Parents of Teen Girls Could Be More Likely to Divorce
Countless factors could contribute to a couple’s decision to end their marriage and seek a divorce. Such factors may include differing views on money, a breakdown in communication, unrealistic expectations, and infidelity. Relationship experts have long recognized that having children can also affect the stability of a marriage. Many couples find that adding children ultimately makes their marriage stronger while others are driven to the point of divorce. While there is no way to know for sure what children will do to your marriage, a recent study suggests that having a first-born girl could increase your chances of divorce.
Different Studies, Different Results
Several research projects over the last few years have looked at the possible link between marital happiness and a child’s gender. A few conducted in the United States have found that parents who had girls first were more likely to divorce than those with first-born boys. Other American studies challenged such findings, but until now, there has been very little research done into how girls affect their parents’ marriages.
Two researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia took an in-depth look at marriage, divorce, and birth records for more than 2 million families in the Netherlands over a ten-year period. They chose Dutch couples because of the level of detail included in the records kept by Netherland officials. Most other such studies have relied on self-reporting and estimates of marital satisfaction rather than objective dates and information.
The study found that the divorce risk for married parents increased as their children aged, and the risk was equal for parents of boys and girls at first. Around age 13, however, parents of first-born girls became more likely to divorce than parents of first-born boys. The risk increased until their children reached age 15, then began to come back together. From age 19 forward, the risk went back to being even for parents of both boys and girls. On average, first-born girls contributed an extra risk of about 5 percent compared to first-born boys.
The study’s authors offered a few possible explanations for the increased risk, including the often-strained relationships between parents and their teenage daughters. The researchers cited other surveys that examined the attitudes toward marriage and parenting among Dutch families. In those studies, parents of teen girls tended to experience more disagreements over child-rearing and had more accepting opinions of divorce compared to parents of teen boys.
If you are considering a divorce, whatever your reasons may be, it is important to have an experienced Kane County family law attorney on your side. Your lawyer can help you protect your rights and assist you in making the best possible decisions for yourself and your family. Call 630-549-0960 for a confidential consultation at MKFM Law today.