Keeping couples together (letter)by Arnold JagoNews Weekly
, July 13, 2002
Youth suicides have more than doubled in Australia since 1965, now causing 21 per cent of deaths in the 15 to 24 age group. Ninety-six per cent of this growth relates to family factors: divorce and solo mothers.
Poverty is rarely a factor.
One researcher, Dr John Wodarski, says, "The growing incidence of family dissolutions, the resulting single-parent households and the attendant lifestyle, makes childhood a difficult period ... adolescent suicide [being] a reflection of this turmoil."
More boys than girls suiciding seems related to boys' greater vulnerability to personal loss - especially absence of the father - as found in interviews of surviving relatives of 120 suicides compared with 147 "control" families.
Australia's "no fault" divorce laws should be abandoned if we take youth welfare seriously.
Even couples with mediocre marriages should be encouraged and helped to stay together for the sake of the children.Arnold Jago,