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Researchers in the field of child psychology have known for years of the harmful effects to children when families undergo divorce. However, until recently, it was suspected that the negative effects divorce has on children was not linked to the financial status of the family.

A new study out of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., now suggests that children from higher-income families are more susceptible to developing behavioral problems after the family splits up.

The study leader, an assistant psychology professor at Georgetown, says that her group looked at almost 4,000 children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. The research discovered that the dramatic shift in living conditions sometimes caused by divorce affected children from higher income families more negatively than children from lower income families. The researchers speculated that result may be in part due to the fact that children involved lower income divorces don’t experience much change in their living conditions.

The study also showed that the children’s age at the time of divorce also played a factor in influencing risks such as aggression or defiance. The study found that the splitting of a wealthier family only affected those children negatively when the break occurred after the child was five years or older. Children in that higher income group also showed improvement in behavior when joining a stepparent’s family, but only after 6 years old.

Regardless of your financial status, divorce is always problematic for any children involved. Arizona residents who have children and are considering divorce should think about how changes in their living conditions may affect their children’s development.

By enlisting the aid of a family law professional, potentially thorny issues such as parental relocation, child support, property division and others may be settled more amicably between the parties. With the right guidance, both spouses may be able to work out a reasonable settlement that provides for the least amount of disruption in the children’s living conditions.

Source: Fox 10 Phoenix, “Parents’ divorce may hit higher-income kids harder” Sep. 10, 2014


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