Adolescents affected more by divorce than younger kids

Most teenagers are trying to find their ways in the world. Between the raging hormones of puberty, trying to find their place in the social construct, dealing with friends, school and the rest, the stress levels of British Columbia teens can be pretty high. Add to that a bombshell announcement that mom and dad are heading for a divorce and it might be too much for them to handle without some help.

A recent study showed that teens have a harder time dealing with the divorce of their parents than their younger siblings. So, the rationale that a couple should stay together for the sake of the children is not the wisest advice since adolescents can more readily pick up the negatives in the parents' relationships. The report showed that there were heightened emotional issues among children around the ages of 14.

The U.K. study, which was published in Social Science and Medicine, indicated that older kids were more likely to bear the brunt of their parents' breakups partly because their lives suffer more disruption. And it also doesn't matter if the children come from more affluent backgrounds. Socio-economic factors didn't really play into the findings. The bottom line is that with many teens already contending with mental health issues, special attention needs to be paid to them when their family lives are disrupted or changed.

British Columbia does have tools connected with family law that could help parents and teens in a divorce situation. A lawyer is able to provide guidance on where to access those tools. He or she could also put a client in touch with experts like family counsellors or child psychologists.   

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