Summarised by Dr Angharad Rudkin

Child Clinical Psychologist at University of Southhampton

Angharad is an experienced Clinical Psychologist working with children and families. She supports OnlyMums & OnlyDads in delivering accessible summaries of key research around families and the effects of separation and divorce on children and those who care for them.

Divorce Stress, Stepfamily Stress & Depression Among Emerging Adult Stephchildren.

K.Shafer, T.M. Jensen & E.K. Holmes (2017) Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(3), 851–862.

Most studies look at either divorce or new step-families.

This study looks at both.

Young adults who had had stressful experiences of both had higher levels of depression.

We know that divorce can have some long term negative effects on a child, but there seems to be an interaction between these and the effects of a new step-family which makes some individuals feel very low. This reminds us that even if we as adults are more happy when we meet a new partner, our children may not feel that. Give your child time and space to get used to their new step-parent and try to keep this merging of families as stress-free as possible.


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