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Major study says divorce has a negative impact on children, particularly boys


According to an article in the Daily Mail, a major study conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education (UCL) has concluded that divorce can have a major negative impact on children.

This research confirms many earlier studies that have revealed that divorce has the potential to harm children. Studies have shown that divorce leads to higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse among children, increased difficulties at school, greater chance of emotional and mental problems, increased difficulties with the law, higher rates of poverty and difficulties holding down a job and these problems followed the children when they became adults.

Related: 1) Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce, 2) Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children3) Impact of divorce on teens,  4) The impact of divorce on adult children, 5) The long-term effects of divorce on children

The study conducted by UCL was quite extensive as it looked at the impact of divorce on 6,245 students between the ages of three to 14. Researchers repeatedly monitored their behavior between 2000 and 2002.

What they discovered is that children seven years and older were more impacted by divorce than those that were younger. The study revealed that for the older group there was a 16% increase in emotional problems, which for boys translated into an eight percent increase in bad behavior.

In the majority of cases, the children lived with their mother and the impact was the same despite their socio-economic background.  The study noted:

“Among older children, increased emotional problems were apparent for both boys and girls. But heightened behavioural issues were observed in boys only.

“Children from more privileged backgrounds were just as likely to have mental health problems as their less advantaged peers.”

The report also stated that women who divorced their husbands when their children were older also experienced more mental health problems than mothers who did not divorce.

In Malachi 2:16, we read that God hates divorce, but have you looked closely as to why?

For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV)

God not only calls divorce an act of treachery but says when a man does this he “covers his garment with wrong.”

The Hebrew word “hamas,” translated “wrong” by the NASV, is more commonly translated violence. This is how “hamas” is translated in Genesis 6: 11, 13, when the Bible says the world was filled with violence.

But we need to be clear that God is describing the act of divorce as being violent.


Maybe God is concerned about is the damage and harm divorce causes children.


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