Gallup Poll Suggests Divorce Stress May Hit Women Harder

There is little question that divorce stress can affect everyone involved. Both spouses, any children, mutual friends, and often extended families on both sides may be forced to deal with uncomfortable changes resulting from the split. According to a recent study, women may be more likely than men to experience a marked increase in stress and stress-related behaviors following a divorce or separation.

The study was conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a joint effort between the well-known polling organization and Healthways, a “global well-being company.”  Over 130,000 interviews were conducted with American adults between January and September, 2014, in order to establish a measurement of well-being over several categories. The poll also sought to measure reports of stress, which affected all of the categories to some extent.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents across all demographics indicated that they had experienced “stress a lot of the day yesterday,” with women reporting stress more than men. Married people were, in general, less likely to report stress than unmarried people, as only about 37 percent of married individuals did so. Again, married women, at 39.7 percent, were more likely to report compared to 34 percent of married men.

The gap between the genders widens significantly, however, for those who are separated and divorced. Women who were divorced or separated indicated daily stress at a much higher rate than men of the same marital status, at 47 percent and 56 percent for divorced and separated women compared to 40.3 percent and 44.5 percent for men, respectively. The researchers noted the increase in stress among women was more than 50 percent greater than that among men.

In addition to stress, the study also found a similar trend among men and women related to the use of drugs and medications as a relaxation aid. Married adults were less likely to report they used “drugs or medications, including prescription drugs, which affect [their] mood and help [them] relax” almost every day than their divorced or separated counterparts. As with the stress reports, the increase in drug use was markedly higher among women after separation or divorce.

It is important to note that the study does not attempt to draw any correlations between the trends but the researchers suggest that a causal relationship may exist. There are many factors that can affect both trends, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the specific impact of satisfying relationship with the other parent.” No matter which parent’s house the child calls home, it is important for both parents to maintain an active role in the child’s life.

Finally, New suggests making sure legal details are being addressed as well. This is where we can help. If you are dealing with questions about custody after your divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We will review your case and can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your rights are being protected.marital status alone. Additionally, the findings related to stress represent a relatively small portion of the overall study, which, when taking all elements together, found than women generally report a higher degree of overall well-being than men.