According to a recent article, a study has concluded that children of divorced parents are more likely to become smokers later on in life than those of married parents.
After a divorce, children cling on to many things, such as blankets or stuffed animals, that they view as security objects. These items can often serve as coping mechanisms for stressful times. It is true; however, that sometimes these children continue to look for that security and reassurance into adulthood.
Research conducted at the University of Toronto found that people whose parents had divorced when they were children were much more likely to become smokers as adults. That being said, they were not able to directly prove that the cigarettes are used as adult coping methods or security objects, like the stuffed animals that were mentioned before.
19,000 U.S. adults were involved in the university’s study. Out of these people, the chances of having smoked 100 or more cigarettes increased by 48% for sons and 39% of daughters of divorced parents. The researchers used the “100 or more” measure in order to identify who counts as a smoker. Because of this, those who have not smoked 100 cigarettes were labeled “never smokers” in the study.
Being a child of divorced parents can also be associated with many other behaviors and mental states. According to lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, children of divorce are also likely to have lower education levels and more likely to develop depression or anxiety. Studies in the past have made connections between those factors to an increased chance of becoming a smoker. However, Fuller-Thomson’s study controlled these factors. Even with the controls, the researchers found a positive correlation between divorce in childhood and smoking in adulthood. They made the suggestion that experiencing a parents’ divorce is a large risk factor for future smoking.
If you are a parent contemplating divorce, consider the risk factors for your children before making any hasty decisions. However, if divorce truly is the only option for you, be sure to contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to help guide you through the process.
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