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Apr 24, 2024, 11:38:16 AM

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Devastation of Divorce Studied by Steve Jordahl, correspondent

New report finds that the very young are harmed the most when mom and dad split up.

A new study has found that divorce has a devastating effect on children — especially the very young.

Infant victims of divorce don't bond as well with either parent, and the problems last throughout their lives, according to the study from LaTrobe University in Australia. Even as adults, people whose parents divorced when they were infants continue to have "alarming levels of emotional insecurity and a poor ability to regulate strong emotions."

Risa Garon of the National Family Resiliency Center said it's wrong to assume a child is too young to know what's going on when his parents split up. In fact, there isn't an age at which children are not intensely affected by divorce.

"I think in-utero that divorce has an effect on a child," Garon said. "Infants are very sensory beings, and if a parent is tense, anxious (when) holding a baby, the baby feels that."

Elizabeth Marquardt, an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, said divorce sets up a dangerous double standard.

"We almost treat children of divorce as if they're a different species of children," she explained. "Suddenly it's fine for these kids to regularly spend days away from their mother, and then days away from their father. It's the kind of thing that the average married parent would never conceive of doing to their child."

She added that parents who wonder how they can make divorce easier for their children are missing the point: Divorce is never easy on kids.

"The problem is that it just fundamentally restructures a childhood," Marquardt said. "When you divide one home into two, it really deeply shapes children at the level of their moral and spiritual development."

Articles in « Studies and Statistical Information »