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Study Reveals Kids’ Interpersonal Skills and Math Scores Affected by Divorce

Posted on June 05, 2014 in Divorce

children of divorce, life after divorce, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyAccording to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, children whose parents are divorced may suffer from low math test scores. The study also revealed that divorce may hamper the development of interpersonal skills in children, as well as cause children to struggle with low self-esteem, sadness, loneliness and anxiety.

The results of the study indicate that children do not suffer with these issues before their parents’ divorce, despite what the home situation is. These problems tend to appear after the breakup has already occurred.

Author of the study, Hyun Sik Kim, studied data provided by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. The study tracked 3600 students from kindergarten through fifth grade, beginning in 2008.

The study analyzed children whose parents divorced to children whose parents remained married, through the first, second and third grades.

The development of each child in the divorce group was broken down into three stages. The first was the pre-divorce stage when the child was in kindergarten and first grade. The second stage was the divorce period when the child was in the first through third grade. The third stage was post-divorce when the child was in the third through fifth grades.

During the divorce process and its aftermath, children of divorce often showed a decrease in math scores. Children of divorce also had difficulty sharing feelings, as well as making and keeping friendships during this same time period.

Kim points out children of divorce do not tend to catch up to their peers once things settle down at home either. Although these issues do not increase over time, "there is no sign that children of divorce catch up with their counterparts, either," says Kim.

"One implication of the study is that we need to intervene as soon as possible when we observe a child experiencing a parental divorce," he says, "because my findings suggest that once children of divorce [have gone] through detrimental impacts, it is hard to make them catch up with children from intact families."

If you are experiencing marital problems and are considering a divorce, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what options you may have.
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