It seems obvious to say that going through a divorce has a negative impact on the lives of the former spouses, their children, and other members of their families. However, how much of an impact does divorce have on physical and mental health? A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology was the first of its kind to examine how divorce immediately impacts physical and mental health.
Plenty of studies have been conducted involving couples who have gone through a divorce but those studies didn’t accurately show the impact divorce had on physical and mental health for one big reason: many countries require couples to go through a separation period prior to being granted a divorce. Longtime separation can help one or both spouses heal from their psychological wounds, providing inaccurate information.
“Previous studies have not investigated the effects of divorce without extensive separation periods occurring before the divorce,” said Prof Gert Hald, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in a news release. “We were able to study divorcees who had been granted a so-called ‘immediate’ divorce in Denmark and on average, these divorcees obtained a divorce within 5 days of filing for it.”
There were 1,856 recent divorcees who took part in the study. All of the participants were tasked with completing a survey that asked them questions about their health, their background, and their divorce.
After reviewing the answers to the questionnaires, the study’s authors concluded that the immediate aftermath of divorce had a more profound impact on a person’s physical and mental health when compared to the general population.
The study uncovered a few trends:
- Better physical health among men can be predicted if they earn more and are younger
- Better mental health among men can be predicted if they have previous divorces, have a new partner, or have children
- Better physical health among women can be predicted if they have a new partner, earn more money, and have fewer previous divorces
- Better mental health among women can be predicted if they have a new partner and if they initiated the divorce
The study also found that more conflict in the marriage led to the prediction of worse mental health for both genders. Hald noted that the results of this study could help recent divorcees deal with the physical and mental toll it can take on their lives using different intervention methods.
“These might include face-to-face or digital interventions that are designed to reduce the specific adverse mental and physical health effects of divorce. Not only would this be beneficial for divorcees, but it could also save money by countering the negative impacts of divorce on work-place productivity, sick days, doctor visits, and use of health care facilities.”
Filing for divorce in East Tennessee is easier when you enlist the help of an experienced Maryville divorce attorney from Shepherd & Long, P.C. Call our office at 865-982-8060 to speak with a member of our team. You can also complete a contact form online to schedule an appointment at your convenience.