Marriage, separation and beyond: a longitidinal study of famlies of children With intellectual and developmental disabilities in a Norwegian context


​This study addresses family structure in families raising a child with disabilities in Norway. The aims are to add to the literature on termination of parental relationships and to explore family research topics that are rarely discussed in disability research, such as cohabitation versus marriage and repartnering.

Longitudinal survey data on families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were born 1993–1995 were compared with register data on all families of same-aged children (five waves 1999–2012).

Parents of children with disabilities had slightly lower termination rates and formalized their partnerships earlier. Furthermore, the rate of repartnering among divorced/separated mothers of young children with disabilities was similar to that of other mothers but decreases later in the child's life course.

Results support the view that findings diverge and are most likely dependent on context.