As a single child, growing up in a broken household, can affect you in more ways than you imagine. From smoking to other risky behaviors, children from divorced families are more likely to engage such activities than children growing up with both parents. According to a new study, girls are more susceptible to family break-ups than boys.
Before reaching the conclusion, the team of scientists behind this study has to study a large volume of data. The information on how children belonging to broken households fare in life was provided by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent behavior.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Behavior collected data on over 90000 teenagers, over a period of 13 years. The behavioral study has been performed in four separate waves, each of these waves returning more data on how teenagers choose to cope with their home situation.
The first part of the study took place in 1996 and it amassed approximately 7600 young adults, with ages ranging from 15 to 18 years old. As we understand, the last wave of data collection was in 2009, when several patterns in teenage behavior resurfaced.
In order to see how these events can impact an individual, the team of scientists took into accounts several key criteria such as physical health and mental health. Other dimensions were added such as the child growing up with his mother, the death of father scenario being excluded altogether.
According to the data furnished by the national survey, it would seem that girls are more susceptible to family break-ups than boys. And the study also uncovered another discovered fact. In those broken households, where the father left when the child was 5 years old, the teenager’s mental health would degrade much faster.
Moreover, it would seem that the repercussion of growing in a broken family are capable of projecting themselves over the years. As such, in one wave of the study, the team of scientists discovered that adults with ages ranging from 25 to 32 years old have trouble dealing with their smoking or alcohol consumption addictions.
All in all, children growing up in broken households are more susceptible to depression and could end up practicing risky behavior such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and even drug abuse.
And it would also seem that the period of time between ages 6 and 10 is very important to a girl’s mental health.
All in all, the scientists have found a link between risky behavior is seen in adolescents and their family background.