Divorce Study: Splitting More Painful At Younger Age

Why Splits May Be Tougher On Younger Divorcees

Is divorcing at a younger age more dangerous to your health than divorcing later in life? Yes, according to a new Michigan State University study.

Researcher Hui "Cathy" Liu looked at self-reported health information of 1,282 participants over the last 15 years, analyzing the difference in well-being between those who stayed married over the course of the study and those who divorced. Among those that divorced, Liu found that those who split at a younger age tended to have more health issues than those who divorced later in life -- a finding that surprised her.

"I would have expected divorce to carry less stress for the younger generation, since divorce is more prevalent for them," Liu said in a statement released by Michigan State University.

Liu said that her findings, published in January's Social Science & Medicine as part of an ongoing national survey, indicated that older people may be better equipped to cope with the stress of divorce than younger people.

Liu also suggested that older people may be among the most unhappily married due to years of pressure to stay in their relationships, and thus experience greater feelings of relief post-split.

It's not the first time Liu has examined the correlation between divorce and health. In 2008, the MSU assistant professor of sociology led a study that found that that the self-reported health of divorced, separated and widowed people had worsened from 1972 to 2003.

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