Study: Parents With Twins Slightly More Likely to Get Divorced

Filed under: Divorce & Custody, In The News, Weird But True, Twins, Triplets, Multiples


Twins

Parents of twins are more likely to get divorced. Credit: Getty Images

Your parents will tell you that their divorce has nothing to do with you. It is not your fault.

Don't listen to them.

You drove them to divorce. Or maybe it was your evil twin.

Either way, the Reuters News Service reports parents of twins are more likely to get divorced than parents who have to deal with only one of you little monsters.

OK, so parents of twins are only slightly more likely to get divorced. And it really has nothing to do with you or your sibling per se. But feel free to use the new study to beat yourself up anyway.

In fact, Reuters reports researchers don't really know why divorce rates are 1 percent higher among parents of twins. It could be the extra emotional or financial stress of having an extra baby. All researchers have right now is an interesting little statistic.

Dr. Anupam Jena of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and his colleagues examined data from the 1980 census. They compared the marital status of parents who had twins as their first-born children with other parents.

They wanted to use older data, Reuters reports, to make sure modern fertility treatments weren't to blame for divorces. Besides, later census surveys don't ask if families have twins. Researchers looked at a total of 800,000 families to find the 1 percent difference in divorce rates.

According to Reuters, twins made the biggest difference when mothers had lots of kids and less income. It also didn't help when the twins were older, and one of them was a boy.

Consider the financial stress: Reuters reports the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 may be as high as $250,000. You can almost double that for twins.

Twins represent between 3 and 4 percent of all births in the United States. And they may become more common with the increased use of fertility treatments.

Jena tells Reuters parents of twins shouldn't be afraid of divorce -- just aware.

"To warn families ahead of time that something like this may occur later on in life would not be a bad idea," he tells the news service, adding it would be helpful "to have a little more insight and pay a little bit more attention to some of the family dynamics that can occur."

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