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In addition, children from high-discord families may experience the divorce as a welcome relief from their parents' fighting.
Taken together, the findings suggest that only a small percentage of young people experience divorce-related problems.
For example, in a 2002 book, For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, Hetherington and her co-author, journalist John Kelly, describe a 25-year study in which Hetherington followed children of divorce and children of parents who stayed together.
She found that 25 percent of the adults whose parents had divorced experienced serious social, emotional or psychological troubles compared with 10 percent of those whose parents remained together.
On all other measures, differences between the two groups were small.
Bouncing Back Even though children of divorce generally do well, a number of factors can reduce the problems they might experience.
In 2000 in a book entitled The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, then at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues present detailed case studies suggesting that most adults who were children of divorce experience serious problems such as depression and relationship issues.
Further, children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those whose primary parent is doing poorly.Other, more general facets of good parenting can also buffer against divorce-related difficulties in children. LILIENFELD serve on the board of advisers for Scientific American Mind.Parents should provide warmth and emotional support, and they should closely monitor their children's activities. Arkowitz is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, and Lilienfeld is a psychology professor at Emory University.These problems can impair a parent's ability to offer children stability and love when they are most in need.Grown-up Concerns The experience of divorce can also create problems that do not appear until the late teenage years or adulthood.