Relationships Quick Answers
Can scientists predict which children will have problems as a result of changes in their families due to divorce?
Not very well. We have some good ideas, but we are still unable to accurately predict which children are most vulnerable. Here are some things to consider. Children who are intelligent, socially mature, and responsible are more likely to adapt well to their parents' divorce. Children with a sense of humor and who get along easily with others are likely to get more support from other adults around them. Children who are difficult to manage and who engage in negative interactions with their parents and other caregivers are likely to have more difficulties adjusting at least in part because others are less likely to offer them support.
There are many factors that influence how a child will adjust to changes in the family. Two important factors are the amount of conflict between parents and the support available from friends and family.
Robert Hughes, Jr., Ph.D., Former Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, August 20, 2008