A new study published last month in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities revealed that while parents of children with developmental disabilities weren’t more likely to divorce than other parents, their reasons for separating often differed.
Researchers analyzed a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 people – and some of their siblings – beginning in 1957. From this group, study authors identified 190 parents of biological children with developmental disabilities, as compared to 7,250 parents of children without disabilities. What they discovered was that the rate of divorce was about the same for both groups – 1 in 5. However, for parents of children with no developmental issues, risks of divorce were lowest with just one child, and increased with each subsequent child. This was not true though for parents of children with disabilities.
What this suggests is that other children may provide an important support and coping system in caring for a developmentally disabled child, researchers say. Continue reading