The Impact Of Divorce On Teens

More and more American teens are experiencing divorce in their family.

According to a new report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, more than half of all 17-year-olds now live in homes that have suffered from divorce or separation.

Dr. Elizabeth Marquardt is a professor at the Marriage & Religion Research Institute at Lake Forest College.

She points out that while some of these kids still live in a household with a mother and a father, just 45% live with their biological mom and dad.

Children who come from broken homes are statistically less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to suffer from depression as adults, and more likely to have their own children out of wedlock.

In addition, a new analysis of the divorce research shows that it negatively impacts a person’s religious faith.  Children raised in families where their parents remain happily married are twice as likely to attend worship at a church than those whose parents divorce.

Dr. Marquardt says “Children of divorce are on the leading edge of the well-documented spiritual-but-not-religious movement.”

I did a report on that cultural trend a few weeks ago, and mentioned that people who identify as “spiritual but not religious” are more likely to experience symptoms of mental illness and abuse drugs and alcohol.

So how should we respond to news like this?  If you know a teen who has experienced divorce, consider if God may be calling you reach out to them as a friend or mentor.

To read more about the new findings on divorce, go to and enter “divorce research” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

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