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Students study divorce fall-out

Victorian school children are taking classes in divorce to help them cope with their parents' separation through a program developed by the Catholic family services organisation Centacare.

With divorce rates at their highest in 20 years, a program has been introduced in dozens of schools to deal with the rising number of children affected by family breakdown.

A study by the United States' National Institute of Mental Health recently found children who took part in divorce programs had fewer mental health and behavioural problems.

They were also less likely to use drugs or be sexually promiscuous in their teens.

The Centacare program is called Seasons. Co-ordinator Liz Payne said it was written to deal with the unresolved grief that death, separation and divorce could cause children.

Chris Hall, director of Monash University's Centre for Grief Education, said divorce programs helped children deal with their sadness, anxiety and anger and linked them with others who had gone through similar experiences.

He said studies had shown that in many ways, children suffered more when their parents divorced than if one parent died.


Centacare (Archdiocese of Melbourne)

6 Nov 2002