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The children of divorce: anything but resilient

Feb 24, 2016

WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2016 ( MercatorNet) -

The News Story - Coping with a new home life

In Part I of a series called “Children of Divorce,” provided by New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Lohud Journal News outlines some “strategies to help your child cope” with a parental divorce.

Among these strategies are “validate your child’s feelings,” “respect your partner’s rules,” and “make decisions based on what’s best for the child.” “Concerned parents,” according to the story, “have more power than they think when it comes to promoting their child’s resilience and facilitating the transition.”

But research suggests that, in spite of such parental palliatives, children’s “resilience” can only go so far, and a true decision “based on what’s best for the child” would be to stay married.

The New Research - The children of divorce: anything but resilient

When pressed to admit that the divorce revolution they led has hurt children, progressives invoke the myth of children’s resilience. Yes, they say, parental divorce does hurt children, but—not to worry—children are resilient: they bounce back in a year or two. The latest empirical insult to this myth comes from a study recently completed at Vanderbilt University, a study showing that more than four decades after parental divorce, the children affected still manifest the malign effects of that divorce upon their health.

This damning new evidence comes out of a sophisticated analysis of how “adverse social environments . . . become biologically embedded during the first years of life with potentially far-reaching implications for health across the life course.” As these researchers press their analysis of the linkages between social disadvantage in childhood and chronic health problems in adulthood, family disintegration emerges as a particularly important component of that social disadvantage—more important, in fact, than even low household income.


To analyze the relationship between social disadvantage in childhood and chronic health problems in adulthood, the researchers carefully examine data for 566 men and women born between 1959 and 1966, individuals for whom they have the social data necessary to formulate “an index that combine[s] information on adverse socioeconomic and family stability factors experienced between birth and age 7 years.” Drawing from data collected in 2005-2007 from these same individuals as adults, the researchers look for correlations between their index of childhood social disadvantage and adult health problems as measured in two ways: first, in cardiometabolic risk (CMR), determined by combining data from eight CMR biomarkers (including waist circumference, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels); second, in a composite index derived by assessing eight chronic diseases (including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis). - See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/the-ch...

Read the entire article and it's conclusion on MercatorNet

Additional suggested reading:

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study  by Judith S. Wallerstein

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