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A daughter may increase divorce risk, study says

Arguments over curfews, makeup and dating aren't the only risks associated with raising a teenage daughter. Scientific research shows that a marriage is more likely to fail under the strain of raising girls. Luckily, the effects on divorce are slight and may have more to do with traditional gender norms than women themselves. Florida families may be able to glean some useful information from this recent family study. 

The study looked at families in the Netherlands for the most complete information. Prior U.S. studies have returned conflicting information about the issue, but sometimes, the American studies relied on personal accounts and memories. In the Netherlands, more hard data was available, so the objective results were more clear. The study showed that all families had about the same risk of breaking up whether the child was male or female until puberty. At puberty, families with daughters faced a greater risk of dissolution, peaking at age 15 and dropping back off once the child turned 19 years old. 

Several theories exist about why more families with teenage girls divorce. The current study theorizes that the strain is related to gender roles, and that families with fathers who had sisters, or who adhered to less traditional norms, exhibited less likelihood to dissolve. Whatever the reason for the difference in the data, the effect is slight. The increased risk of divorce ranges from only five to 10 percent. 

Each individual brings a unique set of skills, values and limitations to a relationship. Sometimes, outside influences, including raising a child, can put a strain on the partnership between two people. They may find differences that they were not aware they had in the beginning. The later discovery of incompatibility may call for a formal dissolution of the partnership. In Florida, a divorce attorney can assist if a person decides to make a change in their marriage.

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

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