Many have heard it said that divorce has a negative effect on the child who is in the home. Whether the child is blaming themselves for what their parents have gone through, or they feel neglected during the process of the divorce itself, children are often left to experience a brunt of the pressures no matter their age. Due to the growing concerns on the effect of divorce and the children, further studies have also been done looking closely at how years down the road, the relationship between the child and parent is then affected. Medical News Today shares this information discussing the findings that were originally published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
According to these findings, researchers have come to the conclusion that children whose parents divorce while they are at a young age in life will likely have more difficulties in the parent-child relationship later on in life. Dr. Chris Fraley with the University of Illinois claims that through his study, they learned that much of what a younger child goes through in life with regards to their parents adversely affects the quality of relationships with those they are close with in later years. Not only will it have effects on the parent and child relationship in the future, it is also believed that the parent’s romantic relationship and the subsequent divorce will also negatively affect the child’s future romantic relationships. This study also examined the differences in the effects with the child and father or mother.
The first study included 7,735 people who took personality tests that discussed close relationships. What the investigators found was that out of those whose parents went through a divorce, they currently believed that their relationship with their parents today are less reliable. Another factor that was discovered was that for children whose parents divorced when they were between the ages of 3 and 5, the children often felt more insecure with the relationships they are currently in today.
These children, who are now adults, also showed signs of greater anxiety with regards to their current romantic relationships because of their parents who had divorced in the past, though the researchers claim that this connection is weak. Another conclusion that was found during a second study was that after a divorce the children’s relationship with their fathers are often strained because the majority of cases result in the mother receiving primary custody of the children. Out of the 7,500 participants from this second study, they learned that 74 percent of the people lived with their mothers after the divorce, 11 percent with their fathers and the remaining with grandparents or caregivers.