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Joint physical custody makes children less stressed, study says
A new study suggests that even after divorce, a child will suffer less stress when a traditional, two-parent family shares custody of the child. - photo by Herb Scribner
Recent research suggests that two-parent, traditional families may be best for children even after divorce.

A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found this week that children with parents who have joint physical custody after divorce felt less stresses like sleep issues, loss of appetite, headaches and stomach aches than those who lived mostly or completely with one parent.

We think that having everyday contact with both parents seems to be more important, in terms of stress, than living in two different homes, Malin Bergstrm, the studys author, told Time. It may be difficult to keep up on engaged parenting if you only see your child every second weekend.

The study, which surveyed 150,000 children in Sweden, also found that children from nuclear families a family with two married parents and their biological child were least likely to suffer from psychosomatic issues overall because those parents have more access to social groups and finances that limit a child's stress, Time reported.

Last year, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said something similar specifically that children from two-parent biological families also live in safer environments, which gives those children better opportunities to succeed in life.

The study, which reviewed data from 2011 and 2012, found 70 percent of children raised in a nuclear family were free of traumatic events at home like divorce or separation, death of a parent, incarceration of a parent, mental illness in the home, substance abuse in the home, domestic violence, child abuse, neighborhood violence, racial discrimination and poverty, according to LifeSite News.

Conversely, 78 percent of children who lived with one biological parent experienced those events. And more than 80 percent of children who lived without any biological parent experienced those events.

W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, told LifeSite News that the CDC study is just more proof that nuclear families give children a better opportunity to succeed in life.

"Children are most likely to thrive, and least likely to face adversity, when they are raised in a married home by their biological parents, Wilcox told LifeSite News. This new study from the CDC is consistent with the general findings in the research on child well-being. When it comes to family structure, the safest and most secure place on average is an intact, two-parent family.

But even though experts and researchers seem to agree that a nuclear family is the best option overall for children, it has become less common in recent years.

The Pew Research Center found that just 46 percent of American children live with both of their biological parents, Lois Collins reported last December.