Surely the stresses of raising a set of sextuplets and a set of twins must have contributed to the breakdown of Jon and Kate Gosselin’s marriage, but what about other families with multiples? It’s been rumored that parents with twins and more have a higher divorce rate, so it’s interesting to examine the preliminary findings issued by Mothers of Supertwins (MOST) from an ongoing survey they’ve been conducting on “Divorce and the Multiple Birth Family.”
The survey began on June 25, 2009. As of this writing, they had surveyed more than 2,800 parents or guardians of multiples. Most of the participants were:
- Mothers (97.5%)
- US residents (93.4%)
- Predominantly Caucasian (92.4%)
- An average age of 32 when their multiples were conceived
- In households with an average of 3 children, mostly families with twins (61%) or triplets (30%)
- Married for the first time (86%)
Although it’s widely reported that 40-50% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce, that doesn’t seem to be the case for parents of multiples, even though, as MOST reports, “it certainly makes sense that parents of multiples would face additional emotional, financial, and medical-related stressors.” Additional findings revealed that:
- 4.3% of respondents divorced during the pregnancy or following the birth of multiples
- More than 95% of marriages were intact
- Approximately 82% of the respondents reported overall positive marital satisfaction
Overall, they found a divorce rate among respondents of 3.6% for parents of twins, 5% for parents of triplets, 9.2% for parents of quadruplets, and 4.2% for parents with quintuplets/sextuplets or more than one set of multiples.
MOST cautions that this study is ongoing and has certain limitations, but it is interesting to note that the findings thus far indicate a much lower rate of divorce among families with multiples than expected. Read MOST’s report at http://www.mostonline.org/facts_divorcesurvey.htm. If you’re a parent of multiples, you can also access the survey through this page.