A New Study Shows a Decline in Kid’s Math Scores after a Divorce- Not in Months Prior


It is no surprise that a divorce can have a serious impact on Jacksonville children. Research has shown that children struggle with divorce, but a new study is one of the first to pinpoint when those struggles emerge.

Researcher Hyun Sik Kim from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied 142 grade school children with divorced parents. Kim was surprised to find that there was no significant reduction in performance in the months that preceded the divorce. It was only during the divorce itself that the children began to struggle, and almost two years later they remained behind their peers with married parents.

The study showed that in the fall of kindergarten, children whose parents were fighting and would eventually divorce scored three to four points lower on standardized math tests. By fifth grade, after the children’s parents had divorced, their scores were seven to 10 points lower than those children with married parents.

Attorneys and counselors were not surprised by Kim’s findings. One lawyer said, there is a difference “between parents just fighting, and fighting and divorcing.” When the parents are still married, the children think they have some stability, even though it’s bad, said the lawyer. The children are forced to face reality once the divorced is finalized.

How a divorce will impact children is a top concern for many Jacksonville families. A divorce can cause a child to fall behind their classmates in math and social skills and can cause anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. Although a couple might not make it as husband and wife, they need to work together and make it as parents for the sake of their children. For more information, see divorce hard on grade- schoolers’ test scores.

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