the first things on their minds is how it will impact their children. For decades, family therapists and a variety of other experts believed that divorce inevitably harmed children.

Some couples stay together for the sake of the children. Others know they can’t in a bad marriage any longer, and they divorce. With the divorce rates greater than 50 percent, it seems as though the second option has become more common.

Thankfully, divorcing and divorced couples throughout Marietta can rest easy. New research shows that 75 percent of children whose parents are divorced turn out just fine.

The changed beliefs can be attributed to a few things. First, an increase in the number of couples who are divorcing makes the topic less taboo. Years ago, kids who came from “broken homes” often needed to defend the negative stigma that came with that. Because so-called “broken homes” are more common today, children are less likely to be faced with negativity because of their home lives.

The research that was done on children whose parents divorced has also improved drastically. When earlier research was done, it was flawed in three main ways. First, researchers only studied children whose parents were divorced. As a result, there was nothing to compare the children against to determine if they were “normal.” For example, if a teenager reported that he was moody while his parents were divorcing, there was no way of determining whether he was moodier than his peers.

Second, the primary way the researchers collected information was by asking the children questions and recording their answers. The researchers overlooked concrete and measurable metrics, such as a child’s performance in school.

Finally, the researchers only focused on children during the time when their parents were actually getting divorced. As a result, they had no way of knowing whether any negative reports improved when the divorce was finalized.

Recent studies fixed those errors and reported much better prospects for children whose parents are divorced. Read more in upcoming posts to learn more how divorce affects children.

Source: Huffington Post, “Does Divorce Inevitably Damage Children?” Joseph Nowinski, 20 June 2011