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Teenage Daughters Create Increased Divorce Risk for Parents

New research from the University of Melbourne has found that parents with teenage daughters have a slightly increased risk of divorce than parents with teenage sons.

The study analysed data from the Netherlands because of the comprehensive registry information available there.

Researchers found that the risk of divorce was equal for parents of boys and girls up until the children reached the age of 12. However, from ages 13 to 18, divorce occurred more frequently amongst parents of girls than those with boys. In fact, the analysis revealed that over this period parents with teenage girls are 5% more likely on average to divorce than those with teenage sons.

The increased risk for parents with daughters reaches its peak when the daughter is 15, with parents 10% more likely to get divorced than parents with 15-year-old boys. This increased risk then falls over subsequent years and disappears altogether when the daughter turns 19.

The study also attempted to explain why this increased divorce risk might arise, suggesting that it could be due to the strained relationship that can develop between parents and daughters during the teenage years, possibly as a result of differing attitudes to gender roles.

The researchers found that disagreements about how to raise children were more common amongst parents of teenage daughters. These parents also expressed less satisfaction with the quality of family relationships and had a more positive view of divorce.

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