Women experience higher levels of happiness for up to five years after they get divorced, new research claims.
Researchers at Kingston University analysed data from the British Household Panel Survey, a study of 10,000 people in the UK aged between 16 and 60. Participants were asked to rate their own happiness before and after significant events in their lives.
According to the study, published in the journal Economica, women are significantly happier for as long as five years after a divorce, over and above their normal levels of happiness. Men, by contrast, felt only slightly happier after the issue of a decree absolute officially ending their marriages.
Professor Yannis Georgellis is Director of the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at KingstonUniversity. He said:
“In the study we took into account the fact that divorce can sometimes have a negative financial impact on women, but despite that it still makes them much happier than men. One possible explanation could be that women who enter into an unhappy marriage feel much more liberated after divorce than their male counterparts.”
The study, entitled Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the British Household Panel Survey, examined ‘adaption’, the psychological process of adopting to new circumstances. Unemployment was found to be one of the hardest events to adjust to for both sexes.