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No true science behind the belief that a child of divorce unhappy

A commonly repeated belief is that children from a broken home will suffer from emotional problems, which may lead them to either avoid marriage or experience their own unhappy relationship. However, there does not appear to be any solid evidence to support the claim that a divorce is detrimental to children. Families in Maryland who have been worried about the effect their own divorce may have on their children may be relieved at the news.

There has never been a large enough study to draw any firm conclusions about how a divorce really affects the lives of children. Any attempt to compare children of divorce to those whose parents stayed married is too difficult to contain to one relatively small sampling. In fact, the dispositions of parents who separate is different from those who choose to remain together. Furthermore, there are often a variety of factors at play in each unique family situation.

One study has seemed to link lower incomes to the higher probability of a divorce. This thesis, in turn, may lead those who study divorce and children to conclude that the family break-up has led to a poorer performance in school, when, in fact, it may be the level of income that has played a larger role in educational outcomes. Moreover, there is a tendency for researchers to look for a cause and the resulting effect where none may exist. However, most studies do not incorporate nearly enough participants nor are they conducted over a long enough span of time to reach conclusive evidence that divorce is harmful to children in the long run.

This isn't to say that, for many children, a divorce isn't a traumatic experience. Understandably, when parents decide that the marriage isn't sustainable, they would be wise to help their children make the transition as easily as possible. Maryland families that are starting the process of dissolving their relationship may choose to avail themselves of the resources that may enable their family to emerge on the other side of divorce stronger and healthier than before.

Source: qz.com, "Everything we think we know about being the child of divorce is wrong", Danielle Teller and Astro Teller, July 31, 2014

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