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The impact of divorce on the academic prospects of the children of wealth

What’s the link between a family’s means, divorce and a child’s academic success?

Believe it or not, children of wealthy parents struggle harder to adapt when their parents divorce than children of lesser means. The authors of a 2019 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study examined how divorce affects a child’s academic progress and learned that there’s a surprising, somewhat counterintuitive connection between a family’s wealth and a child’s resilience to the strain of their parents’ split. 

What the research has to say about divorce and a child’s academic prospects

Researchers analyzed the cases of 11,512 children and 4,931 mothers from different socioeconomic backgrounds as part of this study. They aimed to determine which parents were most apt to divorce and how the end of those marriages impacted their kids’ academics. 

The researchers discovered that kids with divorced parents were 6% less likely to complete high school than ones with married ones. They also determined that children of divorce were 15% less likely to graduate college than kids who had married parents. Surprisingly, when researchers compared these statistics with socioeconomic data, they determined that the divorces involving parents of means were particularly disruptive to their children’s academic futures. 

The study’s authors believe that children from wealthier homes may be less emotionally prepared to handle the disruptions associated with their parents’ divorce, while children from economically disadvantaged households may adjust better simply because they’ve already adapted to dysfunctional situations. 

How to minimize the impact of your divorce on your kids

When asked about the strategy for minimizing the impact marital strife has on kids, most child psychologists recommend not involving your son or daughter in any conflicts between you and your co-parent. An attorney can help you sort out the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time matters with your co-parent in hopes of keeping conflict to a minimum. This will hopefully ensure there’s less of an impact on their academics than there otherwise would be.