A divorce is a difficult, painful experience, no matter when you do it. But according to a new study, people who divorce at a younger age and after fewer years of marriage may actually suffer greater physical and emotional harm from the split than people who filed for divorce at an older age.

The divorce study reportedly involved a detailed examination of the self-reported health information of more than 1,280 study participants. Over the 15-year duration of the study, researchers analyzed the participants' health data, comparing couples who divorced and who remained married.

In the study, researchers reportedly found that the divorced couples who had ended their marriage at a younger age tended to suffer from more health issues and ailments than people who divorced when they were older when they split.

While researchers did not state the specific health problems from which study participants suffered, they seemed to insinuate that the ailments were related to stress. Specifically, researchers stated that older people may simply be better equipped to handle and deal with the stress of divorce than younger people.

In addition, the researchers also stated that older people who remained in bad marriages experienced many years of pressure to stay in their relationships. This led them to be more unhappy than younger couples, and likely also led to greater feelings of relief and happiness in older people after their divorce. Because people who had not been married as long did not have such levels of relief, this may also explain the disparity between age groups.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Study: Splitting More Painful At Younger Age," Jan. 30, 2012