In this review the authors analysed data from the British National Child Development Study which is a prospective longitudinal study of 98% of all children born in the week of March 3-9, 1958 in England, Scotland and Wales. Data was collected in follow up waves at ages 7,11,16,23,42,46 and 50. The authors examined the effect on the lives of adults when their parents divorced when they were children.
Parental divorce was positively associated with:
1. worse health overall especially when divorce is experienced by the age of 7
2. lower levels of family socioeconomic status and parental involvement.
3. more behavioural problems by age 11.
4. more smoking and divorce in adulthood.
This review is just one of many that confirm the negative outcomes on children of parental divorce, especially young children. This data, from the UK is consistent with data from the US and other countries that confirms that the biggest losers in any divorce are the children, and that these effects will be with these kids well into their adult life.
“Among the individuals in the 1958 NCDS, it is primarily the cohort members who experience a parental divorce before age 7 that experience a long-lasting effect on their adult health.”
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