Post-divorce stability important for kids

May 13, 2008

Children who experienced stable family situations after divorce fared better as young adults than did those with unstable post-divorce families, according to a study in the May Journal of Marriage and Family.

Children who experienced stable family situations after divorce fared better as young adults than did those with unstable post-divorce families, according to a study in the May Journal of Marriage and Family.

The investigators compared 5,303 children from always-married families, 954 children with divorced parents but a stable family structure, and 697 children with divorced parents and a family structure that changed once or twice between the ages of 14 and 18.

At age 26, participants from stable post-divorce families had a similar likelihood of attending college and living in poverty compared to those from always-married families, but a lower likelihood of obtaining as good of a degree, as much occupational prestige, and as high of an income as those from always-married families.

However, participants from unstable post-divorce families fared worse than those from always-married families on all measures at age 26, and more than twice as poorly on most measures, such as income.