Parents of Twins Slightly More Likely To Divorce, Study Says

Posted on Apr 20, 2011
It has been well documented that the divorce rate of couples who have triplets (or other multiple births) is much higher than that of couples who have one child at a time. Now, a new study has shed light on whether or not divorce rates go up when couples have twins.

Conducted by researchers at Mass General Hospital, and led by Dr. Anupam Jena, the study found that couples who have twins are slightly more likely to divorce than couples who don’t have twins. After analyzing data from the 1980 census, focusing on the marital status of the parents of twins, they found that parents who had single children had a divorce rate of 13 percent, while parents that gave birth to twins had a 14 percent divorce rate. While the difference seems small, it is statistically significant.

Why do the parents of twins have a harder time keeping their marriage healthy? Researchers say that twins, especially in the first few years, add a larger amount of stress and fatigue to a relationship – stress that could easily affect a couple’s relations. Then, as the twins grow older, the financial stress of having two children of the same age increases.

Jena was careful to point out that the results of the study shouldn’t discourage parents from having twins, though he hopes that it increases awareness. If a couple goes into the experience of having twins understanding what a challenge it is and how important it is to keep a focus on their relationship, their chances of divorce will likely decrease.

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