Divorce is often associated with a decline in one’s well-being, but a recent large scale study is showing otherwise. Researchers from the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a long term study on more than 10,000 people born on the same week in 1958. The researchers chronicled participants’ relationship status at ages 23, 33, 42, and 46, and then trained nurses to give participants a physical examine between ages 44 and 46.
Key takeaways from the study included:
- Participants who divorced then remarried were no more likely to suffer from cardiovascular or respiratory issues than participants who remained married to their original partners
- Couples who married in their 20s and early 30s and were still together in their 40s had “almost identical standards of health” compared with unmarried participants living with their significant other
- Unmarried men and women without a partner were the most at risk for health issues, and were more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or respiratory issues
In a formal statement two of the study authors stated, “Numerous studies have found that married people have better health than unmarried people. Previous research has also shown that men experience an initial decline after divorce, but we found that in the long term, they tend to revert back to their pre-divorce health status. Surprisingly, those men who divorced in their late 30s and did not subsequently remarry were less likely to suffer from conditions related to diabetes in early middle age compared to those who were married.”
Hui “Cindy” Liu, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University had conducted previous research about the correlation between divorce and one’s health. Her findings demonstrated that couples divorcing at a younger age (34-41) had more negative health impacts than couples divorcing at a later age (44-50).
An important note to make about the recent study is that only the effects of divorce on the well-being of divorced adults were taken into account, and the well-being of their children was not examined. Most studies have shown that children can suffer when their parents’ divorce; and recent studies have demonstrated that fighting between parents not the actual divorce causes the most impact on a child’s well-being.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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