MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In a 2017 study at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, researchers questioned 201 healthy adult volunteers about their parents' level of communication during their childhoods. The volunteers were then exposed to a virus that causes the common cold.
Researchers determined that adults whose parents never spoke and lived apart during their childhood were more than three times as likely to develop a cold when exposed to the virus compared to those whose parents lived together. Moreover, adults whose parents were separated but maintained communication showed no increased risk of catching a cold than those whose parents lived together.
The American Sociological Review reports that half the number of children living in the USA will live through their parents' divorce, and half of that number will see the end of a parent's second marriage. Distressing transitions like divorce can greatly impact a child's health today and even put them at risk for long-term consequences.
Children exposed to higher levels of conflict between their parents can produce higher rates of cortisol, a hormone released by the body as a response to psychosocial stress. In small doses, cortisol offers critical benefits including mental alertness. When the release is prolonged, however, cortisol can lead to increased risk of illness, memory impairment, and lack of concentration.
Conflict in co-parenting can also weaken consistency in parenting, which can lead children to display disruptive and defiant behaviors. However, the negative consequences of divorce can be largely reduced when separated parents maintain a working relationship and positive communication for the benefit of their children.
The OurFamilyWizard website helps to open lines of communication between co-parents who might not be communicating effectively — if at all — otherwise. OFW is neutral, secure, and provides specific features to promote clear information exchanges about their parenting schedule, shared expenses, and more.
"When we started this back in 2001, our goal was to improve the health and well-being of children living in separate homes," explains Jai Kissoon, co-founder of OFW. "For years our tagline was, 'Making life better for kids,' and that remains our mission. It's exciting to have science that supports what we have known all along. Childhood is precious, thus any efforts to ensure a good one carries benefits well into your child's adult years."
Family law and mental health practitioners can also use OFW's tools to streamline their work with clients and families. Today, families worldwide use OFW to facilitate clear communication and improve their children's health prospects. Courts spanning the USA and Canada have ordered its use for over a decade.
Take a step toward improving your child's health today and into the future. Create an OFW account to shield your child from conflict and promote their long-term health.
For more information about OFW, visit OurFamilyWizard.com.