Divorce is bad for your kids’ health. That’s the not altogether surprising finding of Spanish scientists from the universities of Santiago de Compostela and Vigo. Researchers reached their conclusions using a cross-sectional study of divorced and intact families. Subjects included 467 boys, girls and teenagers aged between two and 18.
The scientists found that the children of separated parents are approximately twice as likely to develop gastrointestinal, genitourinary, dermatological or neurological issues than children living in nuclear families. That means problems ranging from head to tummy and beyond. Stress is believed to be the main cause for physical ailments.
There’s some good news from the study. Divorce didn’t boost kids’ risk of respiratory, cardiovascular or musculo-skeletal issues, allergies, or hearing and sight problems.
“It is not the break-up in itself that has negative effects on the children’s health, but improper handling of the situation by the parents,” researchers noted. “Poor handling involves very high levels of interparental conflict, which makes it very difficult to maintain a good relationship. If children are exposed to these family situations for prolonged periods, they often experience toxic stress.”