Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):07, 22, , 53-59
OBJECTIVE: To examine rates of separation and divorce after traumatic brain injury and identify factors relating to risk of marital breakdown. PARTICIPANTS: 120 persons who sustained a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury and who were married at the time of injury. METHODS: Survivors were contacted between 30 and 96 months postinjury when demographic and marital status information was solicited. Injury information was obtained from medical records. FINDINGS: A majority of patients remained married. The rate of divorce was 17% and 8% was the separation rate. People who were married longer before their injury, victims of non-violent injuries, older persons, and persons with less severe injuries were more likely to remain married. Gender, ethnicity, educational level, time elapsed since injury, and postinjury employment status were unrelated to risk for marital breakdown. CONCLUSION: Research findings do not support contentions that persons with brain injury are at greater risk for divorce relative to the general population. Nor do findings suggest that males are more likely to leave injured female partners. More research is needed to assess marital quality and the potential benefits of intervention programs designed to develop and maintain mutually supportive relationships.