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Studies are showing parental divorce as a major cause of youth suicide

Opinion

The recent 2016 study of suicide risk from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents troubling data in regard to the 24% increase in suicides in the United States over the 15-year period between 1999 and 2014.  Of particular concern was the finding of the tripling of the suicide rate for females 10-14.  Unfortunately, the CDC does not have data on what percentage of these girls were children of divorce, were born of single mothers or grew up without fathers because such data are not politically correct in a culture that posits that all family structures are the same.

Many well-designed research studies have disproven this belief.  For example, research on the children of divorce provide overwhelming evidence to disprove the myth that divorce does not harm children.  In fact, the divorce epidemic has contributed to the serious and growing psychopathology in American youth. One example is the first major study of American adolescent psychopathology published in 2010 (Merikangas et al.): 49 percent of the 10,000 teenagers studied met the criteria for one psychiatric disorder and 40 percent met the criteria for two disorders.

Research by Penn State sociologist Paul Amato (2005) on the long-term damage to children from divorce demonstrated that, if the United States enjoyed the same level of family stability as it did in 1960, the nation would have 70,000 fewer suicide attempts in youth every year, about 600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy and 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency.  He wrote that turning back the family-stability clock just a few decades could significantly improve the lives of many children.

Another study in 2011 demonstrated the suicide risk in those whose parents divorced before they were 18.   This research with 6,647 adults revealed that 695 participants had experienced parental divorce before the age of eighteen and that the men from divorced families had more than three times the increased risk of suicidal ideation in comparison to men whose parents had not divorced (Fuller-Thomson, E. & Dalton, A.D., 2011). Adult daughters of divorce had an 83 percent higher risk of suicidal ideation than their female peers who had not experienced parental divorce.

Adults are also vulnerable to suicidal thinking and acts after divorce.  A 2010 study from Rutgers of suicide among middle-aged Americans found divorce rates has doubled for middle-aged and older adults since the 1990s, leading to social isolation. This study showed that in 2005 unmarried middle-aged men were 3.5 times more likely than married men to die from suicide and their female counterparts were as much as 2.8 times more likely to kill themselves. The divorce rate has doubled for middle-aged and older adults since the 1990s (Phillips, J.A., Nugent, C.N. & Idler, E.L. (2010).

This article continues at [Life Site News] Divorce is killing our children, but we’re too drowned in PC nonsense to talk about it

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