Parents' divorce: an advantage or an obstacle for children's careers?

The impact of parental divorce on a child's entrepreneurial career depends on the parents' level of education. If the disadvantages predominate in children whose parents are highly educated, the children of less educated parents benefit more from divorce.

Divorce of parents can encourage entrepreneurship in children, but it can also have negative consequences on training, this research showed (symbolic photo).

Divorce of parents can encourage entrepreneurship in children, but it can also have negative consequences on training, this research showed (symbolic photo).

ATS

This is the conclusion of the University of St. Gallen (HSG), published on Friday. To do this, researchers examined the career paths of 1,735 self-employed workers in the United States.

According to this research published in the Journal of Business Venturing, children of divorced parents are, on average, more independent and mature than other children.

“Our results show that children who experience parental divorce develop, on average, an increased belief that they can successfully overcome difficult situations and challenges on their own,” says Isabella Hatak, head of the study, quoted in the HSG press release. This would later benefit the children in their entrepreneurial career.

Loss of financial resources

However, the commonly held view that early life challenges are the source of entrepreneurial success appears to apply only when children have little to lose from their parents' divorce, the researchers write in their study.

Because at the same time, divorce can lead to the loss of financial resources in wealthy families. In such cases, less funding is available for activities such as academic support. According to the authors, parental divorce can therefore lead to children from privileged backgrounds losing some of their advantages.

Public programs aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship should therefore support disadvantaged people, whether the disadvantages are caused by parental divorce or already exist, according to the study's findings.

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