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Children of divorced parents tend to steer clear of college

Researchers working on a new study at Iowa State University say that children who have parents who divorce are far less likely to receive a bachelor's or graduate degrees than their peers who have married parents.

To make this determination, researchers started by analyzing data collected in the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. They then followed the data for the youth as they completed school and moved into adulthood. The last bit of data collected about these individuals was when they were 26 to 32-years-old.

The data compiled for the children of married parents showed that they tended to pursue higher education more often than their peers who were raised by divorced parents. They also tended to earn far more money than them also. Specifically, they found 50 percent of those with married parents fell into the higher income bracket whereas just shy of 30 percent of children of divorce did.

The Journal of Family Issues study marks the first study of its sort aimed at determining what impact divorce has on a child and his or her pursuit of higher education. Many of the researchers working on the study reported being surprised at the results, especially since many of them had divorced parents themselves and had still pursued higher studies.

What concerns researchers is a recent statistic released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It suggests that the number of jobs that will require prospective employees to have graduate degrees will increase by as much as 17 percent over the next eight years.

The lead researcher on this study notes that this makes it even more important that she and her colleagues find out if being a product of divorce affects a child's educational pursuits. If it does, then researchers will need to figure out what to do about it.

Family mediation has historically been shown to be a more amicable way of resolving points of contention in a divorce. A Kissimmee divorce attorney can explain how resolving your differences through mediation may help your child live a more fulfilled life.

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