Have kids? Get ready to argue regularly with your in-laws | lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Have kids? Get ready to argue regularly with your in-laws

People with kids are more likely to have conflicts with their in-laws as compared to couples who are childless, a study has found.

lifestyle Updated: Aug 06, 2017 14:17 IST
Researchers at the Academy of Finland studied how being a parent is linked to conflicts between family generations.
Researchers at the Academy of Finland studied how being a parent is linked to conflicts between family generations.(Shutterstock)

People with kids are more likely to have conflicts with their in-laws as compared to couples who are childless, a study has found.

Researchers at the Academy of Finland studied how being a parent is linked to conflicts between family generations. They used survey data from Finland with over 1,200 respondents and found that compared to childless couples, couples with children were as likely to report conflicts with their own parents. However, they were more likely to report conflicts with their parents- in-law, researchers said.

The results took into account how frequently family members were in contact with each other and how emotionally close they felt, as well as other sociodemographic factors. Previous studies have shown that in-laws become more ‘kin-like’ to each other when a grandchild unites kin lineages.

The study also found evidence of a ‘kinship penalty.’ As in-laws become more kin-like through the presence of a grandchild, their mutual conflicts increase, researchers said. Childcare provided by grandparents is of great help to parents of young children, but may also be a source of conflicts.

“Daughters-in-law were more likely to report conflicts when their mother-in-law provided more grandchild care. This indicates that the increase in conflicts between in-laws are related to grandchild care,” said Mirkka Danielsbacka, researcher at the Academy of Finland. The study was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.

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