Divorce can damage teens, says study
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