More than a quarter of kids have disordered eating habits after parents' divorce
A new survey conducted by a UK-based family law firm suggests that divorce can send kids into a tailspin of unhealthy habits - one of them being disordered eating behaviors.
Over 500 young people between the ages of 14 and 22 were interviewed for the survey, and all of them were children of divorced or separated parents.
The findings suggest that divorce not only impacts younger teens in many negative ways, but that the ramifications can greatly influence their maturation process during the critical young adults years.
Eating, school, social and behavioral issues
More than 25 percent of the teens surveyed said they either resorted to comfort eating - or not eating enough - because of their parents' divorce.
Other areas of their lives saw sweeping changes, too: 24 percent said they struggled with homework or completing assignments, 11 percent said they got into more trouble at school and 13 percent said they had experimented (or considered experimenting) with drugs.
Over a quarter of the kids also said one parent had attempted to put them in the middle of arguments, and one-third said a parent had tried to turn them against the other.
Previous studies on eating disorders and family systems suggest that parental involvement is a key factor in preventing unhealthy behaviors, as well as the successful treatment and long-term recovery of conditions like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.
According to the current study's authors, the findings show the broad range of impact that divorce can have on young people.
"[The findings] underline just how important it is that parents manage their separation in a way that minimizes the stress and impact on the entire family, especially children," a spokesperson for the survey group said.
Source: International Business Times