Low-Paying Job? Blame Your Parents' Divorce

Filed under: Divorce & Custody, In The News

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Kids traumatized by their parents' divorce earn up to 30 percent less than kids whose parents remain married. Credit: Getty Images

Want your kids to put you in a nice nursing home -- one where they change the linens at least once every leap year?

Think twice about getting a divorce.

The London Daily Mail reports kids traumatized by their parents' divorce earn up to 30 percent less when they grow up compared with kids from unbroken homes.

This conclusion comes from a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Rand Corporation. Just in case you weren't feeling guilty enough about your divorce already, now your kids can expect to earn $345,000 less during their lifetimes thanks to you.

Researchers looked at 17,634 British children born in the first week of March 1958, tracking them throughout their childhoods. Their parents and physicians were asked what kind of psychological problems (from one visit to a shrink all the way up to five-star, fur-lined, ocean-going schizophrenia) the kids experienced.

"Childhood psychological problems can have significant negative impacts over the course of an individual's life," James Smith, one of the authors of the study and a senior economist at the Rand Corporation, tells the Daily Mail.


The Daily Mail reports the study found kids who suffered psychological problems are likely to be "less conscientious" and tend to have "less stable" personal relationships.

Granted, the face of divorce has changed a bit over the years. Divorce in the '60s and '70s still carried a significant social stigma, and single mothers had fewer economic opportunities. So, maybe the trauma of divorce will not hold the same ravages for children of the 21st century as it did for the late baby boomers in the study?

Sorry. Researchers say it doesn't work that way.

They did some generational comparisons and estimate a troubled 23-year-old who started his first job in 2008 will earn $623,000 less in his lifetime than the well-adjusted guy in the next cubicle.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.