Strains from parenthood, stressful conditions, lack of intimacy, insufficient communication, differing personalities and interests, no commitment (in the relationship), and negative effects of addiction can contribute to separation of parents of young children, the researchers said.

The study by researchers at University of Gothenburg showed that a low level of education and unemployment were also risk factors for separation.

The study involved 452 parents who answered a scientific questionnaire that measures relationship quality in five different dimensions -- consensus, cohesion, satisfaction, sensuality and sexuality.

The couples in the study were all first-time parents, Swedish-speakers and had a healthy child.

The largest statistically significant differences were seen in the dimensions of satisfaction, consensus and cohesion.

When the child was six months old, the separated respondents agreed less about different matters, they were less satisfied with the relationship, and felt less togetherness and lower quality in their sexual lives compared with those who did not separate, the researchers said.

The findings appeared online in the journal Nordic Psychology.


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