2Macro Factors Contributing to Divorce Divorce: the termination of a valid marriage contractDivorce occurs more frequently today than in the earlier days of the U.S. due to various structural and cultural factors.
3Macro Factors Changing family functions and structure Liberal divorce lawsNo-fault divorce: a divorce in which neither party is identified as the guilty party or the cause of the divorcePrenuptial agreementsFewer moral and religious sanctionsIt is debatable whether or not no-fault divorce actually causes divorce.
4Macro Factors More divorce models Mobility and anonymity Social class, ethnicity, and cultureEducated white Americans are the least likely to divorceDiscussion: How many divorces are socially acceptable for one individual?
5Micro Factors Contributing to Divorce Micro factors are individual factors that are predictive of divorce.More likely to be seen as the cause of the divorce
6Micro Factors Falling out of love Not spending enough time together Decreasing positive behaviors: compliments, physical affectionHaving an affairPoor conflict resolution skillsChanging values
7Micro FactorsSatiation: habituation, the state in which a stimulus loses its value with repeated exposureBelieving life will be better if divorced
8Ending RelationshipPsychological functioning and happiness of spouses going through a divorce improve after the divorce.Data are mixed on whether remaining unhappily married or getting divorced and remarried has a more positive outcome for the spouses.Discussion: What might be the positive outcomes of staying in an unhappy marriage?
9Gender Differences in Filing for Divorce Women are the first to seek help when there is trouble in the relationship.Women are likely to feel a renewed sense of self-identity.Men are concerned about separation from their children.
10Consequences for Spouses Who Divorce The spouse who did not instigate the divorce is more vulnerable to depression.Women fare better emotionally after a divorce.Men are likely to date and remarry sooner.Relationships with extended family change.Spouses recover sooner if they find new interests.
11Consequences Both women and men experience a drop in income. Women tend to suffer more financially.Over half of custodial mothers are awarded child support but most find the amount inadequate.
12ConsequencesDivorced mothers serve as gatekeepers for the relationship children have with the father.A father’s relationship with a daughter is usually more damaged than his relationship with a son.Shared parenting dysfunction: refers to the set of behaviors on the part of each parent that are focused on hurting the other spouseDiscussion: What kinds of behaviors would lead to shared parenting dysfunction?
13ConsequencesParental alienation syndrome: a disturbance in which children are obsessively preoccupied with deprecation or criticism of a parentParental alienation: an alliance between a parent and a child that isolates the other parent
14Effects of Divorce on Children Benefits of divorce for childrenBetter than living in high-conflict homeLearn resilienceReceive more attentionNegative outcomes of divorce for childrenLess marital satisfactionPoorer communication skillsPoorer parent-child relationships
15Effects on ChildrenThe primary factor that determines the effect of divorce on children is the degree to which the divorcing parents are civil or adversarial.Legal and physical custody arrangements are also important.
16Effects on ChildrenLegal custody: decisional authority over major issues involving the childPhysical custody: visitation, distribution of parenting time following divorceJudges in all states are bound by the “best interests of the child.”Discussion: What are the best interests of the child?
17Prerequisites for Having a Successful Divorce Mediate rather than litigate the divorce.Divorce mediation: process in which divorcing parties make agreements with a third party about custody, visitation, child support, and property.Coparent with your ex-spouse.Take some responsibility for the divorce.Learn from the divorce.Create positive thoughts.Avoid alcohol and other drugs.Relax and exercise.
18Successful Divorce Let go of anger and have fun. Continue interpersonal connections.Allow time to heal.Divorcing spouses also lose their in-laws. In some cases these are close relationships.
19Successful Divorce Psychological stages of divorce Denial Depression Anger or ambivalenceNew lifestyle and identityAcceptance and integrationDiscussion: What are the similarities and differences between a death and a divorce?
20StepfamiliesBlended family: a family in which new spouses have children from previous relationshipsBinuclear family: a family that spans two householdsStepfamily: a family in which partners bring children from previous relationships into the new homeStepfamily is currently the preferred term.
21Stepfamilies Unique aspects of stepfamilies: Children are biologically related to only one parent.Stepfamily members have experienced loss.Stepfamily members are connected to others outside their family unit.Children may have two homes.Stepfamilies have reduced disposable income.
22Stepfamilies Unique aspects of stepfamilies Step families are stigmatized by stepism: the assumption that stepfamilies are inferior.Married couples begin their marriage with children in the home.The law usually recognizes children of the first family.