Parents’ Divorce and Family Stress Can Affect Children’s Health: Study

Parents' Divorce and Family Stress Can Affect Children's Health: Study

Excessive stress can be bad for you and your family, especially your little one. If you are going through a stressful event in your life, chances are it might trickle down to your child. Constantly fighting with your spouse or getting into repeated arguments may have a negative impact on your child’s brain. According to experts, even prenatal stress can have an effect on the mental health of your baby.

Stress during pregnancy puts the fetus under lot of pressure. It may lead to complications in delivery and development issues in the newborn. A recently conducted study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explains that kids who see their parents separate may take a hit on their mental health. “The fallout appears to harm their health for decades, even into adulthood,” AFP reported.

Experts found that kids with separated parents who didn’t keep in touch were more susceptible to falling sick over children with separated parents who kept in touch. Family stress during childhood may influence a child’s susceptibility to disease 20-40 years later.


Many previous studies have studied the concept of ‘mirror neurons’ explaining why a baby smiles back at you when you smile. Kids therefore have the ability to mirror parental or familial stress as well. It may become an active part of their personality. According to Daphne Hernandez and her team from the University of Houston, “Experiencing family stress – specifically family disruption and financial stress – repeatedly throughout childhood was associated with overweight or obesity by the time adolescent girls turned 18.”


There has been much documented evidence underlying the association between childhood stress and health ailments in children. While some repercussions may begin to show right in the childhood – irritability, mood swings, depression, poor performance at school, anti-social behavior, aggressiveness – others may surface later in life.


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