Depression risk higher for divorced men: Statistics Canada

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When a 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.

The study 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.

Overall, 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.

Men aged 20 to 64 who had divorced or separated were six times more likely to report an episode of depression than were men who remained married.

The comparable depression figure for women left alone after broken marriages was 3.5 times more likely.

Loss of 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.

Among 34 per cent of men surveyed, children left their household after the relationship ended, compared with three per cent for women.