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Children with divorced parents may take up risky behavior to cope

A new study titled United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study that was published on Monday, October 10 in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. It showed that children who experienced the loss of a parent are more likely to smoke and drink by age 11.

According to University College London senior research associate and an author of the study Rebecca Lacey, “We know from previous research that people may take up risky health behaviors as a coping strategy or as a form of self-medication, to help them cope with stressful situations.”

An unlikely example of this phenomenon is United States President Barack Obama. In a new MTV documentary titled Prescription for Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis, Obama said: “When I was a teenager, I used drugs, I drank, I pretty much tried whatever was out there, but I was in Hawaii, and it was a pretty relaxed place. I was lucky that I did not get addicted except to cigarettes, which took me a long time to kick.” Obama’s parents divorced when he was three.

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