A Hopeful New Approach To Divorce in 2017
Here we are in the middle of December and Canadians are dealing with snow from coast to coast to coast. The holidays are a time to appreciate friends, family, and food… but they can also add to stress, especially for families facing endless divorce proceedings because it’s really hard watching your parents split up. His Honourable Lordship Mr. Justice Brownstone in Toronto, Dr. Edward Kruk in Vancouver in Canada and the National Parenting Organization in the United States are all reporting on the significant amount of animal and human research that proves that parental loss can be fatal to living beings. I relate this serious public health problem to Failure To Thrive disease. By definition, failure to thrive is when the efforts of a living being to continue life, internally or externally, ultimately cease.
Medically, when a child is diagnosed with failure to thrive, their weight gain and rate of growth is said to be significantly less than that of other children or babies within their age range. Although Failure to Thrive can be caused by an array of developmental conditions such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and birth defects, there are also significant studies that show how emotional deprivation plays an important role in the thriving nature of infants and children regardless of their medical condition.
This type of research shows that parental loss either by death or divorce can be a serious adverse biological or acute health problem for children by creating fatal imbalances in blood chemistry and serum hormone levels, including Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), Growth hormone, Oxytocine, Thyroid hormones, C-reactive protein levels, and Thyroid Stimulating hormone (TSH). The Endocrine system is the master switch controlling many of our mind and body systems, which is why parental interference or loss can be so devastating to child health. The classic example of emotional deprivation leading to intense social pressure and extreme and even fatal social isolation are orphanages with no sensory stimulation, nurturing touch or even palliative care services within the institutions and childcare settings. Of course Canadian parents immediately think about our one thousand divorce judges and their false suggestion that our Divorce Act provides them with the authority to routinely apprehend children without evidence of abuse, creating our public health crisis for children of divorce. For children who believe they caused the divorce, blame contributes to anxiety and intense distress. Here’s the journal report New Approaches to Divorce by Vittorio Carlos Vezzetti.
There is related research being published in January 2017 that talks about the “cycle of abuse.” This research proves that early, effective treatments in child maltreatment cases can break the cycle of intergenerational abuse. This research also looks at transmission mechanisms of abuse from one generation to the next, the prevalence and the characteristics of this child abuse. A maternal history of childhood maltreatment is thought to be a potent risk factor for child abuse and neglect. Ms. Bartlett et al from Tuft University in Massachusetts found that when mothers had at least one report of childhood maltreatment (substantiated or not), the odds that they maltreated their children increased by 72% (OR = 2.52), compared to mothers who are not maltreated, but the odds were considerably lower when we limited analysis to substantiated reports. Yet the likelihood of children experiencing multiple maltreatment perpetrated with their mothers identified as perpetrators increased over 300% when mothers had a childhood history of multiple maltreatment. Research like this may completely change Canada’s divorce courts who will now have an important role to play not only in identifying transmission factors, but also in using this kind of information to develop prevention and intervention strategies that can truly break the cycle of abuse. Hopefully these new approaches will also end our present arbitrary and unjust child apprehension system that until now has rarely created prevention or public health orders. In some public school hallways in Abbotsford, unaware public health nurses have been directly involved in thwarting this type of awareness and prevention work. Perhaps medical and nursing schools, like law schools, need to more fully address this important public health problem which leads to potentially avoidable mortality. As I have written before, the potential years of life lost (PYLL) for our children is almost an entire lifetime. Here’s the journal report Child Abuse and Neglect by Jessica Dym Bartlett, Chie Kotake, Rebecca Fauth, and Ann Easterbrooks at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
There are only 130 days until International Parental Alienation Awareness Day and Bubbles of Love Day on April 25, 2017 when we will all get another chance to work together to stop this cycle.