Research group for public mental health
PhD project

After the divorce: Economic volatility, mental health, educational outcomes and their associations

Main content

Experiencing parental divorce in childhood is associated with impairments in mental health and academic achievement. Numerous studies suggest that children and youth who grow up with divorced parents have more symptoms of externalizing and internalizing problems, and get lower subject grades and test scores in school, compared to those raised in two-parent non-divorced families. Most studies investigating the consequences of divorce have focused on how children and youth with divorced parents on average differ to peers living in a two-parent non-divorced family. There is a need for future studies to detail for whom and under which circumstances a parental divorce leads to adverse child outcomes.

The overall aim of this PhD project is to expand the knowledge of how a parental divorce and accompanying changes in family structure and family finances relate to adolescents’ mental health. Moreover, we aimed to detail whether the link between parental divorce and adolescents’ academic achievement was dependent on parental educational qualifications.

To reach these aims, we utilized data from the large population-based youth@hordaland study of adolescents aged 16-19, that were merged with The Norwegian National Income Registry (providing information on family income) and the National Education Database in Norway (providing information about parental educational qualifications and the adolescents’ GPA).