Divorce sucks—for everyone, but especially for kids.
And a new study has found a particularly vulnerable age: under 5.
The study, published
in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, examined
data on over 7,700 participants. Over one-third had parents who had divorced,
on average when they were 9 years old.
told, results indicated that people from divorced families were less likely to
call their relationship with their parents reliable. What’s more, people whose
parents had gotten divorced before they were 5 years old were even more
insecure than those who’d split later on.
this has to do with the obvious: the fact that kids over 5 can tackle
heavier topics of conversation with their parents and friends, and cope with
more complicated emotions (e.g., why don’t daddy and mommy love each other? Do
they still love me?).
study, conducted by R. Chris Fraley at University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, also found that in the wake of divorce, relationships with
dads were more strained than with moms, although this mostly had to do
with the fact that most of the kids lived with their moms, so it’s understandable
that that bond was more solid.
Fraley concludes: “People's
relationships with their parents and romantic partners play important roles in
their lives. This research brings us one step closer to understanding why it is
that some people have relatively secure relationships with close others whereas
others have more difficulty opening up to and depending on important people in