Give Now

A Moment of Science

Divorce More Harmful To Sons Than Daughters

A new study reports that boys who had divorced parents had a tougher time than girls.

A family in profile against a sunset

Photo: Pyrat Wesly (flickr)

Divorce can be devastating to a family.

Divorce is a devastating event to a family. When parents separate, the children often feel neglected. However, new research shows that divorce affects boys more than girls.

Divorce And Outcome

The study reports that boys who had parents divorce before they were 18 are more likely to consider suicide than boys whose parents were not divorced.

Girls were not significantly affected by divorce. While girls did think about suicide more than their non-divorced-parents peers, their thoughts could be related to traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse.

Role Models

Divorce was previously thought to greatly impact girls because they are more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Yet, with more mothers getting full-custody of children, it helps explain why boys would be worse off. Boys need a male role model when growing up. When their fathers leave, they are less likely to have a male figure to go to for help.

Majority Do Fine!

It is important to note that these results happen in a minority of divorces. Not every child of divorce will be depressed or suicidal. In fact, suicide is a rare event all together.

Read More:

Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science