USA Today article entitled, When Parents Split, Preschoolers Show Behavior Problems, relates an interesting study of the effects of a divorce (or some kind of change) on behavior issues:
The study found that such disruption, particularly in the child’s first three years but likely as long as five years, “more strongly influences children’s development than changes later in childhood,” and those influences “seem to have negative effects on children’s behavior.”
“Family-structure changes during early childhood at the preschool period seem to matter more than later changes,” said the study’s co-author Rebecca Ryan of Georgetown, an assistant professor of psychology.
“They increase behavior problems particularly if you move from a two-biological-parent family into a single-parent family or experience some other type of change,” Ryan told the session. “Change experienced in middle childhood and pre-adolescence had no effect on kids’ outcomes.”
Studies like this really help me better understand, empathize, and help young children through a divorce.