Study: Divorce Has Biggest Health Impact on Younger Generation

Posted on Feb 28, 2012
Numerous studies have been published about the negative impact of divorce on a person’s health. In fact, divorce ranks number two on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, which measures how negatively a traumatic event impacts an individual’s health. It is preceded only by the death of a spouse.

But until now, little has been revealed about the health impacts of divorce on people of different ages. Surprisingly, a recent study by Hui Liu, an associate sociology professor at the University of Michigan, found that divorce has the most negative impact on the health of younger divorcees. 

“I would have expected divorce to carry less stress for the younger generation, since divorce is more prevalent for them,” Liu said in a Michigan State University press release.

Liu’s study, which reviewed data from 1282 participants over a 15-year period, revealed results that were opposite of her original assumption. She found that those who divorced between the ages of 35 and 41 reported a higher incident of illness than those who divorced between the ages of 44 and 50.

After analyzing her data, Liu now believes that “older divorcees have more life experience and coping resources to handle stress and they may know better how to cope with the stress from divorce." On the other hand, "Younger divorcees are relatively less mature and may not be good at handling the stress."

Are you going through a divorce or separation? Click here for tips for staying healthy during your divorce.

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