Children of High-Income Families May be More Stressed by Divorce

Divorce can have a major impact on just about any child in Kentucky. They may suddenly feel as if their whole world has been turned upside down. It is understandably a difficult transition for a child and their parents to make. However, a new study has stated that children from higher-income families may be the most affected when it comes to divorce.

The study was performed by researchers at the University of Chicago and Georgetown University. Data was taken from a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey that began in 1979 and analyzed how children responded to major shifts in their family life, such as divorce.

According to the study, children from high-income households faired worse when it came to divorce, compared to children from lower-income households. There are a few hypotheses as to why this may be. One reason may be that, since higher-income couples are less likely to divorce, when divorce does happen it can be more trying for the child, as there is not the same level of social support for divorced families that there may be among lower-income individuals. In addition, the stress each parent feels can trickle down to their child, making the divorce tougher for the child to weather.

Another theory is that many times it is the father --- who may also the primary income-earner -- that leaves the home. This means that children from higher-income families may find that their lifestyle has changed post-divorce. They may have to move to new neighborhoods or switch schools, which can cause a lot of stress. Changes in child custody can also affect the child, whether the parents share an equal amount of time with the child, or whether the child lives mainly with one parent and has visitation with the other parent.

The study also noted, however, that if the divorced mother remarries, having a new stepparent may provide the child with the stability they needed post-divorce. As this shows, there are many ways separation, divorce and remarriage can affect a child. No two instances are the same, and divorce will affect each child and each family differently, no matter where they lie on the socio-economic sphere. But by focusing on the best interests of the child, parents can help their child move through the divorce process in the best possible manner.