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Divorce. Trends America has the highest divorce rates in the world going back to 1889 (Coontz, 2006) At the same time love-marriages became the dominant.

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Presentation on theme: "Divorce. Trends America has the highest divorce rates in the world going back to 1889 (Coontz, 2006) At the same time love-marriages became the dominant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Divorce

2 Trends America has the highest divorce rates in the world going back to 1889 (Coontz, 2006) At the same time love-marriages became the dominant model (Coontz, 2006) Divorce rates have stabilized (Martin, 2006) Most divorces occur early in marriages – 5 years 10% –15 years 43% –Median 8 years; mean 6.3

3 Why Are We Seeing This Trend Economic Factors Class (edu & family income matter) Wives in the labor force –Independence effect –Income effect (in low-income families--acts as stabilizer) –The effect of women’s employment on marriage depends on gender ideology High Expectations of Marriage Political/Economical Contract v. Free-choice –Practical expectations are associated with higher satisfaction

4 Why Are We Seeing This Trend The Changed Nature of Marriage Love-Marriage (a worldwide change) Mortality rates, i.e., a much longer time together –Self-Fulfilling Prophecy –Shift from Chitchat to Marital Conversation Decreased Social, Legal & Moral Barriers No-Fault Divorce Laws Rise in individualistic values Growing acceptance

5 Common Marital Complaints (Kitson) Both Sexes 1.Lack of Communication (F, 32% M, 27%) Men 2.Joint Conflict over Roles 21 % 3.Not Sure 18 % (2 % of women) Women Alcohol, untrustworthy and immature, out with the boys

6 Divorce American Style (Hetherington) Good Marriages & Bad Marriages 1. Pursuer-Distancer 2. Disengaged Marriages 3. Operatic Marriages 4. Cohesive-individuated Marriages 5. Traditional Marriages

7 Divorce American Style (Hetherington) 1.70% of Women and Men moved on to build reasonably or exceptionally fulfilling lives 2.20% of Women emerged enhanced, exhibiting competencies they never would had: gone back to school, economic stability, etc. 3.#1 predictor of subsequent adjustment was new supporting intimate relationship 4.75 to 60 % Women remarried 5.Child Development (75 to 80% good to very well)

8 “Stations” of Divorce (Bohannan) 1.Emotional Divorce * rather than reinforce each other, partners undermine each other’s self esteem 2.Legal Divorce * Divorce, like death, requires a period of grieving, but legal divorce is rational *The Lawyers! * Divorce Mediation

9 Aspects of Divorce 3.Community Divorce * Disruption in social networks 4.Economic Divorce * income-to-needs ratio * motherhood penalty 5. Psychic Divorce * Three Stages 1.Denial 2.Anger & Depression 3.Ex-Spouses take responsibility

10 Negative Effects on Children 1.Life Stress Perspective (accumulation of negative stressors) 2.Parental Loss Perspective (absence of parent = problems regarding socialization) 3.Parental Adjustment Perspective (custodial parent’s psychological adjustment) 4.Economic Hardship Perspective (varies among social classes) 5.Interparental Conflict Perspective (conflict between parents before, during & after)

11 His and Her Divorce Women –Adherence to traditional gender roles is associated with feelings of lost identity –Labor market issues Men –Retaining economic obligations without the joy of parenting –Adherence to traditional gender roles is associated with inability to share grief


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