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Parental conflict impact on children

Parental conflict impact on children

Published at 3:33pm 3rd April 2018. (Updated at 3:50pm 3rd April 2018)

Research reveals parental arguments have an impact on children and their mental health.

A recent article written by Gordon Harold suggests children are heavily affected by attributes of inter-parental conflict.

How parents express and manage conflicts in their relationship can have an affect on their child's mental health and wellbeing. 

New evidence says that "children's emotional, behavioral, social, academic outcomes, and future interpersonal relationships are adversely affected by conflict between parents/carers."

This is regardless of whether adults are living together or where children are or are not genetically related (adoption).

Carol Jessop, Partner at Harrogate Family Law, spoke to Stray FM about the recent findings:

"Children are adversely affected when aware of their parents' arguments. Children as young as 6 months old observe their parents' behaviour and can be affected by it with the possibility of it impacting on their long term mental health.

"Parents who stay together for the sake of their children may be doing more harm than those who separate. Bringing children up in a home where the parties argue or resent each other can have a much more detrimental effect than a divorce.

"The way separation and divorce is handled makes all the difference for the children. They need to be protected from parental conflict and they need to see their parents working together to make the situation as easy as possible for the children. Children can learn valuable lessons from seeing their parents resolve issues in a positive and constructive way rather than causing each other a lot of angst."

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