John on November 26, 2006 at 12:35 am
[S]eparation from one or both parents for more than a year before the age of 16, as a consequence of family breakdown, was associated with a 2.5 fold increased risk of developing psychosis in adulthood.
Family breakdown of this type was found to be more common in the African-Caribbean community (31%) than the white community (18%).
Researcher Dr Craig Morgan said: “These findings provide evidence that early social adversity may increase the risk of later psychosis.
The article notes that most suspected schizophrenia and other psychoses were genetic and were unlikely to be impacted by social factors. This study suggest that family stress on children may provide a trigger for such diseases to express themselves. The article doesn’t specify what sort of separation is involved but I think it’s likely absent fathers are the most common situation. Unfortunately, that’s something far more prevalent among blacks.
The evidence that divorce (or lack of commitment in the first place) is seriously harmful to children in numerous, often permanent, ways continues to pile up. At some point this evidence needs to be taken into account in re-evaluating the way our society promotes or discourages marriage and divorce. There’s really no leap of faith here. The evidence is in. Healthy families are the key to healthy societies. This is something evangelical Christians and atheists can agree on.