The recession is having a long-term impact on UK family life as new research suggests more than one million families are arguing more due to ongoing financial worries.
Despite the nation officially being out of recession, a study by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has revealed that the ongoing financial effects of the recession are having a disruptive impact on family relationships.
The Banks' research found that as well as over one million families arguing more, almost two million families say that they feel under severe strain on a daily basis due to money worries and financial pressures.
The study also revealed that more than 340,000 families have seen older children return to the family home due to financial problems or to enable them to save money. A further 513,000 families have seen grown-up children unable to fly the nest due to the fallout of the recession.
Professor Kevin Durkin, of the University of Strathclyde's Department of Psychology, said:
"Economic stress has substantial effects on families. It impacts on the parents, causing irritability, marital discord and depression."
"This, in turn, affects the quality of care they are able to provide their children: stressed parents are more short-tempered and less warm. Furthermore, the children may observe rows or parental anxieties about money. Children and adolescents in financially-stressed homes are at greater risk of psychological ill-health."
"Recessions may last only a few years in boom-bust economies like Britain's, but the impact on vulnerable families can be much more enduring."
These findings are backed up by earlier research, carried out on behalf of the Banks, which found that those in their 20s are most likely to have altered their plans for the year ahead as a result of the recession, with 36% putting off some major expenses. The research found that roughly four out of ten 20somethings (41%) had decided to delay plans to move home.
In 2009, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks set up a dedicated team to help customers before they face real financial difficulties. The Financial Solutions Unit (FSU) looks to assist customers whose financial situations have changed and may face difficulties without advice and support, and provides help for those who contact the Banks about financial concerns. So far the team has helped over 2,500 customers with their money worries.
Steve Reid, retail director, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said:
"There's no question that financial concerns create stress in family relationships. It's important that people understand that help is available and that the sooner they seek it out the better. Hiding from the possibilities only increases the stress at home and the likelihood the situation will get worse."
"The advice we give through our Financial Solutions Unit can take the sting out of a change in financial circumstances, providing that initial breathing space then the ability to manage your finances over the longer term."