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Kids' health suffers if parents separate, finds survey

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 29/04/2015. Kids' health suffers if parents separate, finds surveyTags: Parenting

Kids are likely to suffer health problems if their parents break up, however, these health issues are eased if parents share joint custody, finds new report.

Swedish researchers, who surveyed 12-15 years old Swedish teens, found that children whose parents divorced or separated were more likely to suffer from ‘psychosomatic’ health problems. However, they also suggest that certain domestic arrangements agreed by parents on custody meant teens were less likely to suffer.

The journal entitled Epidemiology & Community Health, a publication from The BMJ - wanted to investigate whether children's domestic living arrangements were linked to a heightened risk of psychosomatic problems. Psychosomatic problems are described as related to stress and have symptoms such as:

-Difficulties concentrating or sleeping
-Stomach aches
-Feeling tense, sad or dizzy
-Having little appetite.

The researchers found that children living in ‘nuclear’ family environments were the ones to have least amount of problems compared to those who lived with one parent, who were found that suffer the most amount of psychosomatic problems.

According to the authors: ‘the rise in numbers of children with joint physical custody (JPC) has "concerned child clinicians as well as researchers." Experts have "worried about children's potential feelings of alienation from living in two separate worlds, increased exposure to parental conflict and other stressors that JPC may impose on a child."

However, these new results suggest that children do better when parents share joint custody than those who live with one parent.

Read full report here.


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