Divorce puts a strain on each and every member of the family, but a new study has shed light on just how bad things can get for teenagers going through the ordeal.


Researchers at Stockholm University claim that going through a divorce can increase a child’s risk of psychosomatic problems.


While previous research established that the children of divorced parents were more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems, this new study has delved into the heart of the statistics.


For the study, which has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers looked at data on 150,000 Swedish 12- and 15-year-olds.


The researchers looked at the prevalence of psychosomatic problems such as difficulty sleeping, headaches, stomach aches, tension, sadness, dizziness and loss of appetite during their study.



They found that teens who were living with one parent suffered the most with psychosomatic problems, while those living in a nuclear family (both parents in the home) suffered the fewest.


The highest proportion of children who claimed to ‘often’ or ‘always’ experience the above-listed problems were also found in the category of teens living with one parent.


The researchers also established that children living in a joint custody arrangement reported fewer psychosomatic problems than their peers who were living with one parent, but children living with both parents still encountered fewer problems in comparison.


The study authors emphasised that it was an observational study, and so they did not come to any solid statistical evidence. However, they suggest that the increase in psychosomatic problems may be due to stress.