While it's something we all innately know, a new study helps prove that it is in the best interest of your children to settle or mediate your divorce as congenially and cooperatively as possible. "Amicable divorce" may sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible. Now, scientists from the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University inform us that it also may be necessary. The study focused on whether or not divorce puts children at a higher risk of developing a wide-range of eating disorder symptoms.
We thought our readers in Columbus, Ohio, would be interested in knowing that the researchers found that eating disorders are triggered by both genetic and environmental factors. For example, previous research has shown that there are higher rates of bulimia nervosa among children of divorce that in the general population. But, this is the first study of its kind to measure how divorce affects our genetics alone.
It may very well be that the additional stress factors associated with divorce may have more to do with triggering a negative body image for our children than the actual divorce. But, minimizing the emotional and financial turmoil within your family during divorce proceedings and negotiations will provide endless benefits for you and your children. In addition, alternative dispute resolutions are often met with a higher level of compliance among both parties.
For this study, more than 2,000 sets of twins were given questionnaires on disordered eating symptoms. According to the survey, body dissatisfaction exclusively associated with a parent's divorce. While the study did not measure specific stressful situations associated with a parent's divorce like fighting, yelling, abuse or economic factors, it did prove that divorce does, in fact, impact our children in numerous ways. In addition, the respondents were from the general population, not just those with known eating disorders.
Source: about.com, "Does Parental Divorce Trigger Eating Disorders?" Susan Cowden, June 11, 2012