Wrapping up the year, let’s review some divorce studies! Yippee!

  1. Risk of Stroke – Canadian children of divorce may have a higher risk for stroke in their lifetime. All kinds of things can be risk factors for strokes though.
  2. Parents of Children with Autism – In the past research has suggested that children with autism are more likely to see their parents divorce. New research suggests the opposite.
  3. Contagion – People with a divorced sibling are 22% more likely to get divorced… On top of the current rate, what does that mean? Someone please do the math.
  4. Do your chores and be happy about it, woman! – Women normally do twice the amount of chores at home. Turns out a happy marriage in this department is not based on “equal sharing of work” but women feeling that their husbands respected and cared for them. Duh. Come on though husbands, wouldn’t your wives be THAT much happier if you respected and cared for them, AND did the laundry?
  5. Money Money Money – Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher only have an 11% chance of divorce within the first 10 years of marriage. Last rumor I heard was a temple marriage leads to a 10% chance of divorce. Hold on to that 1% improvement! 😉
  6. Divorced men hit the gym – This one’s a no-brainer – men who get divorced are likely to hit the gym. For what else but to buff themselves up to find a new mate? Interestingly, women tended to workout less following a divorce.
  7. Children blame themselves – This is not new. The world can be a scary place for many children, and they will do anything to feel some sense of security. Blaming themselves is a natural and soothing strategy: “If it’s my fault that my parents divorced, then the world isn’t so out of control and unpredictable.” vs. “If it’s not my fault, then I have no control over what happens around me.” While children need to know it’s not their fault, caring adults need to go further than offering that reassurance and look at what their needs are behind this attribution, for example, emotional safety.

From the Huffington Post.

Finally, keep in mind that for some families, long-term contemptuous and toxic relationships may be more damaging to a child than an amicable divorce, if such a separation is possible. From the Gottman Relationship Institute: “Marital discord can influence children indirectly by decreasing the effectiveness of the parents’ monitoring, emotion coaching, and other parenting skills. And it can influence children by creating emotional distress on the children. This research… also demonstrated that children of maritally distressed couples show an amazing strength and resilience. Ongoing research continues to examine how marital discord affects children, but also seeks to understand how some children remain resilient despite the stresses and strains of an emotionally unstable home.”

Happy New Year!