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The Effects of Divorce on Children

 

 

Patrick Fagan, Ph.D.

  BIO

Remarks to The World Congress of Families II,  November 8, 1999

Introduction

Divorce is hurting American children very badly. Each year over a million children suffer the divorce of their parents and by 1999, half of all American children reaching their eighteenth birthday and who were born to married parents will have experienced the divorce of their parents. 

The reversal of the legal status of divorce will entail nothing less than a cultural revolution because American culture now embraces divorce in law and in behavior.  Its easy acceptance --- once rejected as scandalous.  Even if they themselves have divorced the men and women who shape popular opinion, as well as the policymakers in state legislatures who are responsible for domestic law should begin to challenge this practice.

The devastating effects of divorce on children just might provide these leaders with the motivation to start such a cultural revolution, or at least to question the direction the nation has taken.  The plight of children may give Americans the moral courage to overcome a fear of raising this delicate subject. If Americans do not overcome this fear, we will lock ourselves into inaction and lock the nation into a downward spiral of weakening effects and diminishing social capital because divorce diminishes children’s future competence in all the major institutions.

In family life, divorce permanently weakens the relationship between children and parents.  It leads to destructive ways of handling conflict, diminishes social competence, leads to early loss of virginity, and it diminishes young adults’ sense of masculinity or femininity.  It leads to more trouble in dating, to more cohabitation, to higher divorce rates later in life, to higher expectations of divorce, and to less desire for children.

  • In religious life, divorce diminishes the frequency of worship of God, and recourse to Him in prayer.

  • In education, divorce diminishes learning capacities and high school and college attainment.

  • In the marketplace, divorce reduces household income and massively cuts the life-wealth of individuals.

  • In government and citizenship, divorce massively increases crime rates, abuse and neglect rates , and the use of drugs.

  • Also, divorce weakens the health of children; even their life spans will be shortened.

  • Finally it increases behavioral, emotional and psychiatric risks, including suicide.

The effect of divorce on children’s hearts, minds and souls range from severe to mild, from seemingly small to massive, and from short term to long term.  None of the effects apply to every child of divorce, nor is it likely that any one child has suffered all the effects.  Nonetheless, the one million children who see their parents divorce each year are effected by the trauma. There is no way to predict how any particular child will be effected or to what extent, but it is possible to predict its effects on society.   They are numerous and very serious.

The major issue for researchers is no longer what the ill effects of divorce are, but the depth and length of persistence of these effects on children, and on their future children and grandchildren.  

A: Effects on the Institution of the Family:

Family Effect #1)  Weakened Relationships Of Divorced Parents Towards Their Children.

Not only do parents divorce each other, a divorce or ‘mini’ divorce happens between them and their children.  The primary effect of divorce (and of the conflict that leads to divorce) is a decline of the relationship between parent and child.[1]  Divorced mothers, despite their best intentions, are less able than married mothers are to give the same level of emotional support to their children.[2]   Divorced fathers are less than likely to have a close relationship with their children, and the younger the children are at the time of the divorce, and when the father is denied legal custody of the children he is more likely to drift away.[3] Also, divorced and remarried fathers tend to become more involved with the children of their subsequent marriage.[4]  In the late 1980s and early 1990’s the National Survey of Families and Households [5] found that about one in five divorced fathers had not seen their children in the past year, and less than half the fathers saw their children more than a few times a year.[6]   By adolescence (between the ages of twelve to sixteen) less than half of those children living with separated, divorced, or remarried mothers had seen their fathers at all in more than a year, and only one in six saw their fathers as often as once a week.[7] Finally paternal grandparents frequently cease to see their grandchildren as their grandchildren’s contact with their own father, the grandparents’ son, diminishes.[8]

Children’s relationships with both their parents change after a divorce: they become more distant from both,[9] more so even than children living with married but unhappy parents.[10], [11]

Children of divorced parents rate the support they receive from home much lower than do children from intact homes.[12]  These negative ratings become more pronounced by the time they are in high school[13] and college[14]

This emotional distance between children and parents lasts well into adulthood, and may become permanent.  As adults, children of divorced parent families are half as likely to be close to their parents as children of intact families are.  They have less frequent contact with the parent with whom they have grown up,[15] and have much, much less contact with the divorced parent from whom they have been separated by the divorce.[16]  The financial assistance, practical help, and emotional support between parents and children diminishes much more quickly than that in intact families.[17]  Also, they are less likely to think they should support their parents in old age.[18]   This finding alone portends a monumental problem for the much-divorced baby boom generation when it becomes the dependent elderly generation in the first half of the twenty first century.

Children whose parents divorce later in the life -- late teenage years and early adulthood -- have fewer difficulties than children whose parents divorce during their childhood, but they deeply dislike the strains and difficulties which arise in long-held family celebrations, traditions, daily rituals, and special times, and see these losses as major.[19]

Furthermore even grown children continue to see their parents divorce very differently than do the parents. Judith Wallerstein, a clinical psychologist from San Francisco, was the first to disturb the nation with her widely reported research on the effects of divorce on children.[20]  Her research has continued in many follow-up studies on these children. Fifteen years after the divorce she found that only 10 percent of children felt the positive about their parents’ divorce even though 80 percent of the divorced mothers and 50 percent of the divorced fathers felt that it was good for them.[21]

Family Effect #2) Weakened Relationships Of Children Towards Their Parents.

After the divorce most parents have two sets of problems: first, their own personal adjustment to the divorce and second, their adjustment to the new and very different role as divorced parent.  As many as 40 percent are so stressed by the divorce that their child raising suffers.[22] They frequently shift their way of dealing with their children, changing from rigid to permissive, from emotionally distant to emotionally dependent.[23]  Compared with continuously married mothers, divorced mothers are likely to be less affectionate with their children, less communicative, and to discipline them more harshly and more inconsistently, especially during the first year following the divorce.[24], [25]  In particular divorced mothers have problems with their sons, though their relationship will likely improve within two years,[26] even if, for many, some discipline problems persist up to six years after the divorce.[27]  

Fathers don’t fare well either with their children, especially non-custodial fathers.  Their contact with their children declines over time, though this pattern is less pronounced the older the child is when the divorce occurs.[28] The relationship that divorced fathers have with their sons, often troubled before the divorce, tends to get significantly worse after the breakup.[29]  Furthermore, the higher the level of conflict during the divorce, the more likely the distance between father and his children.[30]  This does not bode well for the lifetime happiness of divorced children: Young adults who feel emotionally close to their fathers tend to be happier and more satisfied in life, regardless of their feelings toward their mothers. [31]  However there is good news: Divorced fathers who live close to their children and see them more often tend to retain the affection of their children more.[32]

The relationships of father to daughter and mother to son have their own special twists: Boys, especially if they are living with their mother, respond with more hostility to parental divorce than girls do, both immediately after the divorce and for a period of years thereafter.  Girls often fare worse when living with adult men, either their father or a stepfather.[33]  By the time children, particularly daughters, attend university their affection for their divorced father has waned significantly.[34]

Stepfamily life does not solve these problems.  The level of contact between the children and their natural parent is not restored to that level enjoyed by children in intact families.[35]  Nor does remarriage restore the enjoyment of the role of parent for most divorced parents: they have fewer enjoyable times with their children, more disagreements with them and more altercations than do intact families.[36]

Family Effect #3)  Children’s Destructive Styles of Handling Conflict

Divorce diminishes the capacity of children to handle conflict.  The difference between marriages that stay intact and those that end in divorce lies primarily in the couple’s ability to handle marital conflict and move towards agreement.  Children of divorced parents acquire the same incapacity through the modeling of their parents.

For instance, compared to students from intact families, college students from divorced families use violence more frequently to resolve conflict, and are more likely to be aggressive and physically violent with their friends, male or female.[37]   Later on in their own marriages children of of divorced parents are more likely to be unhappy in their own marriages, to escalate the conflict, to reduce communication with their spouse, to argue frequently, to shout when arguing, and to physically assault when arguing.[38]   Thus is the likelihood of divorce transmitted across generations.[39]

Family Effect #4)  Children’s Diminished Social Competence With Their Peers 

Adolescents who have the ability to get along with peers have a significant social skill that will lead to greater happiness in their own family life and in the workplace.  The marital conflict that accompanies parents’ divorce places this competence at risk. 

When parents are divorcing the conflict between them is often accompanied by less affection, less responsiveness and more punitiveness towards their children, and leaves their children feeling emotionally insecure,[40] and more likely to believe that their social melieu is unpredictable and uncontrollable.[41] The worst troublemaker in school, the child who engages in fighting and stealing, is far more likely to come from a broken home than is the well-behaved.[42] Gerald Patterson of the Oregon Social Learning Center says: “Poor social skills, characterized by aversive or coercive interaction styles, lead directly to rejection by normal peers”.[43]  Fear of such peer rejection is twice as likely among adolescents of divorced parents.[44]  They are likely to have fewer childhood friends, and to complain more about the lack of support they receive from the friends they do have.[45] , [46]  Faculty from Kent State University, Ohio, conducted a major national study on the effects of divorce and found that, compared to children from intact families, children of divorced parents did more poorly when rated by both parents and teachers on peer relationships, hostility towards adults,  anxiety, withdrawal, inattention, and aggression. [47]

Family Effect #5): Adolescents’ Diminished Sense of Femininity or Masculinity

Many teenagers struggle with feelings of inadequacy in their teens, and frequently turn these feelings into erroneous judgements of rejection by others.  Daughters of divorce have a particularly difficult time with this struggle and find it more difficult to value their femininity or to believe they are genuinely lovable.  Sons of divorced parents suffer in their own way, and frequently have less confidence in their ability to relate with women, at work, or romantically.[48]

If children -- especially for pre-adolescent children (aged 9-12) -- maintain contact with their father after the divorce they are greatly aided in maintaining their self confidence, [49] because attachment to their mother alone does not suffice.[50] But as pointed out already such contact with father generally diminishes over time.

Family Effect #6)  Young Adults Increased Trouble in Dating

The divorce of parents makes dating and romance more difficult and tenuous for the children as they reach adulthood. 

Divorce increases the frequency of dating, the frequency of failed romantic relationships and the turnover of dating partners.[51]   This, not surprisingly, leads to a greater number of sexual partners,[52]  (which in itself is a grave risk for acquiring incurable sexually transmitted diseases).[53] When the divorce takes place during the child’s teenage years these effects on dating seem to be deepest.[54]  

The effects carry into adulthood.  Young adult children of divorced parents have much lower trust in their fiancées and tend to love their partners less altruistically.[55] They fear being rejected and due to a lack of trust, frequently hinder a deepening of their relationship.[56] 

The divorce of parents changes the marriage expectations of their children.  Compared with children of always married parents, children of divorced parents have more positive attitudes towards divorce,[57] less favorable attitudes towards marriage,[58] are less likely to insist upon a lifelong marital commitment,[59] and are less likely to think positively of themselves being parents.[60]   These differences in attitudes among children of divorced parents are noticeable even as early as kindergarten.[61]

Out of concern to avoid divorce, [62]  and with a determination to be more selective in choosing a marriage partner, some decide never to marry.[63]  Judith Wallerstein, in her study of children of divorced parents from Marin County, California, found that they experienced persisting anxiety about their chances of a happy marriage, a decade after the divorce.  This anxiety interfered with their ability to marry well: Some failed to form satisfying romantic ties, while others rushed into impulsive unhappy marriages.[64] 

Men whose parents divorced are more likely to live by the injunction  “Don’t get close to a woman”.  They are more inclined to be simultaneously hostile and a “rescuer” of the woman they are attracted to, than the more open, affectionate, cooperative style that is more frequent among men raised by parents of an intact marriage.[65]   On the other hand women whose parents divorced are more likely to be hampered or even overwhelmed by anxiety when it comes time to decide on marriage.[66]  The problem of being overly meek or being overly dominant is much more prevalent in their romantic relationships and in their marriages than it is among children of intact marriages.[67]

Family Effect #7)  Teen Sex, Multiple Sex Partners and Out of Wedlock Births

When parents divorce their children’s’ attitudes about sexual behavior changes.  Children’s approval of premarital sex and cohabitation and divorce rises dramatically, while their endorsement of marriage and childbearing is reduced.[68] 

American[69] and British[70] studies repeatedly show that daughters of divorced parents will be more likely to endorse premarital sex[71] and engage in early sexual intercourse outside of marriage.[72],[73]  According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth we know that African American girls are 42 percent less likely to have sexual intercourse before age eighteen if their biological father is present at home.[74]   For Latino girls the presence of a stepfather increases the likelihood of sexual intercourse before age eighteen by 72 percent. [75]  Furthermore any sexual permissiveness on the part of divorced parents significantly increases permissive attitudes and behavior in both their sons and daughters.[76]  As with other family behaviors, so with this: children learn from their parents.

The rate of virginity among teenagers is highly correlated with the presence or absence of married parents at all ages.[77] Indeed, each change in family structure during adolescence (from married to divorced, from single to married, or from divorced to stepfamily) increases the risk of initiation of sexual intercourse by one third among the teenage children of these unions.[78]  In Britain children of divorced parents are three times as likely to have a child out of wedlock, compared with children of intact married families.[79] 

Following a divorce most mothers have to work full time, but this combination of divorce and full time working mother leads to the highest levels of teen sexual activity, [80] and is significantly correlated with multiple sexual partners in adult life.[81]

Family Effect #8): Children Leave Home Earlier

The less happiness there is in their parents’ marriage the earlier children leave their parents home  to get married, to cohabit or to move out on their own. [82]  Children of divorced parents move away from their families of origin in greater proportion[83] and earlier[84] than do children of intact marriages.  Stepchildren are 40 percent more likely than children of intact marriages to leave home at any particular age to get married, and about 80 percent more likely to leave home early to cohabit, or to set up their own independent residence.[85]

Family Effect #9):  Later Higher Divorce Rates in Children’s Future Marriages

From the empirical evidence it is indisputable that to a large degree the marital instability of one generation is passed on to the next.[86]  Children of divorced parents are more than twice as likely to expect they will get divorced compared with children of intact families.[87]

Daughters of divorced parents tend to divorce more than do the sons of divorced parents.[88]

The risk of divorce in the first five years is 70[89] to 76[90]percent higher for the daughters of divorced parents than for those from intact marriages. [91]

Given the effects of divorce already enumerated, it is not surprising that parental divorce is also associated with lower marital quality for their children,[92],[93] and makes itself manifest in increased rates of  jealousy, moodiness, infidelity, conflicts over money, and excessive drinking, and drug use.[94] 

Conversely the continued presence of a married father strongly predicts the happy marriage of the child: A thirty-five year longitudinal study found that the children of affectionate fathers were much more likely in their forties to be happily married and mentally healthy and to report good relationships with friends. [95]  The child with an available father, both in the early and the adolescent years, is more companionable and responsible as an adult.[96]

Family Effect #10): Later Higher Levels of Cohabitation for Children

As noted earlier, children of divorced parents are more likely than children of always married parents to have more positive attitudes towards cohabitation and more negative attitudes towards marriage.[97]    When they leave home they are twice to three times as likely to cohabit and to cohabit earlier,[98] especially if their parents divorced during their teenage years.[99]

However, when children of an intact marriage have poor relationships with their parents they act in ways similar to children of divorced parents.  While almost all daughters of divorced parents anticipated cohabiting before marriage, regardless of the level of affection between them and their fathers, among daughters of intact marriages it was mainly those with poor relationships with their fathers who anticipated that they would cohabit.[100]  

B: Effect on the Institution of Religion: Diminished Religious Practice Among Children   

Parents and children in intact families are much more likely to worship than are members of divorced families or stepfamilies,[101]  and following a divorce children are more likely to cease worshipping God.[102]   Even when they enter a new step family their religious worship does not return to prior levels.[103]

This drop off has its own serious consequences because of the beneficial effects of religious practice on a host of issues: health, education, income, virginity, marital stability, crime, addictions, mental health and general happiness.[104]

For instance, data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health illustrates the increasing effects of the combined worship of family members on teen sexual activity.

C: Effects on the Institution of Education

Education Effect #1:  Diminished Capacity to Learn.

Divorce frequently diminishes the child’s capacity to learn.

In the Impact of Divorce Project of Ohio’s Kent State University --- a national sample study of 699 elementary students nationwide --- children from divorced homes performed more poorly in reading, spelling, and math, and repeated a grade more frequently than do children in intact two parent families.[105] , [106]  

The absence of the father lowers cognitive test scores for young children in general,[107]  but especially for girls’ math scores.[108]   On the other hand a girl’s verbal capacities increase when the father is present and especially when he reads aloud to her when she is young.[109]  By age thirteen there is an average difference of half a year in reading abilities between children of divorced parents and those from intact families.[110]  Even the most effective preventative work on reading and math skills does not eliminate the drop in performance at school.[111]

Moving home is likely a big culprit the poorer performance of these children, for such moves tend to decrease school performance for most children, regardless of family background.[112]   Bit compared to children of intact families, children of broken families move much more frequently, be they children of divorced parents, of stepfamilies or of always-single parents.[113]   Such moves tend to increase behavioral, emotional and academic problems for all adolescents regardless of family structure.[114] When very young children leave their original family home for another, because of their parents’ divorce, the move is even more traumatic because they tend to become even more attached to their family home during the breakup of their parents.[115]

Education Effect #2): Less High School Graduation for Children

Divorce affects the grade level that children attain: Among girls who have completed high school there is a 33 percent lower divorce rate among their parents compared to girls who drop out of high school.[116]   Step family life does not wipe out educational losses: Schools may expel as many as one in four step-children,[117] though this ratio can fall to one in ten when step-parents are highly involved with their children’s school.[118]  Children raised in intact families complete more total years of education and have higher earnings than children from other family structures.[119]   This also holds for children from inner city poor families.[120]

This disruption in education -- for all ethnic groups[121]-- translates into less income and less hours worked as an adult.[122]

Education Effect #3): Less College Attainment for Children

The divorce of parents reduces the likelihood of attaining a college education.  In 1991 among women who completed college there was a massively lower divorce rate (88 percent lower) among their parents compared to women who did not get a college degree.[123]  

Judith Wallerstein found that, among college-age students who went to the same high schools in affluent Marin County, San Francisco, only two thirds of the children from divorced families attended college, compared with 85 percent of students from intact families.[124] 

The well known high rates of college attainment by Asian American children illustrates this same point.  Asian Americans have the highest levels of intact family life of all American ethnic groups. 

Sometimes family income makes a difference in college attendance.  In this way also the lower financial support from divorced parents has its impact on college attainment.[125] According to data reported in 1994 by Mary Corcoran, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan: “During the years children lived with two parents, their family incomes averaged $43,600, and when these same children lived with one parent, their family incomes averaged $25,300.”[126]   In other words, the household income of a child’s family dropped on average about 42 percent following divorce.[127]  Furthermore the accumulated wealth of parents is very different across family structures, and affects the level of financial support available from parents for their children’s college education. 

D: Effect on the Institution of the Marketplace:

Diminished Household Income for the Child and Dramatically Increased Poverty Rates

Divorce has a greater effect on family income than the Great Depression had on the economy. Between 1929 and 1933 the economy contracted by 30.5 percent, when GNP went from $203 million to $141 million (in constant 1958 dollars).[128]  Yet each and every year for the past 28 years, over one million children have experienced an even greater contraction in their household income which dropped on average between 28 percent to 42 percent.[129]   It is no wonder that three-fourths of all women applying for welfare benefits in the late 1980’s did so because of a disruption of marriage, [130] and that almost 50 percent of households with children moved into poverty following divorce. [131]

Divorce is the main factor in determining the length of “poverty spells,”[132] particularly for women whose pre-divorce family income was below the median family income.[133] Understandably, mothers who are employed at the time of divorce are much less likely to become welfare recipients than mothers who do not work.  These mothers are as close to going on welfare as are single mothers who lose their jobs.[134]

By 1997, 8.15 million children were living with a divorced single parent. There has been an increase of 354 percent since 1950.[135]

E: Effects on the Institution of Government: Increased Crime, Abuse and Use of Drugs

Crime Effect #1)  Increased Crime Rates

There are two sides to citizenship: fulfillment of citizenship duties and its opposite: failure and abandonment of citizenship duties.  The negative aspect, the failure and abandonment aspect of citizenship, is more widely available in studies of the effects of divorce, and can be seen in crime, abuse and neglect and drug taking behaviors.

Divorce significantly affects the rate of crime, as the following data from Wisconsin dramatically illustrates.[136]

Different research studies confirm the general outline of this Wisconsin data.  Children of divorced parents are significantly more likely to be delinquent by age fifteen, regardless of when the divorce took place, that are children of intact families.[137]  Adolescents from “always-single-mother” families are consistently more likely to delinquent than those from intact families, though the same holds for children from intact conflict ridden families.[138]  One 1985 study tracked one thousand families with children aged six to eighteen for six years and found that those children living in intact married families exhibited the least delinquency, while children with stepfathers had the greatest risk of the most disruptive behavior. (In this study single-parent children fell in between.) [139] In Britain, in a longitudinal study of males aged eight to thirty-two, Professor David P. Farrington, professor of criminology at Cambridge University found that the divorce of parents before the children were aged ten was one of the major predictors of adolescent delinquency and adult criminality.[140] An earlier review of the literature on the relationship between family background and crime indicates how the mixture of hostility and peer rejection can shepherd children towards other similarly hostile children and pave the way towards delinquency and crime. [141]   Divorce puts many of these family conditions in place. A recent Australian parliamentary review of the literature came to the same conclusion.[142]

These findings are not confined to boys.  Girls are not immune to these effects, and among adolescent girls there is a strong correlation between family structure, delinquency,[143] hostile behavior,[144] drug use, larceny, skipping school,[145] and alcohol abuse.[146] 

The same picture emerges of the effects of divorce on crime when research moves from one-time samples to national surveys.  Robert Sampson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, found that the divorce rate predicted the rate of robbery in any given area, regardless of the economic and the racial composition, when he studied 171 American cities with populations over 100,000.   In these communities, he found that the lower the rates of divorce the higher the formal and informal social controls, and the less the crime.[147]

Crime Effect #2)  Increased Abuse/Neglect 

Child abuse is intimately related to later delinquency and violent crime, and here too divorce is implicated. [148]  Higher levels of divorce mean higher levels of child abuse. Remarriage does not reduce this level of child abuse and may even add to it.  Serious abuse is a much higher among stepchildren compared with children of intact families.

Adults who were sexually abused as children are more likely to have been raised in stepfamilies.[149]  The rate of sexual abuse of girls by stepfathers ranges from six to seven times as likely,[150] and may be as much as 40 times more,[151] when compared with such abuse by biological fathers in intact families.

Family structure predicts huge differences in rates of fatal child abuse.  Professors Margo Wilson and Martin Daly of the Department of Psychology at McMasters University, Canada, report that children two years and younger are seventy to a hundred times more likely to be killed at the hands of stepparents than at the hands of biological parents.[152] (Younger children are more vulnerable because they are so much weaker physically.)   British data is milder but the research is not as rigorous as the Canadian research.  There the fatal abuse of children of all ages occurs three times more frequently in stepfamilies than in intact married families.[153]

Neglect of children, which frequently is more psychologically damaging than physical abuse,[154] also is higher -- twice as high -- among separated and divorced parents.[155]

Stepparents always have had a difficult time establishing close bonds with new stepchildren as even traditional fairy tales recount.   The fairytale theme is confirmed in the research literature: The rate of bonding between stepparents and stepchildren is rather low.  By one study only 53 percent of stepfathers and 25percent of stepmothers may have 'parental feelings' toward their stepchildren, and still fewer to 'love' them.[156]

Crime Effect #3)  Increased use of drugs and alcohol:

The divorce of parents increases the likelihood that children will abuse alcohol and begin using drugs.  Children who use drugs and abuse alcohol are more likely to come from family backgrounds characterized by parental conflict and parental rejection.  Because divorce increases these factors it is tightly linked to alcohol and drug abuse.  Adolescents whose parents have recently divorced abuse drugs and alcohol much more than adolescents whose parents divorced during their early childhood.  When they are compared with children whose parents are still married, the difference grows even greater. [157]

F: Increased Burden to Himself:

Personal Effect #1: Increased Behavioral, Emotional  and Psychiatric Burdens

Divorce wreaks havoc with the inner psychological life of many children.[158]  

Immediately upon the breakup of their families through the divorce of their parents children experience a wide range of reactions including fear, sadness and yearning, worry, rejection, conflicting loyalties, and anger,[159] lower self-confidence, heightened anxiety and loneliness, more depressed moods, more suicidal thoughts and even attempts at suicide.[160]   Many of these feelings persist.  For instance a major national survey of 20,000 adolescents found that adolescent offspring of divorced parents did worse than their peers raised in intact families on measures of satisfaction with life such as happiness, sense of personal control, trust, and friendship.[161] [162]  The National Surveys of Children, a major longitudinal federal study done in three waves in the 1980s found that divorce was associated with a higher incidence of several mental health problems in children: depression; withdrawal from friends and family; and aggressive, or impulsive or hyperactive behavior; and either withdrawing from participation in the classroom or being disruptive there.[163]  The British National Longitudinal Study, (which has continuously tracked a national sample of children born in 1958) has shown that divorce is associated with a substantial 39 percent increase in the risk of psychopathology.[164]  

When divorce occurs while children are younger than five years of age they are particularly vulnerable to emotional conflicts at the time of the separation of their parents.[165]  They will frequently cling more to their parents and ‘regress’ to bedwetting.  Older children frequently withdraw from homelife and seek intimacy elsewhere.[166] 

When divorce occurs in mid childhood  (when children are between six and eight), Judith Wallerstein’s study shows that a large portion of children have persistent feelings of sadness, and of a need for constant reassurance about their performance in many life tasks.  For these children anxieties will run very high: about relationships with the opposite se, about personal commitments later in life, particularly during their late high school years, and about marriage.  These young adults are most acutely concerned about betrayal in romantic relationships, both present and future, and are concerned about being hurt or abandoned by their fiancée or spouse.[167]   Other studies have found the same pattern of ‘attachment insecurities’ and low self-esteem among college students.[168] 

If divorce occurs when the children are teenagers (12 –15 of age) they tend to react in one of two very different ways: with an attempt to avoid growing up or with an attempt to “speed through” adolescence.[169]   Other disturbing outcomes for teenagers include increased aggression, loss of self-confidence,[170] and particularly a sense of loneliness.[171] Early sexual activity, substance abuse or dependence, hostile behavior and depression, are all more likely following divorce.  These reactions are more likely if the parents divorced prior to age 5, slightly less so if they divorce after age 10, and seemingly least of all during the 5-10 year old phase, that phase sometimes called “the latency phase” by psychologists.[172]

Personal Effect #2: Suicide

Higher divorce rates in a society lead to higher suicide rates among children.  Prior to the ‘divorce revolution’ of the 1970s unemployment was the biggest correlate with suicide, but that has changed. The work of Professor Patricia McCall of the Department of Sociology of North Carolina State University now shows that the largest demographic indicator of suicide is the family structure within which the person resides, and that the divorced family structure is most dangerous.[173]   This link between the rise in adolescent suicide in the past three decades with parental divorce has been found again and again in the literature, [174]  and in cross-cultural studies of Japan and the United States.[175] 

For the child the suicide is often triggered by the child’s thoughts that his parents reject him,[176] or have lost interest in him.[177]   As an earlier section of this paper recounts[178] such a perception on the part of the child may sometimes be based in reality and not be just a figment of his imagination.

Research Has Not Yet Found The Limits Of The These Effects

Unlike the experience of their parents, the child’s suffering does not reach its peak at the divorce and then level off.  Rather, the effect of the parents’ divorce can be played and replayed throughout the next three decades of the children’s lives.[179]  For instance one longitudinal study tracked children whose parents divorced in 1946, and tested them two and three decades later.  Even thirty years after the divorce  negative long-term effects were clearly present in the income, health, and behavior of many of the grown offspring.[180]   Other scholars have found similar long term effects well into the mid thirties of children of divorced parents.[181]

These long-lasting effects are found in country after country.  The same British National Longitudinal study cited above found a strong statistical link between parental divorce during the middle and late childhood years (ages seven through sixteen) and significantly lower mental health as young adults and a 39 percent increase in the risk of psychopathology.[182] A large Finnish study found that at age twenty-two children of divorced parents experienced much more loss of jobs, more conflict with bosses, and in romantic relations, more separation and divorce, and more abortions.[183]  Another large sample (over 14,000), this time from Sweden, confirms yet again, the negative mental health effects of parental divorce, no matter what the socioeconomic status of the family.[184] German research yields similar findings,[185] and a recent Australian parliamentary report came to similar conclusions.[186]

Personal Effect #3)   Increased Health Risks

Divorce affects not only the emotional and mental life of the child, it also affects his physical health, even the length of his life.

Children whose parents divorced before their twenty-first birthrate had their lifespan shortened by an average of four years according to one study.[187]  Another study found these mortality rates increase especially when the divorce occurrs before the fourth birthday of the child.[188] 

Health effects during childhood include a doubling of the risk of asthma, and a significant increase in injury rates.[189]  Swedish researchers have found that even in early adulthood, after controlling for family and social background, differences in health risk and rates of hospitalization are still apparent.  They also found the same increased mortality rates mentioned above.[190]

Conclusion:

There is no doubt that divorce has pervasive weakening effects on children and on all of the five major institutions of society -- the family, the church, the school, the marketplace and government itself. If the family is the building block of societies, marriage is the center beam.  However this center-beam is getting weaker and weaker -- in the numbers of adults entering into marriage, in the numbers of those leaving it in divorce and in the number of those eschewing it for single-parenthood or cohabitation.[191]

Given the now prolonged and widespread incidence of divorce, American children today are weaker than in past generations, the American nation is socially weaker than in the past, and the  American nation of tomorrow will be even weaker still.  Yet few are willing to point to divorce as a major contributor.  For instance Americans, in the media and in politics are much more comfortable pointing at teenage unwed mothers and the effects their behavior has on children and society.  While no one likes to dwell on the effects of divorce and placing blame will not do much to mend the culture, nonetheless it is necessary to sufficiently contemplate this bleak picture that we are moved to change it, to set about the task of rebuilding a culture of family based on marriage, a culture of love and belonging, with all the props, protections and supports necessary to make this commonplace again.

There are grounds for hope, and there are indications that many if not most of those who divorce would prefer a way to happiness with each other over the divorce they are about to enter into. Some projects show promising results in reducing divorce, such as Marriages Savers. This community-wide ministry draws upon the wisdom and support of couples who almost divorced but who learned how to pull back and instead rebuilt their marriages, (even marriages that were threatened by drug addictions, adultery, ‘workaholism’, gambling, violence and depression). With Marriage Savers many local cities and communities, through the leadership of politicians, press and pastors, have already brought down the rate of divorce in their communities.  These volunteer church-based efforts are working surprisingly well, with reductions in some cities reaching 35percent to 50percent.[192]  Also certain forms of divorce mediation seem to dramatically reduce breakup even during the divorce proceedings themselves.[193],[194]

The leaders of the major institutions (marketplace, government, church and school) all have a stake in the reduction of divorce, for it weakens the performance of each institution.  They each need to take up their role in changing the culture of divorce, and policy makers have the central role in motivating them.

In the past Americans were asked repeatedly to give their lives in war for the freedom of others.  Today the question is: Can we ask Americans to sacrifice themselves, not for the freedom of those overseas, but for the wellbeing of their children and their grandchildren?    This is not a sacrifice of life in battle but with the sacrifice of commitment in marriage unto death.  It is a very different challenge, but maybe involving no less sacrifice.  Our forefathers rose to their challenges.  Can this generation?

Should we not rise to this challenge America (or any other nation in the world) cannot escape its now guaranteed future as a weaker nation and society.  The united marriage of parents is inseparable from the future strength of children, of the nation.

Endnotes

[1]  Elizabeth Meneghan and Toby L. Parcel, “Social Sources of Change in Children’s Home Environments: The Effects of Parental Occupational Experiences and Family ConditionsJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 57 (1995), pp. 69-84

[2]  Jane E. Miller and Diane Davis, “Poverty History, Marital History, and Quality of Children’s Home Environments,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (1997): 996-1007

[3]  Yoram Weiss and Robert J. Willis, “Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements,” Journal of Labor Economics, Vol.3 (1985), pp.  268-292.

[4]  Judith A Seltzer,  “Legal Custody Arrangements and Children's Economic Welfare,”  American Journal of Sociology, vol. 96 , (1991), pp. 895-929.

[5]  This survey is a federally funded survey of 13,000 respondents, conducted by the University of Wisconsin in 1987-88 and again in 1992-94.

[6]  Judith A. Seltzer, “Relationships Between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father’s Role After Separation, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, (1991), pp. 79-101.

[7]  David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1996), p. 31, reporting on the findings of  The National Survey of Children.

[8]  Janet Finch and Jennifer Mason, “Divorce, remarriage and family obligations,” Sociological Review, Vol. 38, (1990): pp. 231-234

[9]  Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 69 (reporting the findings of Rossi and Rossi, 1991)

[10] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 73

[11] Such unhappy married families frequently have many of the effects of divorce. Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, “Consequences of Parental Divorce and Marital Unhappiness for adult well-being,” Social Forces, Vol.69 (1991), pp.  895-914

[12] Jane E. Miller, Diane Davis “Poverty History, Marital History, and Quality of Children’s Home Environments” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (1997), p. 1002

[13] Thomas S. Parish, “Evaluations of Family by Youth: Do They Vary as a Function of Family Structure, Gender and Birth Order?” Adolescence, Vol. 25 (1990): pp. 354-356

[14] Thomas S. Parish, “Evaluations of Family as a Function of One’s Family Structure and Sex,” Perceptual and Motor Skills. Vol. 66 (1988): pp.  25-26.

[15] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, “Consequences of Parental Divorce and Marital Unhappiness for adult well-being,” Social Forces, vol.69 (1991), pp.  895-914 and Theresa M. Cooney, “Young Adults’ Relations With Parents: The Influence of Recent Parental DivorceJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 56 (1994), pp.  45-56

[16] Diane N. Lye, Daniel H. Klepinger, Patricia Davis Hyle, and Anjanette Nelson, “Childhood Living Arrangements and Adult Children’s Relations with their Parents,” Demography, Vol. 32  (1995), pp.  261-280 and William S. Aquilino, “Later-Life Parental Divorce and Widowhood: Impact on Young Adults’ Assessment of Parent-Child RelationsJournal of Marriage and the Family Vol. 56 (1994), pp.  908-922

[17] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 69  and: Teresa M. Cooney and Peter Uhlenberg, “Support from Parents Over the Life Course: The Adult Child’s Perspective,” Social Forces, Vol. 71 (1991), pp.  63-83

[18] William S. Aquilino, “Later-Life Parental Divorce and Widowhood: Impact on Young Adults’ Assessment of Parent-Child RelationsJournal of Marriage and the Family Vol. 56 (1994), pp.  908-922

[19] Marjorie A. Pett, Nancy Long, Anita Gander, “Late-Life Divorce: Its Impact on Family Rituals,” Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 13 (1992), pp.  526-552

[20] Her research was on children from families in the affluent Marin County, near San Francisco.

[21] As reported in David Larson, “The Costly Consequences of Divorce”  (Rockville, MD National Institute for HealthCare Research, 1995) , p.42

[22] Judith Wallerstein and Joan Kelly, “Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce,”  ( New York, NY: Basic Books, 1980), pp. 224-225.

[23] Robert Emery,  “Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment,”  (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1988) pp. 81-86

[24] E. Mavis Hetherington, , Roger Cox, and Martha Cox, “Effects of Divorce on Parents and Children, in Nontraditional Familiesin ‘Parenting and Child Development’  Michael E. Lamb, ed.,, (New York, NY: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1982), pp.  223-288

[25] There is increasing evidence that many divorced families already had these patterns long before the divorce. Paul. R. Amato, Alan Booth “A Prospective Study of Divorce and Parent-Child RelationshipsJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 58 (1996) p. 357 and:  Jane E. Miller, Diane Davis “Poverty History, Marital History, and Quality of Children’s Home Environments” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (1997), p.1004

[26] E. Mavis Hetherington, , Roger Cox, and Martha Cox, “Effects of Divorce on Parents and Children, in Nontraditional Families” in ‘Parenting and Child Development’  Michael E. Lamb, ed.,, (New York, NY: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1982), pp.  223-288

[27] E. Mavis Hetherington, , Roger Cox, and Martha Cox, “Long-Term Effects of Divorce and Remarriage on the Adjustment of Children,” Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Vol.24, (1985) pp. 518-30.

[28] Judith Selzer, “Relationships between fathers and children who live apart: The father’s role after separationJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, pp. 79-102

[29] Nicholas Zill, Daniel Morrison and M. J. Coiro, “Long term effects of parental divorce on parent-chjild relationships, adjustment, and achievement  in young adulthood,” Journal of Family Psychology, Vol.7, pp. 91-103

[30] Janet Johnston, “High Conflict Divorce,” The Future of Children, Vol. 4, (Children of Divorce), pp.  165-182 and: Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 68 (reporting the findings of numerous authors)

[31] Paul Amato,” Father-Child Relations, Mother-Child Relations and Offspring Psychological Well-Being in Early AdulthoodJournal of Marriage and the Family, vol.56, pp.  1031-1042

[32] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 80

[33] Martha J. Zaslow, “Sex Differences in Children’s Response to Parental Divorce: Two Samples, Variables, Ages, and Sources,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry Vol.59 (1989), pp. 118-141.

[34] Theresa M. Cooney, Michael A. Smyer, Gunhild O. Hagstad, and Robin Klock, “Parental divorce in young adulthood: Some preliminary findings,” American Journal of Orthpsychiatry, Vol. 56, pp. 470-477

[35] Diane N. Lye, Daniel H. Klepinger, Patricia Davis Hyle, and Anjanette Nelson, “Childhood Living Arrangements and Adult Children’s Relations with their Parents,” Demography, Vol. 32  (1995), pp.  261-280

[36] Alan C. Acock and David H.Demo, Family Diversity and Well-being (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994). Chp.5.

[37] Robert E. Billingham and Nicole L. Notebaert, “Divorce and Dating Violence Revisited: Multivariate Analyses Using Straus’s Conflict Tactics Subscores,” Psychological Reports, Vol. 73 (1993): 679-684.

[38] Pamela S. Webster, Terri L. Orbuch, and James S. House, “Effects of Childhood Family Background on Adult Marital Quality and Perceived Stability,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101, (1995)  pp. 404-432.

[39] Researchers have found that children of violent parents do better if their parents separate rather than stay together.  However if the parents’ conflict is not violent or intense their children fare better in their own later marriages if their parents stay married rather than divorcing.Obviously the best solution for all is for parents to learn how to handle conflict, to learn to cooperate with each other and thus restore family harmony.  See Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 115.

[40] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 137, (reviewing the findings of Davies and Cummings, 1994).

[41] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 137.

[42] Rex Forehand, “Family Characteristics of Adolescents Who Display Overt and Covert Behavior Problems,” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Vol. 18 (1987), pp.  325-328.

[43]Gottman, John M. and John T. Parkhurst: “ A Developmental Theory of Friendship and Acquaintanceship Processes.” Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, 1978, cited in Patterson & Dishion, op. cit.below

[44] Dorothy Tysse Breen and Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, “Moral Dilemmas of Early Adolescents of Divorced and Intact Families: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis,” Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol 13, (1993), pp. 168-182.

[45] Sylvie Drapeau and Camil Bouchard, “Support Networks and Adjustment Among 6 to 16-Year-Olds from Maritally Disrupted and Intact Families,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol.19 (1993), pp. 75-94.

[46] Daughters of divorced parents, in a University of Michigan study, had significantly greater difficulty in having and keeping friends and were more frequently depressed when at college.  See: Kristen M. McCabe, “Sex Differences in the Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children:  Depression and Heterosexual Relationship Difficulties in the Young Adult Years,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage Vol. 27 (1997): 123-134.

[47] John Guidubaldi, Jooseph D. Perry and Bonnie K. Nastasi, “Growing up in a divorced family: Initial and long term perspectives on children’s adjustment,” Applied Social Psychology Annual, Vol. 7, (1987), pp. 202-237

[48] Neil Kalter, “Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children: A Developmental Vulnerability Model,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol.57 (1987), pp.  595-597.

[49] Divorce and Children Margaret F. Brinig  George Mason University School of Law… forthcoming in Doug Allen ..get permisison to use

[50] Susan J. McCurdy and Avraham Scherman, “Effects of Family Structure on the Adolescent Separation-Individuation Process,” Adolescence, Vol. 31 (1996): 307-318

[51] Medical Institute for Sexual Health , Sexual Health Today, (Austin, TX: Medical Institute of Sexual Health, 1997), p.105.

[52] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) summing up the findings of Booth, Brinkerhoff, and White, 1984; Furstenberg and Teitler, 1994; Hetherington, 1972; Newcomer and Udry, 1987

[53] The Institute of Medicine, “The Hidden Epidemic”, (Washington DC, National Academy Press 1997),  chps. 3 and 4.

[54] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997), p.111

[55] Heather E. Sprague and Jennifer M. Kinney, "The Effects of Interparental Divorce and Conflict on College Students’ Romantic Relationships,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. Vol.27  (1997), pp. 85-104.

[56] Stacy Glaser Johnston and Amanda McCombs Thomas, “Divorce Versus Intact Parental Marriage and Perceived Risk and Dyadic Trust in Present Heterosexual Relationships,” Psychological Reports Vol. 78 (1996), pp.  387-390.

[57] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, “The Consequences of Divorce for Attitudes Toward Divorce and Gender Roles,” Journal of Family Issues  Vol.12 (1991), pp. 306-322.

[58] A. Marlene Jennings, Connie J. Salts, Thomas A. Smith, Jr., “Attitudes Toward Marriage: Effects of Parental Conflict, Family Structure, and Gender,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage , Vol. 17 (1992), pp. 67-78.

[59] Kristen A. Moore and Thomas M. Stief, “Changes in Marriage and Fertility Behavior: Behavior Versus Attitudes of Young Adults,” Child Trends, Inc., unpublished study, July 1989.

[60] Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling and Colleen Dostal, “Retrospective Reports of Family-of-Origin Divorce and Abuse and College Students’ Pre-parenthood Cognitions,” Journal of Family Violence , Vol.11, (1996) pp. 331-348.

[61] Elizabeth Mazur, “Developmental Differences in Children’s Understanding of Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage,” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 14 (1993), pp. 191-212.

[62] Paul Amato “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol.58  (1996) p. 628 (reviewing the findings of adults Amato, 1987; Amato & Booth, 1991; Thornton & Freedman, 1982).

[63] Wallerstein, Judith and Blakeslee, Sandra, 1989.  Second Chances:  Men, Women, and Children:  A Decade after Divorce. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted 1996, p. 233-239

[64] Wallerstein, Judith and Blakeslee, Sandra, 1989.  Second Chances:  Men, Women, and Children:  A Decade after Divorce. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted 1996, p. 233-239

[65] Silvio Silvestri, “Marital Instability in Men from Intact and Divorced Families: Interpersonal Behavior, Cognitions and Intimacy,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol.18 (1992), pp. 79-106.

[66] Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee, Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce (New York, NY: Ticknor & Fields, 1989), pp.  297-307.

[67] Robert Bolgar, Hallie Zweig-Frank, and Joel Paris, “Childhood Antecedents of Interpersonal Problems in Young Adult Children of Divorce,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Vol.34 (1995), pp. 143-150.

[68] William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton, “The Influence of Parents’ Marital Dissolutions on Children’s Attitudes Toward Family Formation,” Demography, Volume 33, (1996), pp. 66-81

[69] Hetherington, E. Mavis, Martha Cox and Roger Cox, 1985, Long-Term Effects of Divorce and Remarriage on the Adjustment of Children, Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Vol. 24, pp.518-30, and: David Larson, “The Costly Consequences of Divorce”  (Rockville, MD National Institute for HealthCare Research, 1995) , p. 165 reviewing the findings of Kinnaird and Gerrard (1986).

[70] Kathleen Kiernan, “The Impact of Family Disruptions in Childhood on Transitions Made in Young Adult Life,” Population Studies, Vol. 46, pp. 213-234

[71] William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton, “The Influence of Parents’ Marital Dissolution on Children’s Attitudes Toward Family Formation,” Demography, Vol. 33, (1996), pp. 66-81.

[72] Arland Thornton, “The Influence Of The Family On Premarital Sexual Attitudes And Behavior”, Demography, Vol. 24, 1987, pp. 329-337.

[73] These findings hold regardless of ethnic background. See: Carolyn A. Smith, “Factors Associated with Early Sexual Activity Among Urban Adolescents,” Social Work, Vol.42, (1997), pp. 334-346.

[74] Robert Day, “The Transition to first intercourse among racially and culturally diverse youth,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 54, pp. 749-762.

[75] Robert Day, “The Transition to first intercourse among racially and culturally diverse youth,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 54, pp. 749-762.

[76] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold,  (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 36,  reporting on the findings of Whitbeck, Simons and Kao, 1994.

[77] Deborah M. Capaldi, Lynn Crosby, and Mike Stoolmiller, “Predicting the Timing of First Sexual Intercourse for At-Risk Adolescent Males,”  Child Development Vol. 67 (1996), pp.  344-359. and recently found by Robert Lerner of the Heritage Foundation in his analysis of NLS Adolescent Health, unpublished.

[78] Brent C. Miller et al., “The Timing of Sexual Intercourse Among Adolescents: Family, Peer, and Other Antecedents,” Youth and Society, Vol. 29 (1997): pp. 54-83.

[79] Andrew J. Cherlin, Kathleen E. Kiernan, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, “Parental Divorce in Childhood and Demographic Outcomes in Young Adulthood,” Demography, Vol. 32, (1995), pp.  299-316

[80] David Larson, “The Costly Consequences of Divorce”  (Rockville, MD National Institute for HealthCare Research, 1995) , p. 131 (reviewing the findings of John O. Billy et al. 1994).

[81] David Larson, “The Costly Consequences of Divorce”  (Rockville, MD National Institute for HealthCare Research, 1995) , p. 131 (reviewing the findings of Seidman, Mosher and Aral. 1994).

[82] Mary Ann Powell, Toby L. Parcel “Effects of Family Structure on the Earnings Attainment Process: Differences by Gender” Journal of Marriage and the Family , Vol. 59 (1997) p. 421; and:  Kathleen E. Kiernan, “Teenage Marriage and marital breakdown: A longitudinal study,” Population Studies, Vol. 40 (1986), p. 35.

[83] Andrew J. Cherlin, Kathleen E. Kiernan, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, “Parental Divorce in Childhood and Demographic Outcomes in Young Adulthood,” Demography, Vol. 32, (1995), pp.  299-316.

[84]Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 69 (reporting the consistent findings of Aquilino, 1990, 1991; Goldscheider and Goldscheider 1989, 1993; Cooney, 1994)

[85] Frances K. Goldschdeider and Calvin Goldsheider “The Effects of Childhood Family Structure on Leaving and Returning Home.”  ,” Journal of Marriage and the Family , Vol.60 (1998), p.752.

[86] Paul Amato “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family Vol.58  (1996) p. 628,   (reviewing the findings of  Bumpass, Martin & Sweet, 1991; Keith & Finlay, 1988; Kulka & Weingarten, 1979; Mueller & Pope, 1977; Pope and Mueller, 1976.)

[87] Pamela S. Webster, Terri L. Orbuch, and James S. House, “Effects of Childhood Family Background on Adult Marital Quality and Perceived Stability,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101 (1995), pp.  404-432, and:  Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 109 (summing up the findings of Amato, 1995a; Bumpass, Martin, and Sweet, 1991; Glen and Kramer, 1987; Keith and Finlay, 1988; Kulka and Weingarten, 1979; Pope and Mueller, 1976)

[88] Norval D. Glenn and Kathryn B. Kramer; “The Marriages and Divorces of the Children of DivorceJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 49 (1987), pp. 811-825.

[89] Paul Amato “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol.58  (1996) p. 628.

[90] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 115.

[91] According to Amato and Booth’s research the risk is highest when the divorce takes place before the child reaches age 13; then the risk of divorce decreases significantly when their parents’ divorce takes place in their own teen years,  and finally the divorce of their parents when the offspring are in their twenties may even inoculate them against divorce in their own marriages. See:  Paul Amato “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol.58  (1996) p. 638.

[92] Paul Amato “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family Vol.58  (1996) p.109  (reviewing the findings of Amato and Booth 1991a; Glenn and Kramer, 1987; Kulka and Weingarten, 1979; McLeod, 1991).

[93] Though this effect can also be found among children of unhappy intact marriages.  See: Alan Booth and John N. Edwards, “Transmission of marital and family quality over the generations: The effects of parental divorce and unhappiness.”  Journal of Divorce, Vol. 13 (1990), pp.  41-58.

[94] Paul R. Amato and Stacy Rogers “ A Longitudinal Study of Marital Problems and Subsequent Divorce”  ,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol.59 (1997), p.621.

[95] Carol E. Franz, David C. McClelland and Joel Weinberger, “Childhood Antecedents of Conventional Social Accomplishments in Midlife Adults: A thirty-six year Prospective Study” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 60, (1991) pp. 586-595.

[96] John Snarey, “How Fathers Care for the Next Generation,” (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1993) pp. 163-164.

[97] William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton, “The Influence of Parents’ Marital Dissolutions on Children’s Attitudes Toward Family Formation,” Demography, Volume 33, (1996), pp. 66-81.

[98] Andrew J. Cherlin, Kathleen E. Kiernan, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, “Parental Divorce in Childhood and Demographic Outcomes in Young Adulthood,” Demography, Vol. 32, (1995), pp.  299-316 and Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 112.

[99] Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 112.

[100] Suzanne Southworth and J. Conrad Schwarz, “Post-Divorce Contact, Relationship with Father, and Heterosexual Trust in Female College Students,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol.57,  (1987), pp.  379-381.

[101] Scott M. Myers, “An Interactive Model of Religiosity Inheritance:  The Importance of Family Context,” American Sociological Review , Vol.61 (1996), pp. 858-866

[102] A team of sociologists at Nassau Community College in New York developed a profile of former believers who had stopped practicing their religious beliefs:   William Feigelman, Bernard S. Gorman, and Joseph A. Varacalli, “Americans Who Give Up Religion,” Sociology and Social Research, Vol.76 (1992), pp. 138-143.

[103] Scott M. Myers , “An Interactive Model of Religiosity Inheritance : The Importance of Family Context”, American Sociological Review, Vol. 61, (1996) pp.  858-866.

[104] Patrick F. Fagan, “Why Religion Matters: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability”, Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1064, January 25, 1996.

[105] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York, NY: Martin Kessler Books, 1995), p.57

[106] June O’Neill and Anne Hill, professors of business and government at Baruch College, City University of New York also found that growing up with a divorced parent has a significant, negative effect on children’s test scores.   See: Hill, M. Anne and O'Neill, June, “Family Endowments and the Achievement of Young Children with Special Reference to the Underclass” Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 29, (1994), pp. 1064-1100.

[107] Mary Ann Powell, Toby L. Parcel “Effects of Family Structure on the Earnings Attainment Process: Differences by Gender” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (1997), p. 419, reporting on unpublished research by Frank Mott (1993) prepared for NIH/NICHD.

[108] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1996), p. , 148. Reporting on the findings of Goldstein (1982).

[109] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1996), p. , 148. Reporting on the findings of Bing (1963).

[110] Jim Stevenson and Glenda Fredman, “The Social Correlates of Reading Ability,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 31 (1990), pp. 689-690

[111] Linda J. Alpert-Gillis, JoAnne L. Pedro-Carroll, and Emory L. Cowen, “The Children of Divorce Intervention Program: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Program for Young Urban Children,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , Vol.57 (1989), pp. 583-589.

[112]Sara  McLanahan, and Gary D. Sandefer, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994),  reported in William S. Aquilino, "The Life Course of Children Born to Unmarried Mothers: Childhood Living Arrangements and Young Adult Outcomes," Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 58 (May 1996), pp. 293-310.

[113] Frances K. Goldschdeider and Calvin Goldsheider “The Effects of Childhood Family Structure on Leaving and Returning Home,” Journal of Marriage and the Family , Vol.60,  (1998) p.751.

[114]  John P. Hoffman, Robert A. Johnson “A National Portrait of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use,” Journal of Marriage and the Family , Vol. 60 (1998) p. 635.

[115] Ruth Stirtzinger and Lorraine Cholvat, “Preschool Age Children of Divorce: Transitional Phenomena and the Mourning Process,” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry , Vol. 35 (1990): 506-514.

[116] Larry L Bumpass, Teresa Castro Martin and James A Sweet: “The Impact of Family Background and Early Marital Factors on Marital Disruption”  Journal of Family Issues, Vol 12, (1991), pp. 22-42.

[117] Deborah A Dawson, “Family Structure and Children's Health and Well Being: data from the 1988 National Survey of Child Health,"  Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, pp. 573-584.

[118] David Larson,  “The Costly Consequences of Divorce”  (Rockville, MD National Institute for HealthCare Research, 1995) , p. 167 reporting on the findings of  Zill and Nord 1994; Lee 1993.

[119] Mary Ann Powell, Toby L. Parcel “Effects of Family Structure on the Earnings Attainment Process: Differences by Gender” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (May 1997), p. 425.

[120] Janet B. Hardy et al., “Self-sufficiency at Ages 27-33 Years: Factors Present Between Birth and 18 Years That Predict Educational Attainment Among Children Born to Inner-city Families,” Pediatrics 99 (1997): 80-87

[121] Jerold Heiss, “Effects of African American Family Structure on School Attitudes and Performance,” Social Problems, Vol. 43 (1996), pp.  246-264.

[122] Mary Ann Powell, Toby L. Parcel “Effects of Family Structure on the Earnings Attainment Process: Differences by Gender” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 59 (1997), p. 425.

[123] Larry L Bumpass, Teresa Castro Martin and James A Sweet: “The Impact of Family Background and Early Marital Factors on Marital Disruption”  Journal of Family Issues, Vol 12, (1991), pp. 22-42.

[124] Judith Wallerstein, “The long term effects of divorce on children: a review,” Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 30, pp. 349-360.

[125] Mary Ann Powell, Toby L. Parcel “Effects of Family Structure on the Earnings Attainment Process: Differences by Gender” Journal of Marriage and the Family , Vol. 59 (May 1997) p. 419, reporting on the findings of Steelman & Powell, 1991.

[126] Mary E. Corcoran and Ajay Chaudry, “The Dynamics of Childhood Poverty,” Future of Children, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1997), pp.  40-54. Reporting on Duncan, et al. 1994.

[127] Peggy O. Corcoran, unpublished paper, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 1994.

[128] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, “Historical Statistics of the United States, Bicenntennial Edition Colonial Times to 1970, Part 1, p. 228.

[129] Divorce’s immediate effects can be seen in data reported in 1994 by Mary Corcoran, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan: “During the years children lived with two parents, their family incomes averaged $43,600, and when these same children lived with one parent, their family incomes averaged $25,300.” In other words, the household income of a child’s family dropped on average about 42 percent following divorceSee Mary E. Corcoran and Ajay Chaudry, “The Dynamics of Childhood Poverty,” Future of Children, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1997), pp. 40-54, quoting from G. J. Duncan, et al., “Lone-Parent Families in the United States: Dynamics, Economic Status, and Developmental Consequences.” Unpublished research paper, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, May 1994.

[130] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Devenlopment (OECD), Factors Affecting the Labor Force Participation of Lone Mothers in the United States, prepared by the Panel on Evaluation Factors Affecting the Labour Force Participation of Lone Mothers, Paris, 1989.

[131] Julia Heath, “Determinants of Spells of Poverty Following Divorce,” Review of Social Economy, Vol. 49(1992), pp. 305-315.

[132] Heath, “Determinants of Spells of Poverty Following Divorce.”

[133] Greg J. Duncan, Martha S. Hill, and Saul D. Hoffman, “Welfare Dependence Within and Across Generations,” Science, Vol. 239, No. 4839 (January 1988) pp. 467-471.

[134] Philip K. Robins, “Child Support, Welfare Dependency, and Poverty,” The American Economic Review, Vol. 976, No. 4 (September 1986) pp. 768-786.

[135] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, 1997. In the 1950s, the rate of divorce was lower among high-income groups; by 1960, there was a convergence of rates among all socioeconomic groups.  By 1975, for the first time, more marriages ended in divorce than in death.  Since 1960, there has been a significant shift in the ratio of children deprived of married parents by death compared with those so deprived by divorce. Compared with the number of children who lost a parent through death, 75 percent as many lost a parent through divorce in 1960, 150 percent in 1986,  and 580 percent in 1995. . See Paul C. Glick, “Fifty Years of Family Demography: A Record of Social Change,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 50 (November 1988), pp. 861-873.    And see data from the Federal Reserve Board’s 1995 Survey of Consumer Finance.

[136] Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Youth Services, “Family Status of Delinquents in Juvenile Correctional Facilities in Wisconsin,” April 1994.  The data from the report was merged with Current Population Survey data on family structure in Wisconsin for that year to derive rates of incarceration by family structure.

[137] Abbie K. Frost and Bilge Pakiz, “The Effects of Marital Disruption on Adolescents: Time as a Dynamic,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol.60 (1990), pp. 544-555 Others have found that these differences between children of divorced parents and intact families to be as much as six times: David B. Larson, JamesP. Swyers, and Susan S. Larson, The Costly Consequences of Divorce, Rockville, MD: National Institute for Healthcare Research, 1995), p. 123

[138] David H. Demo and Alan C. Acock, “The Impact of Divorce on ChildrenJournal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 50 (1988), pp.  619-648

[139] Annette U. Rickel and Thomas S. Langer,  “Short-term and Long-term Effects of Marital Disruption on Children.”  American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 13, (1985), pp. 599-661

[140] D. P Farrington, “Implications of criminal career research for the prevention of offending.” Journal of Adolescence, Vol. 13, (1990), pp.  93-113

[141] Patrick Fagan, “The Real Root Causes Of Violent Crime:The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community,” Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1026,  March 17, 1995

[142] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold  (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p.  36.

[143] : Karen Heimer, “Gender, Interaction, and Delinquency: Testing a Theory of Differential Social Control.,” Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 59 (1996), pp.  39-61

[144]Bilge Pakiz, Helen Z. Reinherz, and Rose M. Giaconia, “Early Risk Factors for Serious Antisocial Behavior at Age 21: A Longitudinal Community Study,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 67 (1997), pp. 92-100.

[145] Neil Kalter, B. Reimer,  A. Brickman and J.W. Chen, “Implications of parental divorce for female development." Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Vol. 254, pp.  538-544

[146] Abbie K. Frost and Bilge Pakiz, “The Effects of Marital Disruption on Adolescents: Time as a Dynamic,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 60 (1990), pp.  544-555

[147] Robert J Sampson, “Crime in cities: The effects of formal and informal social control.” In M. Tonry and N, Morris eds.,,  Crime and Justice  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, pp.  271-301

[148] Patrick Fagan: “The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, And the American Community,”  The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1115, June 3, 1997.

[149] David M. Fergusson, Michael T. Lynskey, and L. John Horwood, “Childhood Sexual Abuse and Psychiatric disorders in Young Adulthood: I. Prevalence of Sexual Abuse and Factors Associated with Sexual Abuse,” Journal of The American Academy of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol.34 (1996), pp. 1355-1364

[150] Diana E.H.Russell, “The Prevalence and Seriousness of Incestuous Abuse: Stepfathers vs. Biological Fathers,” Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol. 8 (1984), pp.15-22

[151] Margo Wilson and Martin Daly, “The Risk of Maltreatment of Children Living with Stepparents,” in Richard J. Gelles and Jane B. Lancaster (eds.) “Child Abuse and Neglect : Biosocial Dimensions, Foundations of Human Behavior (New York, Aldine de Gruyter, 1987) p. 228.

[152] Margo Wilson and Martin Daly: “Risk of Maltreatment of Children Living with Stepparents.” in Richard Gelles and John Lancaster eds., Child Abuse and Neglect: Biosocial Dimesions (New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1987), pp.  215-232.

[153] Patrick F. Fagan: “The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family and The American Community” The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1115, The Heritage Foundation, June 3, 1997.

[154] Richard Emery, "Abused and Neglected Children," The American Psychologist, Vol. 44, No. 2

(1989), pp. 321-328.

[155] Yuriko Egami, “Psychiatric Profile and Sociodemographic Characteristics of Adults Who Report Physically Abusing or Neglecting Children,”  American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol.153 (1996), pp.  921-928

[156] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York,NY: Martin Kessler Books, 1995), p.57  quoting Lucile Duberman, “The Reconstituted Family: A Study of Remarried Couples and Their Children”.  Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall, 1975.

[157] William J. Doherty and R.H.Needle, “Psychological adjustment and substance use among adolescents before and after a parental divorce,” Child Development, Vol. 62, (1991), pp. 328-337.

[158] Peter Hill, “Recent Advances in Selected Aspects of Adolescent Development,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , Vol.34 (1993), pp. 69-99.

[159] Judith S. Wallerstein, Joan Berlin Kelly, Surviving the Breakup : How Children and Parents Cope With Divorce, (New York, NY: Basic Books, reprint 1996). 

[160] Nadia Garnefski and Rene F. W. Diekstra, “Adolescents from one parent, stepparent and intact families: emotional problems and  suicide attempts,”  Journal of Adolescence  Vol.20 (1997): 2-1-208.

[161] Allan C. Acock and K. Hill Kiecolt, “Is It Family Structure or Socioeconomic Status? Family Structure During Adolescence and Adult Adjustment,” Social Forces Vol. 68 (1989), pp. 553-571.

[162] This held true even after accounting for the effects of reduced income.

[163] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1996), p. 62, reporting on  the work of Wells, Rankin, Demo and Acock.

[164] P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Andrew J. Cherlin, and Kathleen E. Kiernan, “The Long-Term Effects of Parental Divorce on the Mental Health of Young Adults: A Developmental Perspective,” Child Development Vol.66 (l995): 1614-1634

[165] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold  (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 35.

[166] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs: “To Have and To Hold: Strategies to Strengthen Marriage and Relationships”  Canberra, Australia, June 1998,p.34,   reporting on the research of MPM Richards and M Dyson. 

[167] Judith S. Wallerstein, “Children of Divorce: Report of a Ten-Year Follow-Up of Early Latency-Age Children,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 57, No. 2 (April 1987), pp. 199-211

[168] Julie J. Evans and Bernard L. Bloom, “Effects of Parental Divorce Among College Undergraduates,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 26,(1997), pp. 69-88.

[169] Murray M. Kappelman, “The Impact of Divorce on Adolescents,” American Family Physician, Vol.35, (1987), pp. 200-206

[170] Michael Workman and John Beer, “Aggression, Alcohol Dependency, and Self-consciousness Among High School Students of Divorced and Non-divorced Parents,” Psychological Reports, Vol. 71 (1992), pp. 279-286.

[171] Randy M. Page, “Adolescent Loneliness: A Priority for School Health Education,” Health Education Quarterly Vol. 15 (1988): pp.  20-23.

[172] David M. Fergusson, John Horwood, and Michael T. Lynsky, “Parental Separation, Adolescent Psychopathology, and Problem Behaviors,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 33 (1994), pp.  1122-1131.

[173] Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, “Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult, and Elderly Suicide: Are There Common Underlying Structural Factors?” Social Science Research, Vol. 23 (1994), pp. 57-81

[174]David B. Larson, JamesP. Swyers, and Susan S. Larson, The Costly Consequences of Divorce, (Rockville, MD: National Institute for Healthcare Research, 1995), p.124; and:  Carmen Noevi Velez and Patricia Cohen, “Suicidal Behavior and Ideation in a Community Sample of Children: Maternal and Youth Reports,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 27:3 (1988): 349-356; and Franklyn L. Nelson, et al., “Youth Suicide in California: A Comparative Study of Perceived Causes and Interventions,” Community Mental Health Journal Vol. 24 (Spring 1988): 31-42

[175] David Lester and Kazuhiko Abe, “The Regional Variation of Divorce Rates in Japan and the United States,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 18, (1993), pp. 227-230

[176]David B. Larson, JamesP. Swyers, and Susan S. Larson, The Costly Consequences of Divorce, (Rockville, MD: National Institute for Healthcare Research, 1995), p.126

[177] John S. Wodarski and Pamela Harris, “Adolescent Suicide: A Review of Influences and the Means for Prevention,” Social Work, Vol. 32, No. 6 (1987), pp. 477-484

[178] See ‘Family Effect #1’

[179] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold, (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 39.

[180] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold,  (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 35

[181] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold , (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 41

[182] P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Andrew J. Cherlin, and Kathleen E. Kiernan, “The Long-Term Effects of Parental Divorce on the Mental Health of Young Adults: A Developmental Perspective,” Child Development Vol.66 (l995): 1614-1634

[183] Hillevi M. Aro and Ulla K. Palosaari, “Parental Divorce, Adolescence, and Transition to Young Adulthood: A Follow-up Study,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry Vol.63 (1992), pp. 421-429.

[184] David Popenoe, p. 58, reporting on the findings of Duncan W.T.G. Timms,  “Family Structure in Childhood and Mental Health in Adolescence,” Research Report, Project Metropolitan.  Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Sociology, University of Stockholm, p.93.

[185] : Hans-Christoph Steirthausen, et al., “Family Composition and Child Psychiatric Disorders,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol.26, (1987), pp.  242-246.

[186] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold  (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. , 35, reporting on Wadsworth 1984; and Kuh and Maclean, 1990

[187] Joseph E. Schwartz et al., “Sociodemographic and Psychosocial Factors in Childhood as Predictors of Adult Mortality,” American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 85 (1995), pp. 1237-1245.

[188] Gopal K. Singh and Stella M. Yu, “U.S. Childhood Mortality, 1950 through 1993: Trends and Socioeconomic Differentials,” American Journal of Public Health, Vol.86 (1996), pp. 505-512.

[189] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, To Have and To Hold, (Canberra, Australia, Parliament of Australia:1998) p. 35.

[190] Family in America Digital Archive, (Rockford IL: The Rockford Institute, 1996) p. 854. (Reporting on Anders Romelsjö et al., 1992)

[191] Between 1960 and 1990, there has been a 41 percent decline in marriage.  The number of “never-married’s” has risen from 21 million in 1970 to 46 million in 1996.  At the same time cohabitation has jumped from 430,000 in 1960 to 4.25 million in 1998, …a ten fold increase.  But as the professional literature also shows cohabitation itself is linked to a serious rise in divorce: those who cohabit before marriage divorce at twice the rate of those who do not.  Also, 40 percent of cohabitors breakup before marrying, and in turn these former cohabitors, when they finally marry, divorce at twice the rate of those who marry their first cohabiting partner or at about four times the rate of those who do not cohabit before marriage.  See: Larry L. Bumpass, “What’s Happening to the Family? Interactions Between Demographic and Institutional Change,” Presidential Address to the Population Assocation of America, Demography, Vol. 27, No. 4 (November 1990), pp. 483-498.

[192] http://www.marriagesavers.org/

[193] See forthcoming book by Stanley Posthumus.

[194] By contrast evaluation research on the effectiveness of mental health professionals in preventing divorce shows rates so low the entire professional mental health enterprise is in question. See: Jacobson, Neil S., & Addis, M. E. (1993). “Research on couples and couple therapy: What do we Know? Where are we going?”,  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 61, pp.  85-93.

Though some professions profit from the high demand for their services before and after divorce (psychiatry, psychology, social work, school counselors and real estate agents to name a few) every other sector of society is weakened.

 

 

 

 

 

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