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After divorce, stable families help minimize long-term harm to children
Date:5/7/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio For children of divorce, what happens after their parents split up may be just as important to their long-term well-being as the divorce itself.

A new study found that children who lived in unstable family situations after their parents divorced fared much worse as adults on a variety of measures compared to children who had stable post-divorce family situations.

For many children with divorced parents, particularly young ones, the divorce does not mark the end of family structure changes it marks the beginning, said Yongmin Sun, co-author of the study and associate professor of sociology at Ohio State Universitys Mansfield campus.

A stable family situation after divorce does not erase the negative effects of a divorce, but children in this situation fare much better than do those who experience chronic instability The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Sun conducted the study with Yuanzhang Li of the Allied Technology Group.

Data for this study came from the National Education Longitudinal Study, which surveyed thousands of students across the country beginning in 8th grade in 1988, when they were about 14 years old. They were surveyed again in 1990, 1992 and then again in 2000 when they were about 26 years old.

The study compared children who grew up in three different situations:

Children who grew up in always-married households (5,303 children).

Children whose parents divorced before the study began, but who lived in a stable family structure between ages 14 and 18(954 children).

Children whose parents divorced prior to the beginning of the study, and whose family situation changed once or twice between ages 14 and 18(697 children).

In the two divorced family groups, children may have lived in single-parent families or ones with a stepparent. The key for this research was whether that arrangement whichever it was -- change
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Contact: Yongmin Sun
Sun.84@osu.edu
419-755-4261
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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