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A Generation At Risk In Canada

Stats Canada 2011

- About 1 in 10 children under the age of 14 live in some sort of stepfamily;

- Lone-parent families and multiple-family households are on the rise;

- 8 out of 10 lone parents are mothers:

- Single fathers grew by 16.2% compared with 6% for single mothers;

-  Lone-parent, families grew 8% since 2006;

-  Single mothers still comprise 80% of single-parent families;

-  Common-law couples increased 13.9% between 2006 and 2011 compared with 3.1% for married couples over the same period.


Former Statistics

•    38% (71,269) of Canadian marriages end in divorce
(Stats Canada 2005)

•    The average duration of marriages ending in divorce in 2003 was 14.2 years
(Stats Canada 2004)

•    Statistics Canada estimates that well over 16% of divorces are redivorces for one or both spouses.
(Stats Canada 2005)

•    For Canada, there are no estimates of the number of children who experience multiple parental divorces. The research indicates that such multiple familial transitions correlate with declining well-being in children
(Amato and Sobolewski, 2001)

•    About 10% of all Canadian children under the age of 12 are living in a stepfamily.
Vanier Institute Study,
Dr. Anne-Marie Ambert, York University
(Revised edition 2005)

•    In 2001, 12% of families composed of a couple with children were stepfamilies, for a total of 503,100. Of these stepfamilies, 50% included only the mother's child(ren) from a previous union; 10% included exclusively the father's child; 8% consisted of both spouses' children from previous unions; and 32% were the result of a child having been born to a union in addition to the children born from previous ones
(Turcotte, P. (2002). Changing conjugal life in Canada. The Daily, Statistics Canada, July 11).

•    56,000 Canadian grandparents (or 1% of the total) are raising their grandchildren.
(Stats Can 2002)

•    Parental divorce correlates with higher divorce rates among children when they become adults
(Liam and Wu, 2008)
•    The study found that children whose parents eventually divorce show higher levels of depression, as well as higher levels of anti-social behaviour, than children whose parents remain married.
("Parental divorce and child mental health trajectories" in Journal of Marriage and Family December 2005)

•    From 50% to 80% of patients treated by Canadian mental health clinics are from separated families.  
(Fine, Stuart, Children in Divorce, Custody and Access Situations, CCIC)

•    Parental loss was the single most powerful predictor of adult psychopathology.  
(Brier et al, CCIC)

•    Children of divorced parents may:
o    suffer from depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders
o    exhibit behavioural problems including hyperactivity, aggressiveness
o    fighting and hostility
o    become young offenders
o    underachieve at school and leave school earlier
(Furstenberg and Kiernan 2001, LeBlanc, McDuff and Tremblay 1995 and Sun & Li 2002)

•    Teenagers of divorce are three times more likely to be in psychological counselling, are suspended or expelled from school five times the rate of children from intact families.
(Lyle Larson, Families in Canada)


Compiled by Rainbows Canada


Rainbows is not responsible for errors in translation

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