NZ Herald 28 April 2015
Children who live with just one parent after a family break-up suffer from more problems such as headaches, stomach aches, feelings of tension and sadness than those whose parents share custody, research has found.
A study carried out in Sweden compared how children were affected by living with both parents, only one parent, mostly one parent, or by dividing their time between both in joint custody – and found that children in the latter category suffered from fewer psychosomatic problems than those living mostly or only with one parent.
Youngsters living with both parents in a nuclear family set-up had the lowest score of all on the Psychosomatic Problems scale – which also measured issues such as children’s concentration, difficulties with sleeping, dizziness and loss of appetite.
The proportion of children who said they “often” or “always” had the different symptoms assessed on the scale was highest among those who lived with just one parent.
Overall, girls reported more psychosomatic problems than boys.