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High levels of conflict can be more damaging than divorce

One of the most stressful things for any divorcing parent in Texas is concern over how the change in family structure will impact a child. A great deal of research has looked at how children are affected by divorce, and the results vary. Even so, most people have a general impression that divorce is a bad thing for children, and that they will suffer when the family is divided.

Recent research may turn that belief on its head. When researchers looked at data collected over a 16-year span of time, they found that conflict within a family may be more detrimental to the future relationships of children who go through divorce than the divorce itself. In fact, kids whose parents had a high conflict relationship prior to seeking divorce were no more likely to divorce as adults than those who came from families where there was little conflict and no divorce.

Kids pick up on even subtle tensions between their parents, and can experience high levels of stress related to those tensions. For those who grow up in a home where conflict is common and extreme, the level of stress can be even higher. In such cases, divorce will lead to a palpable and almost immediate relief from conflict-related stress. That could make life much easier for kids who feel caught in the middle of the conflict between their parents.

For those in Texas who are concerned about how a divorce might impact their kids, this research could come as a relief. In many cases, staying in a high-conflict marriage is not only miserable for the spouses, but it could also be detrimental to the children who also live in the home. Moving on to happier horizons could make things far easier for all involved.

Source: techinsider.com, "One parent behavior may affect kids of divorce more than divorce itself", Rebecca Harrington, May 22, 2016

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