Divorce in families of children with Down syndrome: a population-based study

Am J Ment Retard. 2007 Jul;112(4):261-74. doi: 10.1352/0895-8017(2007)112[261:DIFOCW]2.0.CO;2.


In this study, we examined the nature, timing, and correlates of divorce in families of children with Down syndrome (647), other birth defects (10,283) and no identified disability (361,154). Divorce rates among families of children with Down syndrome were lower than in the other two groups. When divorce did occur in the Down syndrome group, however, a higher proportion occurred within the first 2 years after the child's birth. Mothers and fathers of children with Down syndrome were much more likely to divorce if they were younger, had not graduated from high school, and if fathers were less educated and lived in a rural area. Few effects on divorce were noted for a variety of family structure variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Divorce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Down Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Medical Records
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Tennessee / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data