When we think of youth in our culture we often think of strength and resilience. We equate being young with being able to quickly bounce back and heal in no time. Apparently, we have overlooked the ability for young people to posses a toolkit to deal with life changing issues such as an uncontested divorce.
Hui Liu, assistant professor at Michigan State University, conducted research on the health impact of divorce on young people. Liu's research spanned for fifteen years. Her researched covered the transition from marriage to divorce between different generations and found serious health consequences.
Individuals who divorced between the ages of thirty-five and forty-one reported have more health issues. Liu stated the younger the person was when he or she was getting divorced the higher the likelihood of reporting health problems, and the period in which they experienced health issues was also of a longer duration.
As a result of Liu's study she has suggested some pro-active measures to help ensure the longevity of younger marriages. Among her suggestions she includes:
1. divorce counseling (to assist in helping with divorce stress);
2. prevention programs, encouraging marital satisfaction; and
3. marital therapy.
Liu believes that our younger divorcing couples would benefit from stronger familial and social support during the transitioning period of marriage to divorce. During the study, older divorcing couples were better able to cope with the impact of stress produced during divorce. The reasoning given that older couples have had encountered life changing challenges and knew how to better cope and move on than younger couples.
This study does support previous research on the impact of divorce on one's health. Prior studies have demonstrated that divorce can cause a twenty percent higher probability of chronic health problems. Health issues related to divorce in previous studies include:
2. diabetes; and
3. heart disease.
There was a positive finding in the study. The health issues people experience during their divorce lasts as long as the stress of the divorce. Also, the findings included that once the divorce is over individuals regain the same level of health as married people.
If you are currently going through an uncontested divorce researchers suggest you keep up healthy habits. Eating healthy and exercising can be critical in helping one emotionally and physically cope during an uncontested divorce. In addition, researches state being around a supportive network can lessen the impact on one's health.