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Men who had happy childhoods ‘less likely to divorce’

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March 28, 2024

Researchers in the US have found a link between happy childhoods and firmer marriages in adult life.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania analysed data from a multi-decade study on the life experiences of 81 men. The participants completed regular interviews and questionnaires on events in their lives.

Those men who enjoyed an untroubled home life as children were less likely to divorce as adults the academics concluded, suggesting that such individuals had better social skills and greater control over their emotions.

Co-author Marc Schulz is a Professor at Bryn Mawr. He said data showed the lasting influence of childhood experiences on the psychology of adults.

“With all the things that happen to human beings and influence them between adolescence and the ninth decade of life, it’s remarkable that the influence of childhood on late-life marriage can still be seen.”

This applies even to the elderly, added his colleague Robert Waldinger.

“Our study shows that the influences of childhood experiences can be demonstrated even when people reach their 80s, predicting how happy and secure they are in their marriages as octogenarians.”

The study was published in the academic journal Psychological Science.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    What an amazing finding!

  2. Dr Grumpy says:

    Does this mean women who seek divorce had unhappy childhoods? I suspect my ex did! Knowing what my ex-in-laws were like they were a complete nightmare!!

  3. Andy says:

    As prior comments made..
    So if you had a happy child hood you are less likely to divorce..crap.
    Is that the Sam as if your ex was happy,she had a affair to be even happier plus have all assets..
    Knowing the system would give her of all what you had..

    Perhaps the judge was unhappy that day…bias…

  4. Dr Grumpy says:

    I now realise just what an unhappy childhood and adolescence my ex had. She was obese and was a lesbian all the way through her med school & career. She manage to hide that from so many including members of her family.
    She saw me as a ‘legitimising’ ticket! Had 3 kids to secure the house during the divorce. Got rid of two into council care because they had autism but kept the house! Lied all the way through the divorce but proof couldn’t be obtained freely. Marrying me didn’t harm her career either!

    DD Judge must have had a bad day as I appealed his decision on the finances and won my appeal as he was so off the mark with the 50:50 division of assets. I was left homeless and asset less doomed to rent for the rest of my life having bought that house. She was given it ‘because of the 3 kids 2 of which have special needs’.
    Well the karma bus will be calling soon. fate has a way of catching up with liars and cheats!

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