Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | 11:45 AM ET
man's marriage breaks down, he may be at higher risk of
depression than people who remain together and women who
divorce or separate, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
looked at the link between marriages that break down in
separation or divorce and their effects on emotional health,
using data from the National Population Health Survey.
when a couple's marriage or common-law relationship ended,
depression occurred in about 12 per cent of cases, compared
with three per cent among people who remained in a
relationship, two years after participants were first
interviewed in 1994-1995.
20 to 64 who had divorced or separated were six times more
likely to report an episode of depression than were men who
comparable depression figure for women left alone after
broken marriages was 3.5 times more likely.
custody, social support "Research has suggested that
for men the loss of custody or a change in parental
responsibilities is one of the most stressful aspects of a
break-up," the study said.
per cent of men surveyed, children left their household
after the relationship ended, compared with three per cent
of social support during a break-up "may be particularly
difficult for men. Many men rely solely on their partner for
support, while women tend to have larger social networks,"
wrote study author Michelle Rotermann of the agency's health
analysis and measurement group.
means not only the loss of a partner but also a division in
the size of a social network of extended family and mutual
their economic well-being often suffered after a break up.
While nearly 30 per cent of separated men experienced an
improvement in the ranking of their income adjusted for size
of household, for women it was less than 10 per cent.
marital break-up was tied to risk for depression after
taking into account other factors such as change in
household income, social support or the number of children
in the household, history of depression, education level and
age, Statistics Canada said.
Considering that nearly 71,000 married couples divorced and
thousands more separated in 2003 and the link between
divorce and mental health problems, "these findings are
relevant to population health," the study concluded.
seem to help. More than three-quarters of those reporting a
depressive episode in the two-year period after the break-up
did not report another episode when they were re-interviewed
after four years.