New Insight into How Children Cope with Divorce


If you're thinking about filing for divorce in Pasadena, it's natural to be worried about media claims that divorce has negative effects on children for many years to come. What the media often neglects to report, however, is that many studies exploring the effect of divorce on children have produced inconclusive results. Now, a recent study by Esther Nederhof and colleagues has revealed that the genetic predisposition of children may be to explain for the discrepancy.

The Nederhof study found that some children had a genetic liability that predisposes them to problematic functioning such as antisocial behavior or depression. This made them more likely to act out when confronted with a stressful life event such as the divorce of their parents. Children without the genetic liability, however, were no more likely to be antisocial or depressed after a parent's divorce. This suggests that they are naturally better able to cope with stressful events.

Obviously, getting your child genetically tested for tendencies towards antisocial behavior or depression is not practical. What the study does tell us is that parents should be attentive to the individual personality of their children when evaluating the effect of divorce. Every child is an individual and will react differently to stress. Even in the same family, siblings can exhibit different coping strategies after their parent's divorce.

Instead of worrying about statistical research, it is best to look for solutions that will help your child specifically. Completing a co-parenting class may be useful in helping you reduce tension between you and your ex. If your child is very sensitive to environmental stressors, making your relationship with your ex as amicable as possible is important.

Another solution for helping children who are having trouble coping with the divorce of a parent may be to see a therapist with experience in dealing with family issues. Having an impartial third party to talk to is helpful for kids who are worried that expressing their feelings might be seen as "taking sides" in your Pasadena divorce.