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The Journal of Marriage and Family has recently reported that a 2008 study conducted by the Allied Technology Group (ATG) has found that children of divorced parents are far more likely to grow into healthy, successful adults if they experience stable family situations following the effects of divorce.
These results mean that divorce is typically the first phase of changes children experience in their family situations, as changes to follow can include moving, a parent getting remarried or adapting to step-siblings.
Experts do stress, however, that children are still likely to endure significant pain as they watch their families change and their parents divorce. While researchers emphasize that stable families can't completely erase the negative effects divorce can have on children, such family situations can help children better cope and move on from the pain of divorce.
Details of the Study
Researchers at ATG based their studies on a series of surveys taken from nearly 7,000 children over the course of 12 years (from 1988 to 2000). Children surveyed were chosen from the following three distinct living situations:
All children were surveyed a total of four times:
Through the first three surveys, researchers analyzed whether family situations changed during the children's teen years and what, if any, effects such changes had. The final survey assessed the now young adults' levels of income, education and overall wellbeing/contentment.
The Results of the Study
Upon cross-analyzing thousands of surveys, researchers found that children who grew up in stable families following their parents' divorce were as likely to have furthered their education as children from non-divorced families and less likely to live in poverty.
Alternately, children of divorced parents who grew up in unstable families were two times less likely to go to college and were about two times more likely to live in poverty during their early adulthoods.
While researchers are still working out the specific factors that contributed to decreased rates of success for children from unstable, divorced families, current theories suggest that the following aspects may have been contributing factors:
(Source: Daily News)
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