2 Separation, Divorce, Remarriage, and Stepfamilies Chapter 15Separation, Divorce, Remarriage, and Stepfamilies
3 Learning ObjectivesLO 15.1 Describe the phases and outcomes of separation LO 15.2 Describe the divorce process and explain why divorce rates have declined LO 15.3 Explain the micro- and macro-level reasons for divorce
4 Learning ObjectivesLO 15.4 Explain how and why divorce affects adults LO 15.5 Explain how and why divorce affects children LO 15.6 Describe the rate and process of remarriage, and explain how and why remarriages differ from first marriages
5 Learning ObjectivesLO 15.7 Describe and explain the diversity and complexity of stepfamilies LO 15.8 Describe and explain how stepfamilies differ from nuclear families
6 Separation: Process and Outcome The phases of separationSome outcomes of marital separation
7 The Phases of Separation PreseparationEarly separationMidseparationLate separationPreseparation - The couple experiences gradual emotional alienation.Early separation - Besides feeling ambivalent about leaving a marriage, the couple is plagued by many questions, both important and trivial.Midseparation - The pressures of maintaining two households and meeting the children’s emotional and physical needs mount, and stress intensifies.Late separation - The partners must learn how to be singles again, such as now doing all the housework and home maintenance.
8 Some Outcomes of Marital Separation Separation and reconciliationGetting back together after a divorceSeparation without divorceSeparating but not making the divorce officialSeparation and divorceSeparation that ends in divorceNot all separations end in divorce.Sometimes people reconcile and try to give their marriage a second chance.Divorce: The legal and formal dissolution of a marriage.
9 Question 1 Which of the following is an outcome of marital separation? Separation and reconciliationSeparation without divorceSeparation and divorceAll of the above
10 Question 1 Which of the following is an outcome of marital separation? Separation and reconciliationSeparation without divorceSeparation and divorceAll of the above
11 Question 2 Early separation is the first phase of separation. True False
12 Question 2 Early separation is the first phase of separation. True False
13 Divorce: Process and Rates The process of divorceDivorce rates
14 The Process of Divorce Emotional divorce Legal divorce Begins before people take any legal stepsEmotional divorceFormal dissolution of a marriageLegal divorceConflict over financial issuesEconomic divorceAgreements about responsibility of childrenCo-parental divorceInforming others about the divorceCommunity divorcePartners separate from each other emotionally and establish separate livesPsychic divorceAlimony: Monetary payments by one ex-spouse to the other after a divorce (sometimes called spousal maintenance).Child support: Monetary payments by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to help pay for child-rearing expenses.
15 Divorce Rates Divorce rates are lower today Same-sex divorce Postponing marriageCohabitingHigher educationSame-sex divorceLess in numberYoung couples more likely to divorceMarriages in the United States are lasting longer.In 200955 percent of couples had been married for at least 15 years35 percent had reached their twenty- fifth anniversary6 percent had been married 50 years or longer.
16 Figure 15.1 - Divorce in the United States, 1870 - 2011 Divorce rates climbed during the 1960s and 1970s, plateaued, and started dropping in 1995.Sources: Based on Plateris, 1973; U.S. Census Bureau, 2008, Table 77; and “National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends,” 2013.
17 Question 3In which of the following steps partners separate from each other emotionally and establish separate lives?Psychic divorceCommunity divorceLegal divorceEmotional divorce
18 Question 3In which of the following steps partners separate from each other emotionally and establish separate lives?Psychic divorceCommunity divorceLegal divorceEmotional divorce
19 Question 4Divorce rates are much higher today than they were 30 years ago.TrueFalse
20 Question 4Divorce rates are much higher today than they were 30 years ago.TrueFalse
21 Why do People Divorce? Macro-level reasons for divorce Demographic variables and divorceMicro-level reasons for divorceDemographic variables also help explain why some couples are prone to divorce.
22 Macro-Level Reasons for Divorce Divorce lawsEconomyMilitary serviceCultural values and social integrationTechnologyNo-fault divorce: Neither partner has to establish the guilt or wrongdoing of the other.Social integration: The social bonds that people have with others and the community at large.
23 NPR: Military Combats High Divorce Rate The audio illustrates the impact of war on marriages
24 Demographic Variables and Divorce Parental divorceAge at marriagePremarital childbearingCohabitationGenderRace and ethnicitySocial classReligionAge at marriage - Early marriage, especially before age 18 is one of the strongest predictors of divorce.Childbearing - Divorce is especially likely among adolescent parents, who lack the education or income to maintain a stable family life.Cohabitants tend to be more accepting of divorce, less committed to marriage, and have fewer skills in coping with marital problems.Gender - Women in unhappy marriages are more likely to get a divorce if they can support themselves.Race and ethnicity - In terms of population size and marriage rates, blacks are more likely to divorce than are people in any other racial-ethnic group. Asian women have the lowest divorce rates.Social class - Education is closely related to income, another predictor of the likelihood of divorce. Economic problems are more common, increasing the likelihood of stress, arguments, and divorce.Religion - Compared with their less religious counterparts, the risk of divorce is much lower among couples that are religiously homogamous.
25 Figure Divorce among Racial- Ethnic Groups First divorce rates per 1,000 women in first marriages age 18 and older, 2010Source: Gibbs and Payne, 2011, Figure 2.
26 Micro-Level Reasons for Divorce Unrealistic expectationsPre-marital doubtsFinancial problems and disagreementsVerbal, physical, or emotional abuseExtramarital affairsCommunication problemsSubstance abuseDisagreements about how to raise and discipline children
27 Question 5 Which of the following is a macro-level reason for divorce? Substance AbuseDivorce LawsRace and EthnicitySocial Class
28 Question 5 Which of the following is a macro-level reason for divorce? Substance AbuseDivorce LawsRace and EthnicitySocial Class
29 Question 6Social integration is the social bonds that people have with others and the community at large.TrueFalse
30 Question 6Social integration is the social bonds that people have with others and the community at large.TrueFalse
31 How Divorce Affects Adults Physical, emotional, and psychological effectsEconomic effectsChild custodyChild support
32 The Difficulty of Divorce The content explores statistics on the affects of divorce
33 Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Effects Divorce increases the chances of:Health problemsSocial isolationStressLess social supportDepressionPhysical well-beingThere’s a negative association between divorce and healthEmotional and psychological well-beingEffects on both parents and children.
34 Divorce and Adolescence The video exemplifies how divorce affects adolescents
35 Economic Effects Economic setbacks include: Decrease in wealth Alimony More financial strain on womenA major reason for women’s financial strain is that the custody of children.
36 Child CustodyCourt-mandated ruling regarding which divorced parent will have the primary responsibility for the children’s upbringingTypesSole custodySplit custodyJoint custodySole custody: One parent is responsible for raising the child; the other parent has specified visitation rights.Split custody: The children are divided between the parents either by sex or the children’s choice.Joint custody: Children divide their time between their parents, who share decisions about the children’s upbringing.
37 NPR: Fathers Become Vocal on Parents' Rights The audio clip talks about parental rights and custody
38 Child Support Paid to the spouse who gets custody of children Mostly womenMost women who receive it have visitation arrangements with the fatherTop reasons for not seeking a legal awardHaving informal agreementsEach parent providing what she or he could for supportBelieving that the noncustodial parent couldn’t afford to pay anything
39 Figure 15.4 - Percent of Custodial Parents Who Received Full Child-Support Payments, 2009 Source: Grall, 2011, Figure 5.
40 Question 7_______ means that children divide their time between their parents, who share decisions about the children’s upbringing.Sole custodySplit custodyJoint custodyNone of the above
41 Question 7_______ means that children divide their time between their parents, who share decisions about the children’s upbringing.Sole custodySplit custodyJoint custodyNone of the above
42 Question 8Divorced men are twice as likely as recently divorced women to be in poverty.TrueFalse
43 Question 8Divorced men are twice as likely as recently divorced women to be in poverty.TrueFalse
44 How Divorce Affects Children What hurts children before, during, and after divorce?What helps children before, during, and after divorce?Some positive outcomes of divorce for children and adults
45 What Hurts Children Before, During, and After Divorce? Difficulties faced by children from divorced familiesLower academic achievementBehavioral problemsLower self-conceptLong-term health problemsEffects of divorce can be short or long termParental problems before a divorceInternalizing problems e.g., feeling sad, lonelyExternalizing problems e.g., being impulsive, quick- temperedPoor social skillsOngoing parental conflict and hostilityParental attitudes during and after the divorceQuality of parentingChildren’s adjustment to divorce depends on the quality of parenting after the marriage endsEconomic hardshipHigher for black womenInterrelated and cumulative effects of divorceDecreased well-beingLoss of stable environment, emotional and economic security, and ready access to both parentsLikelihood of ending their own marriage
46 What Helps Children Before, During, and After Divorce? Reassuring the childrenEncouraging open communicationEmphasizing that children are not responsible for the problemsMaintaining an ongoing relationship with the childrenDifficulties that children and adults who go through a divorce experience can be reduced if co-parents are civil and cooperative and work together to improve their children’s well-being.
47 Some Positive Outcomes of Divorce for Children and Adults Decreased stressMore time with nonresident parentAdultsEnd of a high-conflict marriageBenefits for womenEnjoying their new- found freedomDeveloping their own self-identityNot having to answer to a domineering husbandBenefits for menSpending more money on themselves or their hobbiesBeing better off financiallyHaving more leisure timeDating numerous people
48 Question 9_______ can lessen the negative effects of divorce in many ways.TeachersSiblingsPeersParents
49 Question 9_______ can lessen the negative effects of divorce in many ways.TeachersSiblingsPeersParents
50 Question 10Children who grow up in a divorced family are up to twice as likely to end their own marriages.TrueFalse
51 Question 10Children who grow up in a divorced family are up to twice as likely to end their own marriages.TrueFalse
52 Remarriage: Rates, Process, and Characteristics How common is remarriage?Remarriage as a processSome characteristics of remarried couplesRemarriage satisfactionRemarriage stability
53 How Common Is Remarriage? U.S. remarriage rate is the highest in the worldMedian time between a divorce and a second marriage is shortMany have married thriceRemarriage has spawned a huge industry of services, magazines, and booksMany Americans don’t plan to remarry, but remarriage is common.In 2009:People in a second marriage accounted for 12 percent of all married people.Those who were married three or more times accounted for another 3 percent.
54 Married More than Once? The content explores statistics on remarriages
55 Remarriage as a Process Emotional remarriagePsychic remarriageCommunity remarriageParental remarriageEconomic remarriageLegal remarriageSimilar to the six stations of divorce.The stages of remarriage aren’t necessarily sequential, and not every couple goes through all of them or with the same intensity.
56 Some Characteristics of Remarried Couples Characteristics of remarried people depend on interrelated factorsAge and genderGender and race-ethnicitySocial classFirst marriages and remarriages differ in many ways.
57 Figure 15.5 - Percentage of Americans Who Have Remarried, Age 35 and Older, by Sex Source: Based on Kreider and Ellis, 2011b: Table 6.
58 Figure 15.6 - How Often We Remarry, by Sex and Race/Ethnicity Note: These figures represent the percentage of Americans age 15 and older in 2009.Source: Based on data in U.S. Census Bureau, Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), 2008 Panel, Wave 2 Topical Module, Table 1, 2011, (accessed June 30, 2013).
59 Remarriage Satisfaction People in first marriages report greater satisfactionDifferences are smallRemarried mothers benefit psychologically from remarriage when:Couple have a stable relationshipChildren’s lives are going wellSome researches suggest that remarried spouses are more likely to be critical, angry, and irritable.During the first few years of remarriage, stress could reflect the same poor communication and problem-solving skills that led to a previous divorce.
60 Remarriage Stability Divorce are rates higher for remarriages Getting married and divorcing at a young ageViewing divorce as a quick solution for marital dissatisfactionIntermarital birthMore boundary maintenance issues60 percent of remarriages, compared with 45 percent of first marriages, end in divorce.
61 Question 11 Lowest rate of remarriage is found in _______. Whites African AmericansLatinosAsian Americans
62 Question 11 Lowest rate of remarriage is found in _______. Whites African AmericansLatinosAsian Americans
63 Question 12Remarriage stability is higher because people learn from their mistakes.TrueFalse
64 Question 12Remarriage stability is higher because people learn from their mistakes.TrueFalse
65 The Diversity and Complexity of Stepfamilies What is a stepfamily?Types of stepfamiliesSome demographic characteristics of stepfamiliesHow stepfamilies and nuclear families differ
66 Stepfamilies in the United States: A Reconsideration The content looks into the aspects of stepfamilies
67 What Is a Stepfamily?Household in which two adults who are biological or adoptive parents with a child from a previous relationship marry or cohabitParents can be heterosexual, gay, or lesbianAlso known asReconstituted familyBinuclear familyBlended family
68 Types of Stepfamilies Mother-stepfather family All the children are biological children of the mother and stepchildren of the fatherMother-stepfather familyAll the children are biological children of the father and stepchildren of the motherFather-stepmother familyAt least one child is the biological child of both parentsAt least one child is the biological child of only one parent and the stepchild of the other parent, and no other type of child is presentJoint stepfamilyStepsibling: Brothers or sisters who share a biological or adoptive parent and a stepparent.Half sibling: Brothers or sisters who share only one biological or adoptive parent.
69 Figure 15.7 - Stepfamily Networks Each set of parents of our target couple, Bill and Maria, are grandparents to at least two sets of children.For example, Maria’s parents are the grandparents of her children with her former husband Bob (Billy, Mario, and Linda) and of her child with Bill (Joy).Depending on the closeness of the relationship Bill maintains with his former wife, Althea, however, Maria’s parents might play a grandparental role to Peter and Julian as well as to Bill and Althea’s boys.Source: Based on Everett and Everett, 1994: p. 132.
70 Some Demographic Characteristics of Stepfamilies Stepfamilies have distinct demographic patterns that vary by:AgeRace-ethnicitySocial classThese variations reflect changing attitudes and family structures.Young adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to have grown up in divorced families or with unmarried parents.Black marriage rates have dropped since the 1960s; and college graduates are likely to postpone marriage and have lower divorce rates.
71 Gay and Lesbian Stepfamilies Face similar problems as that of heterosexual familiesStepparent roles in lesbian stepfamiliesCo-parent familyStepmother familyCo-mother familyTriple stigmatization faced by lesbian and gay stepfamiliesDenounced because many people view homosexuality as immoralStill seen as deficient compared with nuclear families because they don’t have adult role models of both sexesCouples may not get custody of children that were born during an opposite-sex marriage.
72 How Stepfamilies and Nuclear Families Differ Complex structureMust cope with unique tasksExperience more stress and conflictFamily integration takes yearsRelationships may end or spring up abruptlyContinuous transitions and adjustmentsStepfamilies may look like nuclear families because they’re composed of adults and children living in the same household.However, stepparenting is more difficult for a number of reasons that range from the structure of stepfamilies to the ambiguous roles of stepfamily members.
73 How Stepfamilies and Nuclear Families Differ Less cohesiveLess flexibility in their everyday behaviorUnrealistic expectationsNo shared family historyLoyalty conflictsAmbiguityStepfamilies may look like nuclear families because they’re composed of adults and children living in the same household.However, stepparenting is more difficult for a number of reasons that range from the structure of stepfamilies to the ambiguous roles of stepfamily members.
74 Question 13Which of the following is a difference between stepfamilies and nuclear families?Nuclear families experience more stress and conflictNuclear families go through transitions and adjustmentsStepfamilies are more cohesiveStepfamily roles are often ambiguous
75 Question 13Which of the following is a difference between stepfamilies and nuclear families?Nuclear families experience more stress and conflictNuclear families go through transitions and adjustmentsStepfamilies are more cohesiveStepfamily roles are often ambiguous
76 Question 14In a mother-stepfather family, all the children are biological children of the mother and stepchildren of the father.TrueFalse
77 Question 14In a mother-stepfather family, all the children are biological children of the mother and stepchildren of the father.TrueFalse
78 Living in a Stepfamily Parenting in stepfamilies Stepparent-stepchild relationshipsHow stepfamilies affect childrenSome characteristics of successful stepfamilies
79 Transitions in Parental Repartnering After Divorce The text looks in the affects of divorce
80 Parenting in Stepfamilies Issues faced by stepfamilies when merging two householdsNamingSexual boundariesLegal issuesDistributing economic resourcesDistributing emotional resourcesNamingBiological parents or children may feel threatened.Sexual boundariesRarely any legal restrictions on sexual relations between stepfamily members.Legal issuesChildren from a previous marriage may be disinherited even though this wasn’t the parent’s intention.Distributing economic resourcesChildren of remarried fathers typically are at a financial disadvantage if the children live with their custodial mother.Distributing emotional resourcesResources such as time, space, and affection must also be distributed equitably so that all the family’s members are content with the new living arrangements.
81 Figure 15.8 - Percentage of Children Living in Stepfamilies Note: According to the most recent available data, in 1996, 21 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native children lived in stepfamilies.Source: Based on Kreider and Ellis, 2011a: Table 6.
82 Stepparent-Stepchild Relationships Important issuesGender rolesStepchild-stepparent relationship developmentDiscipline and closenessIntergenerational relationshipsStepparent–stepchild relationships vary considerably because stepfamilies are more diverse than biological families.Gender rolesRelationships with stepchildren are often more difficult for stepmothers than stepfathers.Stepchild–stepparent relationship developmentStepchildren are less likely to experience conflict if the stepparent raised them from infancy or early childhood, if the children liked the stepparent from the beginning.Discipline and closenessEspecially between stepfathers and adolescent stepchildren, children generally dislike being disciplined by stepparents until they form strong bonds.Intergenerational relationshipsTies across generations, especially with grandparents and step-grandparents, can be close and loving or disruptive and intrusive.
83 How Stepfamilies Affect Children Children in stepfamilies don’t fare as well as children in biological familiesDepends on the relationships among:ChildrenCustodial and noncustodial parentsStepparentsTheoretical explanations of the effects of stepfamilies on childrenFamily stress theories - Living in a stepfamily creates numerous difficulties for children and other family members.Risk and resilience theories - Effects of remarriage on children involve both costs and benefits.Social capital theories - Children in stepfamily households have more problems than children in nuclear families because the stepparents often invest less time and energy in raising their children.Cumulative effects hypothesis - Children whose parents have had several partners over time display more internalizing and externalizing problems than children who lived with a parent who had remarried only once.
84 Some Characteristics of Successful Stepfamilies Developing realistic expectationsLetting children mourn their lossesForging a strong couple relationshipStepparent takes on a disciplinary role graduallyDeveloping new ritualsWorking out arrangements between the children’s households
85 Question 15Which of the following is a characteristic of successful stepfamilies?Stepfamilies do not let children mourn their losses.Stepparent takes on a disciplinary role immediately.Stepfamilies forge a strong couple relationship.Stepfamilies follow old rituals of their families.
86 Question 15Which of the following is a characteristic of successful stepfamilies?Stepfamilies do not let children mourn their losses.Stepparent takes on a disciplinary role immediately.Stepfamilies forge a strong couple relationship.Stepfamilies follow old rituals of their families.
87 Question 16Family stress theories say that children in stepfamily households have more problems than children in nuclear families because the stepparents often invest less time and energy in raising their children.TrueFalse
88 Question 16Family stress theories say that children in stepfamily households have more problems than children in nuclear families because the stepparents often invest less time and energy in raising their children.TrueFalse
89 Discussion QuestionDiscuss the effects of divorce on children.