Item from the Smart Marriages Archive, reproduced in the Divorce Statistics Collection

December 7, 1999

Staff Editorial Iowa State Daily Iowa State U.

(U-WIRE) AMES, Iowa -- There are thousands of studies done per year, and
the results, statistics and findings can become mind-boggling.

But there's one recent Iowa State study, which was conducted by ISU's
Department of Sociology and Institute for Social and Behavioral Research,
that was published in the November edition of the Journal of Marriage and
the Family that's worth taking a look at.

The study, titled "Explaining the Higher Incidence of Adjustment Problems
Among Children of Divorce Compared to Those in Intact Families," examines
major factors associated with divorce and child development problems.

While its title may be a mouthful, it has uncovered some interesting
facts about the effects of divorce.

Divorce does not have the devastating, lasting effects on children that
the stereotype would have us believe.

The study doesn't herald divorce; the negative repercussions still exist.

According to the study, girls are more likely to experience depression as
a result of the divorce, while boys may become depressed or increase
tendencies toward conduct problems if their fathers are absent. All too
often, this is the case.

The point the study makes is this: Divorce can be extremely hard on
children, but by the time children reach adulthood, they have discovered
their own way of dealing with the situation, and don't perpetually live
their lives in the shadow of their parents' breakup.

Although the study may not seem too ground-breaking, it revisits a topic
that has almost become forgotten because it happens so often.

Because divorce is so common, it isn't discussed and explored as much as
it should be.

The ironic thing is although divorce affects a lot of families, the
stigma still exists.

For many kids, there's a lot of pain that comes with divorce.

They don't see one parent as much as they should, and there's the feeling
that they were somehow to blame for the divorce, even though the old
adage is true: Divorce is never a kid's fault.

It is not inconceivable for a divorce to be the event that saves a
family.

Sometimes, people just grow apart.

Sometimes, people just don't belong together and discover that after
they've already had their families.

The study shows that people can adjust after divorce. A lot of that
adjustment depends on how well parents behave for the sake of the
children.

Divorce is a fact of life. It's not a dirty little secret or even an
inevitable tragedy that rips families apart.

It is, however, a subject that needs to be talked about with candor and
examined in a new light.



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