According to a recent study conducted in the Midwest, adverse experiences during childhood, including parents going through an adversarial divorce, have been linked to problems with health later in life. People with adverse childhood experiences were more likely to suffer from asthma, obesity, depression, anxiety, alcoholism as well as other health problems.
The study was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health. In a news release, one of the leaders of the study said the goal now is to determine how to provide assistance to children who are going through these adverse experiences. Another spokesperson from the state said other studies have shown that adverse childhood experiences can change the structure of the brain.
"When you first look at this data, it just makes us really sad. And then you recognize that if we understand that there are things that we can do differently and start to problem solve around that, we can actually improve health on a much broader scale," the state spokesperson said.
One of the things parents can do differently is to choose to end their marriages through Collaborative Law or mediation instead of a highly-contested legal battle. Collaborative Law and mediation are both forms of alternative dispute resolution that allow a couple to end their marriage with as little harm to their children as possible.
This is done by conducting the divorce in an amicable manner in which both parties work together to reach an agreement that they both deem satisfactory. Collaborative Law is unique in that both parties and their attorneys agree not to go to court. That way, the parties cannot use the threat of court as bargaining power.
In mediation, a third party neutral helps facilitate negotiations between the two parties. The parties can be represented by attorneys, but they don't have to be. Both of these models also are helpful for parents who must work together in raising their children.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio, "State links trauma as child to poor health," Elizabeth Dunbar, Jan. 28, 2013