Study Indicates Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected By Divorce

A new study by Georgetown University researchers published in the journal Child Development indicates that children with wealthier parents are generally more impacted by divorce than children with poorer parents. The research suggests that wealthier children will have greater benefits from being part of stepfamilies, but will be more likely to have behavioral problems.

The information gathered in the study was mostly obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth between the years 1986 and 2008. Researchers analyzed the development, health and overall well being of more than 4,000 children in the survey, as well as interviews with mothers of the children that questioned the socio-emotional state of the child.

Then, the researchers split the children up into three groups based on their family income: high, medium and low. Divorce only had a significant impact on the group of children in the top income level. While the researchers haven’t found a surefire cause for this, the hypothesis is that the child is more affected in these situations because he or she is more likely to see a significant change in income in the family. Approximately 60 percent of wealthy families in the United States credit the father as being the main breadwinner, yet after the parents’ divorce, the mother is the one more likely to have primary custody. The child may need to change schools, move to a new home and live in a family with less income. These lifestyle changes make for more stress on the child.

The appearance of stepparents was actually shown to have a positive impact on behavior for children in all income levels.

As you go through a divorce, work with an attorney to make sure whatever plans you put into place will make the transition as easy as possible on your children. Consult an experienced child custody lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates today.

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