Children from broken homes suffer more emotional, psychological illnesses, study

Date: Fri Jan 24 2003 - 12:38:47 EST

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    Subject: Children from broken homes suffer more emotional, psychological
    illnesses, study claims
    Copyright 2003 AP Online
    By EMMA ROSS, AP Medical Writer

    LONDON (January 23, 2003 8:17 p.m. EST) - Children growing up in
    single-parent families are twice as likely as their counterparts to develop
    serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life, according to an
    important new study.

    Researchers have for years debated whether children from broken homes
    bounce back or whether they are more likely than kids whose parents stay
    together to develop serious emotional problems.

    Experts say the latest study, published this week in The Lancet medical
    journal, is important mainly because of its unprecedented scale and follow-up
    it tracked about 1 million children for a decade, into their mid-20s.

    The question of why and how those children end up with such problems
    remains unanswered. The study suggests that financial hardship may play a
    but other experts say the research also supports the view that quality of
    parenting could be a factor.

    The study used the Swedish national registries, which cover almost the
    entire population and contain extensive socio-economic and health information.
    Children were considered to be living in a single-parent household if they
    living with the same single adult in both the 1985 and 1990 housing census.
    That could have been the result of divorce, separation, death of a parent, out
    of wedlock birth, guardianship or other reasons.

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