Broken homes can disadvantage kids for life

by Peter Magee on January 21, 2011

The Australian Bureau of Statistics as part of its social trend series has published the results of its survey report on parental divorce or death during childhood.  It says “There are concerns that difficulties associated with family breakdown or the loss of a parent and the ensuing challenges of living in a sole parent family could lead to lower levels of educational and later occupational attainment”.

“…the adjustment is often accompanied by greater risk of economic disadvantage either through the loss of the main income earner, or the reduced labour force participation of the remaining parent as they assume the sole caring role.”

The study showed that approximately one in four people aged 18-34 experience divorce or permanent separation of their parents while they were children.  The report concludes that children from divorced families may be drawn to de facto relationships rather than marriage as “a form of self protection to avoid perceived social and economic risks associated with investing in a marriage”.

“Almost one-third (32%) of people aged 18-24 years whose parents had divorced or separated (in their childhood) were in live-in relationship, (while) for people with the same age whose parents had not divorced or separated 17% were live-in relationships.”

“Those who had experienced parental divorce/permanent separation were twice as likely to have had three or more live-in relationships than those who did not.”

The report also provides an insight that children from broken homes are less likely to finish school, find a job, and their income as adults is on average 8% lower than those whose parents stay together.  They are also more likely to enter multiple live-in relationships when they reach adulthood and if they do marry, are more likely to divorce.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: