Joint custody kids face less psychological symptoms: Study

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 08 : Relation between parents plays a major role in child's mental health, as according to recent study preschoolers in joint physical custody have less psychological symptoms than those who live with single parent after a separation.

Researchers from Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet and the research institute CHESS found that three to five-year-old children living alternately with their parents after a separation showed less behavioural and psychological symptoms than those living with one of the parents.

Previous studies have shown that school children and adolescents fare well in joint physical custody. Child experts have claimed the practice to be unsuitable for young children since they are assumed to need continuity and stability in their parent relations.

However, few studies of preschool children with joint physical custody have been conducted. They analysed 3,656 children in Sweden and compared behavioural problems and mental symptoms of 136 children in joint physical custody, 3,369 in nuclear families, 79 living mostly with one parent and 72 children living only with one parent.

The findings revealed that both preschool teachers and parents indicated children living mostly or only with one parent to have more difficulties than those living in joint physical custody or in nuclear families.

In the parental estimates, there were no significant differences between children in nuclear families and joint physical custody, while pre-school staff reported fewer symptoms of children in nuclear families.

The study is the first of its kind to show how Swedish children this young fare in joint physical custody.

Source: ANI