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The Effect of Divorce on Young Adult Children

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville Divorce Lawyers

Divorce is a decision that changes the lives of the whole family, especially a couple’s children. Much of the discussion around divorce focuses on children and their reactions to divorce. A child who is age 4 will have a different reaction than one who is 14. However, it is also crucial to realize divorce impacts everyone in the family, even after they have reached adulthood. Young adults also have to come to terms with their parents separating and most need some guidance and help to work through their feelings. 

Divorce Impact on Children

A study by NYU Steinhart examined the effect of divorce on “emerging adults,” meaning people age 18-25 who are either going to college or just entering the workforce. Emerging adulthood is a time in which numerous changes take place. They are moving away from home, have more responsibilities and bills to pay, and do not always have their parents to fall back on. A survey cited in the NYU study found that among college students in their first year, 26 percent of their parents were separated or divorced. Of 16 million college students, 4 million have parents who are no longer together.

The study specifically aimed to identify if emerging adults who have married parents or divorced parents experience differences in self-esteem. They also hoped to determine what the relationship is between self-esteem and their support system. What they found is social support definitely increases self-esteem levels in emerging adults. Additionally, their study found no measurable difference between self-esteem in emerging adults of divorced and married parents. The authors conceded that their study needed a better sample size in terms of diversity and did not control for other factors such as stress or anxiety, so further testing needs to be done. 

The results indicate self-esteem is not measurably affected by divorce in the emerging adult age group. Nonetheless, this does not mean all emerging adults will be fine with their parents divorcing. Having an open conversation with them about the divorce will most likely help the coping process, but it is still important not to insult your former spouse or place the blame on them. The focus should be on helping everyone work through the process as compassionately as possible. 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Divorce is not always the easiest option, but it may be the best option for you. If you are at a time in your life in which you feel divorce is the only path forward, you want to work with a knowledgeable and compassionate Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. are adept in divorce cases and have the knowledge needed to get the best resolution possible. Call us today for a free consultation at 630-653-9400. 



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