Early childhood social determinants and family relationships predict parental separation and living arrangements thereafter.
Acta Paediatr. 2020 Apr 20;:
Authors: Hjern A, Bergström M, Kjaer Urhoj S, Andersen AN
AIM: Parental separation has been associated with poor mental health in children. with better outcomes in children living in joint physical custody compared to those living with one parent after the separation. In this study we investigated socioeconomic and relational predictors in early childhood of later parental separation and family arrangements thereafter.
METHODS: This study included 34,768 children from the Danish National Birth Cohort, who were living with both parents at the 6 months’ data collection and followed up in 2010-2014 at age 11 years. Questionnaire data from the two data collections were linked with population registers in Statistics Denmark about parental income, education and psychiatric care and analysed in logistic regression models.
RESULTS: Socioeconomic indicators of the family and parental psychiatric disorders before birth of the child and family relationships in infancy predicted parental separation at age 11year. For children with separated parents, a high family income and a high parental educational level were the main predictors of living in joint physical custody at the eleven year follow-up.
CONCLUSION: Socioeconomic living conditions predict parental separation as well as living arrangements thereafter. Studies of consequences of living arrangements after parental separation should account for family factors preceding the separation.
PMID: 32311778 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]