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Does divorce always harm children?

Parents going through divorce in Georgia understandably worry about the long-term effects of a divorce on their children. After all, divorce is a very stressful time for everyone who is involved, and it is natural to worry about the effects of stress on your children. Over the years, many studies have focused on the potential for harm to children that divorce can cause. However, some psychologists believe it is possible for children to not only survive a divorce, but to come out of the experience happier and stronger.

Earlier research studying the effects of divorce on children arrived at some stark conclusions about the effects divorce has on kids. However, many of the older study samples were small and focused only on what the children said instead of comparing their remarks with children from families that were not affected by divorce. When children of divorced parents are compared with children of parents who remain married, the effects of divorce on children are better understood.

New research has corrected the deficiencies of earlier studies and has found that children involved in divorce are much more similar to children of intact families than previously believed. The new research suggests that divorce does not automatically lead to having problems in school, with the law or in forming and maintaining appropriate relationships.

Though the results are largely positive, studies have suggested that about 25 percent of children may need help with immediate problems if they are to avoid major future issues.

According to Dr. Joseph Nowinski, a noted clinical psychologist, parents should not prevent their children from experiencing crises including divorce. Instead, they should let the children make the transition at their own pace and to be on the lookout for problems as they arise.

Experts suggest that all children can emerge from a divorce healthier and more resilient to life's changes.

Source: Huffington Post, "Does Divorce Inevitably Damage Children?," Joseph Nowinski, 6/20/2011

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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