A recent study indicates that parents of children with cancer are not at an increased risk of divorce.
Scientists in Denmark studied data on over 47,000 Danish couples to learn more about the effects of cancer on marital relationships. The study culled public registry data on 2,450 couples whose children had been diagnosed with cancer as well as data on 44,853 couples whose children had not been diagnosed with cancer. The data was pulled for the years 1980 through 1997.
The study accounted for different employment statuses and different household incomes. It also incorporated how likely an unmarried couple was to split up.
Christoffer Johansen, one of the project’s researchers, said, “there has been a fear that such a traumatic event as having a child diagnosed with cancer could lead to divorce. Overall, we did not see that. What we see is, you are simply able to cope.”
Although the study showed that many parents whose children have cancer do indeed get divorced, the rate of divorce was no greater than it is in the general public.
Johansen continued, “I think this is quite reassuring.” While he noted that there are different cultural views regarding divorce in different countries, he expressed the belief that the findings could be generalized to other countries.