Women in Married-Couple Families Who Get Sick Are More Likely to Divorce

karrakerA new study led by Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, finds that marriages are more likely to end in divorce when the wife has had a serious illness. When a man in a married-couple family has a serious illness, there is no increase in the divorce rate.

The data did not indicate whether the husband or wife initiated the divorce. But it is possible some women are ending the marriage because of the lack of care they received when they were sick. “Life or death experiences may cause people to re-evaluate what’s important in their lives,” Dr. Karraker said. “It could be that women are saying, ‘You’re doing a bad job of caring for me.”

“I think the research shows the potential vulnerabilities for women in society who are sick. There is an elevated risk for depression with illness and now you’re also at risk for divorce,” Dr. Karraker said.

Dr. Karraker joined the faculty at Iowa State last fall after conducting postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D.in sociology from the University of Wisconsin.

The study was published in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply