According to Reuters, a new study out of Canada suggests that parental divorce may increase a child’s chances for Attention Deficit Disorder. The study suggests that children of divorced or single parents are almost twice as likely to need Ritalin then the children of parents that have stayed together.
Ritalin is commonly given to children with Attention Deficit Disorder. According to a study that was taken at the University of Alberta, the children who were tested from divorced families were almost twice as likely to end up needing Ritalin then those children who were from families that stayed together.
It has been understood for years that divorce is a very stressful occurrence for children. This study suggests that divorce of parents can negatively effect the maturing processing in the brain that happen during childhood. These effects alter the composition of the hormones in the brain, and cause a child to be more susceptible to acquiring Attention Deficit Disorder.
The University also studied children who were of single parent households that were not caused by divorce. These single parent homes were of either unwed mothers or of widows or widowers. These children had almost the same percentage change for needing Ritalin as those who had divorced parents.
These results also show that there is a strong relationship to the child’s development and living with two parents. A single parent will have more stresses usually, and this could transfer to the child, and then to their ability to learn.
The study also points out the rises in both divorce rates, and in the use of Ritalin. These scientists believe that this link is direct.
There will be a lot of debate about this over the next few years. There are many scientists that believe that the only normal cause for Attention Deficit Disorder is genetics. According to these studies, there are very few other factors that can add to the susceptibility for Attention Deficit Disorder.
Another issue is a study that was done about twenty years ago by the University of Michigan, and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggested that people with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder were more likely to get divorced.
This statistic could transfer to this study and show that the parents of the children that needed Ritalin in this study were actually children of adults who needed Ritalin. There was not any word if the University of Michigan study was taken into account during this reported study.
Once again, though, focus is brought to both Attention Deficit Disorder and divorce. It will be interesting to see how many people try to blame the parents now for their children’s learning disabilities.