Children whose parents move more than one-hour drive away after divorce are significantly less well-off than children whose parents do not relocate, according to a new study in the Journal of Family Psychology.
The researchers found significant differences between students whose divorced parents relocated and those that did not move, in 11 out of the 14 variables they examined. Compared with divorced families in which neither parent moved, students from families in which one parent moved received less financial support from their parents—even after researchers corrected for differences in the current financial conditions of the group—and worried more about that support.
The students also felt more hostility in their interpersonal relations, suffered more distress related to their parents’ divorce, perceived their parents less favorably as sources of emotional support and as role models, believed the quality of their parents’ relations with each other was worse and rated themselves less favorably on their general physical health, their general life satisfaction and their personal and emotional adjustment.
While the findings suggest negative outcomes for children whose parents relocate after divorce, the authors note that the results are correlational and cannot prove that the move-away status solely resulted in poorer well-being.