Unformatted text preview: ates when they are viewed from the societal level.
What are the implications of this research? Divorce is clearly a multifaceted
phenomenon that reﬂects a variety of psychological, social psychological, and
sociological inﬂuences. Focusing on any one variable, or even a collection of
variables, is unlikely to generate a complete “solution.” Perpetuating a common
set of religious beliefs in an effort to reduce the divorce rate is clearly not
desirable or workable, nor is the attempt to reduce (or even stall) the overall
transition of society from the mechanical to the organic. The practical application
of these ﬁndings may lie in the degree of “cultural homogeneity” between two
individuals and the society as a whole, which Burgess, Locke, and Thomas
(1963) suggested many years ago as one of several factors that signiﬁcantly
impacts marital adjustment and divorce.
While this research does not minimize the importance of individual, socialpsychological variables on marital relationships, it points to a broader set of contextual variables that may serve to inﬂuence or “constrain” this dimension of social
behavior. Although individual and smaller-scale structural factors have been analyzed extensively in the literature, our knowledge of the inﬂuence of communitybased normative systems on divorce is much more rudimentary. A challenge of
future research is to create multilevel models wherein both individually-based variables and contextual variables are analyzed in the same framework. Only then will
we develop a more complete understanding of the dynamics of marital stability. ENDNOTES *Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, Baltimore, Maryland.
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