The fact that a divorce can be stressful and emotional will come as no surprise to anyone. What might be surprising to some is that a messy divorce may have a negative effect on the physical health of children. For divorcing parents in British Columbia, choosing mediation over litigation may help to mitigate the effects.
Scientists from two Spanish universities recently released the results of a study looking at the health effects on children due to the divorce of their parents. They looked at 467 boys and girls aged 2 to 18 years old, some from intact families, others whose parents were divorced. The results were startling.
Children of divorced parents were statistically twice as likely to suffer from a health issue than were kids whose parents were still together. Ailments commonly seen were dermatological, neurological, genitourinary or gastrointestinal in nature. The likelihood of other types of conditions, such as respiratory, musculo-skeletal or cardiovascular issues, was the same for both groups.
The researches theorize that a high-conflict divorce can cause toxic stress levels in children. It is believed that constant exposure to fighting and a lack of good co-parenting was the culprit, rather than the divorce itself. Scientists cited a lack of access to parent support programs in Spain as a possible factor.
Here in British Columbia, though a divorce may be no less pleasant than it is in Spain, parents have access to quality programs and to non-confrontational avenues for ending a marriage. Mediation may be the solution for some men and women who wish to settle their issues in a neutral environment outside of a courtroom. A compassionate lawyer can help any mother or father through this difficult time.
Source: eurekalert.org, “Parents’ divorce increases risk of health disorders in children“, May 24, 2017