Children of divorce still suffering decades later

Children whose parents divorced are still suffering from the damaging effects into their 50s, new research has indicated.

A report published by the International Longevity Centre UK found that the consequences of family breakdown do not ‘wear off’.

It adds to the overwhelming evidence showing the serious damage of divorce.

Long-term sickness

The research, in collaboration with Government-funded group Uncertain Futures, found that children who experience adversity such as divorce, illness or neglect are more likely to be unemployed in their 50s.

It also found that such children are three times more likely to be suffering long-term sickness in their mid-50s.

The research was based on the experiences of over 9,000 children born in 1958 who took part in the National Child Development Study.

‘Negative consequences’

The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said he was not surprised by the results.

“This research confirms what we instinctively know about the impact of divorce.

“Decades later, the negative consequences still affect the lives of many children in a profound way.”

Coalition for Marriage

It comes shortly after a separate study revealed that children of divorce are much more likely to suffer mental health problems.

The Marriage Foundation think tank said: “Even after taking mothers’ marital status, happiness, and background into account, not having a father in the house remains the number one predictor of teenage mental health problems in the UK.”

The Times newspaper is leading a campaign to bring in no-fault divorce and heterosexual civil partnerships.

In response, the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) warned that weakening the law on marriage causes serious damage to society. C4M fears introducing no-fault divorce could end 10,000 marriages a year and reduce the meaning of marriage to that of “a tenancy contract”.