Divorce’s toll borne by children

The Sunday Telegraph May 08, 2011 

Children of divorced parents grow up faster, leave home younger and are more likely to have sex before they turn 16. They are also three times more likely to have a baby and live with their partner before their 20th birthday. The findings are contained in a report that shows children from broken homes are significantly more likely to experience long-term disadvantage across a range of social and psychological outcomes than those children whose parents stay together. Children from intact families were also more likely to have completed high school and were less likely to suffer depression, have suicidal thoughts, smoke or have used marijuana, the research found. The study, conducted by researchers at the Australian National University, looked at 2500 adults, spanning acros three generations.

All age groups experienced comparable disadvantages associated with the divorce of their parents. Factors such as family conflict and financial hardship contributed to poor outcomes such as mental illness in adults whose parents divorced, although relationship problems were most strongly associated with parental separation rather than underlying issues. However, there was little difference in the harmful use of alcohol between the two groups. Report co-author and ANU professor of family health and wellbeing Bryan Rodgers said that governments needed to act because one in four Australian children experience parental divorce …The no-fault divorce began in 1975 – and divorce rates exploded as a result.