Divorce may have a particularly severe impact on college students, a new study has found. Researchers found that some spouses might put off having a divorce for their children’s sake. But, by waiting until the children are older and on their own away at college, spouses could hurt college students more. Students may feel guilty that their parents stayed married just for them. They may feel that their family life was a lie, and these feelings could impact their college performance.
The study out of Arizona State University found that the financial consequences of divorce raise students’ stress levels. Students may find themselves worrying about their parents’ living expenses, since they no longer split the bills down the middle. The divorce also causes them to worry about tuition payments, particularly if the payments become a huge burden for the parent who is now footing the tuition bill.
The same study did find several factors associated with students who remained healthy while coping with a divorce during college:
- Peaceful divorces were much better for students’ health than drawn out and bitter divorces that never seem to heal
- Students who kept in close contact with their parents stayed healthier than those who lost contact with one of their parents
- Students whose parents constantly left conflicts unresolved exhibited some of those same traits themselves
- Controlled breathing and other relaxation methods that helped students focus on the positive aspects of their lives helped students cope with divorce
Have you experienced a divorce while raising college-aged children? How did you help them cope with your divorce so as to avoid hurting their studies?
John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys