Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Divorces and the happiness of children

Let’s Get a Divorce
Originally uploaded by Monochrome

Conservative politicians often claim that kids are happier when they grow up in strong families with both parents, but they often conveniently forget that for many parents, the alternative to a divorce is staying in an unhappy, rowing relationship, and is that really better for the kids?

Finally a study on this topic has been released.

The results are very clear:

Young people who reported that their family “gets along well together” are on average 20 per cent happier than those who do not, regardless of whether they live with a single parent, a step-parent or both their birth parents, the study found.

The impact of family conflict on children’s happiness far outstripped family structure, with a child in a lone parent household just 2 per cent unhappier than one living with both birth parents. Children were on average 10 per cent more unhappy in the immediate aftermath of a family break-up or another change in family structure such as gaining a step-parent.

But after a year happiness levels then recovered to almost the same levels as for children who had experienced no family problems.

Hopefully studies like this will eventually make the Tories realise that giving tax-breaks to married couples is probably not the best way to increase child happiness.

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