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Understanding the Divorce Cycle
The Children of Divorce in their Own Marriages


  • Date Published: September 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521616607

£ 34.99

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About the Authors
  • Growing up in a divorced family leads to a variety of difficulties for adult offspring in their own partnerships. One of the best known and most powerful is the divorce cycle, the transmission of divorce from one generation to the next. This book examines how the divorce cycle has transformed family life in contemporary America by drawing on two national data sets. Compared to people from intact families, the children of divorce are more likely to marry as teenagers, but less likely to wed overall, more likely to marry people from divorced families, more likely to dissolve second and third marriages, and less likely to marry their live-in partners. Yet some of the adverse consequences of parental divorce have abated even as divorce itself proliferated and became more socially accepted. Taken together, these findings show how parental divorce is a strong force in people's lives and society as a whole.

    • First monograph to focus on the transmission of divorce between generations
    • Makes a strong case against a return to fault-based divorce law
    • Based on the multivariate analysis of two national data sets
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an insightful book; not only does the author attempt to explain the mechanisms through which divorce could be transmitted from one generation to the next, but some of the surprising findings also point to avenues for further research … In sum, this book underscores the need for more research on cross-generational marital behaviour over the life course. I applaud Wolfinger's success in using plain language to elucidate the intricate phenomenon of the divorce cycle for an academic as well as general audiences.' Population Studies

    'The story about divorce is far from uniformly positive, but one cannot conceal some positive changes; therefore this book is a must-read for research scholars and policy makers.' Journal for the Study of Marriage and Spirituality

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521616607
    • length: 194 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.265kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Why divorce begets divorce
    3. Coupling and uncoupling
    4. How strong is the divorce cycle?
    5. Historical developments
    6. The cohabitation revolution
    7. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Nicholas H. Wolfinger, University of Utah
    Nicholas Wolfinger is an Associate Professer at the University of Utah. He is the co-editor of the book Fragile Families and the Marriage Agenda. He has published widely in journals such as Demography, Social Forces and the Journal of Family Issues. He is the recipient of the University of Utah's Superior Research Award, 2004.

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