If your parents divorced, are you more likely to divorce?


Probably — if you’re a woman:

Research on the intergenerational transmission of divorce has demonstrated that compared with offspring of nondivorced parents, those of divorced parents generally have more negative attitudes toward marriage as an institution and are less optimistic about the feasibility of a long-lasting, healthy marriage. It is also possible that when entering marriage themselves, adults whose parents divorced have less personal relationship commitment to their own marriages and less confidence in their own ability to maintain a happy marriage with their spouse. However, this prediction has not been tested. In the current study, we assessed relationship commitment and relationship confidence, as well as parental divorce and retrospectively reported interparental conflict, in a sample of 265 engaged couples prior to their first marriage. Results demonstrated that women’s, but not men’s, parental divorce was associated with lower relationship commitment and lower relationship confidence. These effects persisted when controlling for the influence of recalled interparental conflict and premarital relationship adjustment. The current findings suggest that women whose parents divorced are more likely to enter marriage with relatively lower commitment to, and confidence in, the future of those marriages, potentially raising their risk for divorce.

Source: “Effects of parental divorce on marital commitment and confidence.” from Journal of Family Psychology

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