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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 16: Divorce: Before and After Today's high U.S. Divorce rate refined divorce rate, number of divorces per 1000 married women, more than doubled between 1960 and 1979 compares the number of divorces to the number of women at risk of divorce crude divorce rate, then number of divorces per 1000 population, declined almost 30 percent since 1979 includes portions of the population who are not at risk for divorce divorce divide: decline in divorce rates by social category divorce rates stabilized for the time being reasons: rise in the age at marriage better educated and better off working couples have had the economic tide in their favor marriage education programs funded by the federal government determination on the part of the children of a divorcing generation to make their own marriages work maybe because cohabitation has increased longer life span meaning of the high divorce rates: Americans find an unhappy marriage intolerable and hope to replace it with a happier one emerging trend of redivorce why are couples divorcing? Economic factors divorce and social class the higher the social class as defined in terms of education, income and home ownership, the less likely a couple is to divorce wives in the labor force independence effect: employment might nevertheless contribute to a divorce by giving an unhappily married woman the economic power, the increased the independence and the self-confidence to help her decide on divorce marriages are most stable and cohesive when husbands and wives have different and complementary roles economic interdependency in marriage is a strong bond holding a marriage together income effect: among low-income couples, a wife's earnings may actually help to hold the marriage together by counteracting the negative effects of poverty and economic insecurity on marital stability research suggests that desirability of a marriage relationship is a much more important factor in predicting divorce than the wife's employment role specialization is no longer important to couple solidarity high expectations of marriage couples whose expectations are more practical are more satisfied with their marriages than are those who expect completely loving and expressive relationships decreased social, legal and moral constraints barriers to divorce function to keep marriages intact even when attractiveness of the marital relationship is low and the attractiveness of alternatives to the relationship is high no-fault divorce laws: eliminated legal concepts of guilt and are a symbolic representation of how our society now views divorce attitudes toward marriage emphasis on the emotional relationship over the institutional benefits of marriage results in marriage being viewed as not necessarily permanent self-fulfilling prophesy: if partners behave as if their marriage could end, it is more likely that it will...
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- Spring '08