Di­vorce can dam­age teens, says study

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

TEENS whose par­ents di­vorce are more likely to get poor exam re­sults, drink, use drugs and have eat­ing dis­or­ders, a study says.

Nearly two-thirds of young­sters whose par­ents had split said their school re­sults were worse than they should have been.

About 14 per­cent said they’d started drink­ing or drink­ing more heav­ily. More than a quar­ter re­ported com­fort eat­ing, or not eat­ing enough, and 13 per­cent said they were ex­per­i­ment­ing or think­ing about tak­ing drugs.

Poll­sters ComRes ques­tioned 502 young peo­ple, aged 14 to 22, whose par­ents had di­vorced or sep­a­rated, for fam­ily lawyers or­gan­i­sa­tion Res­o­lu­tion. The find­ings add to an over­whelm­ing weight of ev­i­dence demon­strat­ing di­vorce da­m­ages not just younger chil­dren, but also those in their teens and twen­ties.

As well as far­ing worse in exams, 24 per­cent said they strug­gled to fin­ish home­work; 11 per­cent said they were get­ting into more trou­ble at school; and 12 per­cent ad­mit­ted skip­ping lessons.

So­cial me­dia was also found to be a source of un­hap­pi­ness, with 23 per­cent say­ing they found out a par­ent had a new part­ner through the in­ter­net, while 20 per­cent said their par­ents had made em­bar­rass­ing on­line posts about the di­vorce.

A third said one par­ent had tried to turn them against the other, and 27 per­cent said their par­ents had tried to drag them into their ar­gu­ments. Almost one in five said the di­vorce had meant los­ing con­tact with a grand­par­ent.

The survey was timed to mark Res­o­lu­tion’s Fam­ily Dis­pute Res­o­lu­tion Week, which urges par­ents to speak to a lawyer to get ad­vice on col­lab­o­ra­tion, me­di­a­tion and arbitration as a means of mak­ing the sep­a­ra­tion process more am­i­ca­ble.

Chair­man Jo Ed­wards said: “Th­ese find­ings un­der­line how im­por­tant it is that par­ents man­age their sep­a­ra­tion in a way that min­imises the stress on the en­tire fam­ily, es­pe­cially chil­dren.”

Crit­ics said it was the fact of di­vorce, rather than the level of con­flict be­tween par­ents, that dam­aged chil­dren – and said it was bet­ter for cou­ples to try to stay to­gether. – Daily Mail

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