New Study Suggests That a Tension-Filled Family Can Cause Physical Illness

Many couples who are considering divorce fear for their children’s well-being. Divorce can be extremely tough on a child, as virtually everything about his or her life may change. A new study suggests that a hostile divorce can even affect a child’s physical health.

Physiological Effects of Divorce?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh quarantined 201 healthy adults and exposed them to a strain of the common cold virus. They then checked for signs of respiratory distress or illness. Of the study’s participants, some grew up in a two-parent household while others came from divorced families. A portion of those from divorced families came from amiable situations with both parents continuing to have healthy levels of non-hostile communication. Other adults in the study had two parents who never spoke to each other after their divorce, and deep tension persisted in their families.

The results of the study showed that the adults raised amidst a tumultuous divorce were more likely to show symptoms of the virus. Individuals who grew up in two-parent households and those from divorced, yet cordial, households were the least likely to catch a cold from the virus. These findings suggest that it is not the divorce itself which can be harmful to children but the post-divorce relationship between the parents.

Divorce Does Not Have to Be Damaging to Children

Sharlene Wolchik, a psychology researcher at Arizona State University summarizes the results of the study. “When divorce is followed by a new family structure in which parents have high quality relationships with their children, children spend sufficient time with each parent so their relationships can be meaningful and children are not directly or indirectly exposed to conflict between the parents, children can be resilient and thrive despite the stress of divorce.”

If you are considering getting a divorce from your spouse and are concerned about your children, there is hope. Research, including Carnegie Mellon study, suggests that divorce does not need to be detrimental to your child. It is important to follow some rules when navigating the family through the break up. Most importantly, keep fights, heated arguments, and legal disputes away from the children. Try to keep talk about the other parent positive and save complaining for your adult friends or therapy. Keep a predictable routine so that the children know what to expect. Finally, make sure each child has the opportunity to spend quality time with each of his parents.

Seek Legal Guidance

When you are considering a divorce you need an attorney who understands your concerns and knows your needs. At Cosley Law Office, our team is dedicated to helping you find the happier future you and your children deserve. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney by calling 847-253-3100 today.



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