Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Family Focus: Torn teenagers

teenager divorce

BBC Newsline looks at the effects of divorce or separation on teenagers and how such a turbulent period of transition can be managed to minimise the damage done to adolescents affected.

January is rapidly becoming one of the busiest times of the year for divorce lawyers.

Statistics show this is the period when they receive more enquiries from married couples contemplating divorce than at any other time of the year.

Earlier this week, the Parents Advice Centre invited a leading UK psychologist, Dr John Coleman, to address delegates at Malone House, Belfast, with a seminar entitled "The Forgotten Teen - The Impact of Separation and Divorce on Teenagers".

Dr Coleman has spent his life studying adolescence and is published widely on the subject. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University.

Pip Jaffa, Chief Executive of the Parents Advice Centre, explains how important it is for local family support services to consider the impact of separation or divorce on teenagers:

"Separation or divorce is an extremely emotional process and as a result parenting can be affected."

"Adolescents find their teenage years a challenging period, as they deal with education, relationships and temptations to stray into risk-taking behaviour."

"If their parents separate, the teenager has the added stress of coping with the fallout at a time when their own emotions are in a state of flux."

Join BBC Newsline this evening at 1830 for more on this story.

If you are seeking support on coping with the effect of separation and divorce, or would like further information on the range of services which Parents Advice Centre offers, log on to www.parentsadvicecentre.org



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