In an interesting article from March 28, it is detailed that children who have parents who divorce have lower educational prospects than those in two-parent households. That’s not the whole story, though. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles, shows that divorce doesn’t affect all kids in the same way.
According to this study, it’s actually children from more stable families who are more likely to have a shortened academic career following the divorce of their parents than those who were in families already struggling to get by. Essentially, the educational attainment of certain children is reduced after divorce, but only in cases where the divorce was unlikely. Since the divorce is more disruptive for some families, it’s more likely to affect those children.
The research went on to show that divorces in families that are expected to be wealthy, stable and well-educated are more disruptive than divorces that involved children and families in poverty or relative dysfunction. If a marriage was high-conflict, then kids actually tended to do better following the divorce.
It’s counterintuitive to think that a calm divorce and one that doesn’t significantly impact the financial support your child receives could have such a negative impact. However, it is the reality for many children in well-off families, as the shock of the divorce is harsher than for children in high-conflict situations.
Helping your child starts with recognizing these factors and doing what you can to reduce the shock of the divorce. By being transparent and respectful, many of the difficulties of divorce can be avoided.