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Study: When parents split, preschoolers show behavior problems

Updated: June 9, 2012 8:07AM

Kids whose parents split up when they were preschoolers have increased behavior problems, according to new research that suggests the timing of such breakups has long-term effects.

The study by University of Chicago and Georgetown University researchers found that such disruption — particularly in a child’s first three years but probably until they’re as old as 5 — “more strongly influences children’s development than changes later in childhood,” and those influences “seem to have negative effects on children’s behavior.”

“Family-structure changes during early childhood at the preschool period seem to matter more than later changes,” said the study’s co-author Rebecca Ryan of Georgetown. “Change experienced in middle childhood and pre-adolescence had no effect on kids’ outcomes.”

Gannett News Service

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