(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study found that a bitter divorce might have a bigger impact on the child than it was previously thought. It seems that a permanent split between parents affects the child’s immune system. If parents maintain their relationship into more amiable terms even after divorce, then the child is less likely to suffer serious illnesses later in life.
A divorce can impact a child’s health even later in life
A divorce can leave serious psychological marks on a child, but a recent research shows that the split can also affect him physically. The stress of not growing up with both parents around can lead to the child developing asthma or heart disease later in life.
This adds to the previous studies which showed that children from broken marriages struggle with mental health issues, and are more likely to experience relationship problems when they grow older. However, there is still hope for those children whose parents remain on speaking terms even after divorce.
Dr. Michael Murphy, from Carnegie Mellon University, said that this is a huge step in identifying the effects of stress during early childhood. It is important to know that putting a lot of emotional pressure on your child might affect his health up to 20 or 40 years after.
“Early life stressful experiences do something to our physiology and inflammatory processes that increase risk for poorer health and chronic illness.”
Children have a weaker immune system if parents stop talking to each other after divorce
For the study, researchers looked at 83 women and 118 men, who had to stay in a hotel in quarantine, where they were infected with the virus which produces the common cold, rhinovirus. Of these people, 149 showed some symptoms, while 60 of them developed a cold.
Then, researchers discovered that those whose parents had separated and never spoke again were more likely to develop the infection. On the other hands, those with divorced parents who were still in amiable terms showed no difference from those with non-split families.
Therefore, when children suffer serious traumas during childhood, they are affected not only psychologically, but also physically. The higher degrees of inflammation related to these situations lead to the development of heart disease, cancer, and they might even suffer premature death.
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