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Study finds that daughters make divorce more likely

It is impossible to pinpoint just one factor that leads couples to separate. Social scientists research to find trends in divorce data in order to better understand the human experience. Families in Texas are in many ways similar to families across the United States and the rest of the world. A recent study has shown that parents of teenage daughters are more likely to divorce, if only slightly. 

Building on a history of research in the United States that has at times contradicted itself, scientists decided to take a look at families in the Netherlands, where the information available about families is more complete, and less likely to rely on memory or self-reporting to supply important data. The study found that the incidence of divorce is comparable whether the family had female or male children, up to the age of about 12. At puberty, homes with daughters experienced a greater number of breakups. 

That difference peaked for homes with daughters at the age of 15, and tapered back off after the age of 19. Some theories have been posited regarding the reason for the difference, but the researchers for this study concluded that gender norms were a factor. They found that fathers who had sisters, or those who were more familiar with equal gender roles, were less likely to divorce. 

Researchers did note that the effect was modest, but that perhaps the results indicated strain associated with raising daughters. Rates of divorce were only five to 10 percent higher in these cases. Human relationships are a complex issue. In Texas, a person struggling to relate to a spouse might require some outside help. A lawyer can be effective counsel in issues of formal partnership agreements.

Source:, "Parents of teenage daughters more likely to divorce, says study", Jan Kabatek And David C. Ribar, Sept. 27, 2017

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