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A new study in Canada is challenging the popular belief that children are always negatively affected by divorce. The study, which concentrated on children of particularly dysfunctional families, showed that children, who are raised by parents suffering from marital stress and complications, are actually more likely to exhibit signs of serious depression and antisocial behaviors.
Children of dysfunctional marriages in reality showed promising signs of alleviated depression, anxiety, and antisocial mannerisms in the post-divorce time period in comparison with when their parents were still married.
The study conducted by Dr. Lisa Strohschein is aimed at confronting the common belief that “staying together for the kids” is always the better option for the child’s personal wellbeing.
The longitudal study examined 17,000 children across Canada over a 4-year period, asking parents to report on family life factors such as their ability to get along and the frequency of disputes. Results showed that in many cases, divorce might actually benefit the child after living in a highly dysfunctional environment.
“Parents understand that their kids are going through an adjustment. They are sensitive and they’re not losing their parenting abilities,” emphasizes Strohschein in defense of divorced parents. She hopes to demonstrate that divorce does not necessarily thwart the abilities of a parent to be a parent in any way.
The study will continue to grow over the next ten years as Strohschein hopes to determine the long term affects of divorce on a growing child, and the effect of marital satisfaction on a child’s mental health and wellbeing.