If you find this site useful, please donate to support our work

Get our latest news by email:


Looking for something?


Entries in Millenium Cohort (1)


Research explores child outcomes after parental separation

This report presents findings from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) of children born around 2000.  This study looked at data from 826 of these children who experienced parental separation at some point between the ages of 9 months and 7 years

It describes variations in contact between children and non-resident parents, and use of court for settling contact or financial arrangements.

Among children of separated parents, the results suggest that more contact with the non-resident parent was associated with better outcomes for children at age 11. 

The findings support existing evidence showing that children of separated parents have worse outcomes compared with children of parents who are still together. The findings also suggest that contact with the non-resident parent may mitigate against the negative effects of separation.

More contact with the non-resident parent was significantly associated with lower odds of the cohort child smoking and damaging things in public spaces (at the 10% and 5% level, respectively).

The results also indicate, although not to a significant extent, that more contact with the non-resident parent was associated with lower predicted probabilities of being noisy in public spaces, stealing from a shop and writing on buildings. On the other hand, more contact with the non-resident parent was also associated with a higher predicted probability of the cohort child drinking alcohol.

Overall the results showed that girls had statistically significantly more positive outcomes than boys on some measures.

As with the Growing Up in Scotland cohort study, the information in this study is obtained from the resident parent and so may not present the full picture, but the missing information is likely to present an even more positive view of contact.  These results can also be compared with Swedish whole population studies. Although this research is published by the English Ministry of Justice, the study covered the whole of the UK.