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How divorce affects children’s mental health

by | Oct 8, 2020 |

A divorce in Texas can be a trying time for parents as well as their children. Yet, many parents neglect to look after their children’s mental health during and after separation.

Depending on the child’s age, the trauma of parents divorcing can manifest in different ways.

Effects of divorce on teenagers

While not every child will take a divorce the same way, Resources to Recovery states that teenagers whose parents divorce early in their lives may be more likely to have more sexual partners through adolescence, and they may become sexually active at an earlier age than their peers. Such risk-taking behavior also extends to substance abuse.

The sudden change of a divorce can sometimes lead to feelings of anger and resentment in teenagers. Kids in this group may start to harbor feelings of blame towards one or both parents.

Effects of divorce on younger children

VeryWell Family points out that younger children who have been through a divorce may struggle more with academics. In addition to learning issues, some behavioral problems may arise as well. These problems can include more conflict with their peers, impulsive behavior, delinquency and conduct disorders.

While some children act out in response to the emotional hardship of divorce, others may internalize their struggles. Studies show that children from divorced parents have higher rates of both anxiety and depression.

Helping children and teens to cope with divorce

When a family cannot stay together, parents should always keep their children’s best interests in mind. A child or teenager who is acting out may need to talk to a mental health counselor to help him or her to adjust.