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PSYC 357 (5)
Lecture 7

Lecture 7

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PSYC 357
Wendy Thornton

PSYC 357 Lecture 7 March 5, 2012 Part 1: Marriage/Family Part 2: Work and Vocational Development 50% in US population currently married 74% married at least once by age 55 Median age of marriage - Men = 28.1 - Women = 25.9 Effect of marriage on mortality – 9-15% reduction - May be that healthier people get married, people who don’t get along with others don’t end up getting married Rates of marriage by race/ethnicity – Asians = 62%; blacks=34% Age and sex differences - More young women than men are married, opposite is true for older adults - For younger women – they marry older men Cohabitation rates: 50%+ are PRECEDED by cohabitation Cohabitation effect – people who live together before marriage having a higher rate of divorce after marriage; people who don’t live together beforehand, have a less chance of divorcing - Variations in cohabitation rates by personal and social factors - People who choose to live together before marriage may be more spontaneous, less religious, may have had parents who divorced, less conforming - Rates of divorce really depend on your personality traits SAME-SEX COUPLES - Largest percentage involve people of two races - Similar dynamics to heterosexual couples DIVORCE STATISTICS - Difficult to calculate - Probability of divorce – 45% in US - Probability of divorce – 37% in Canada - Average length of first marriage is about 8 years - Rates in both countries have declined and leveled off since high point in 1980’s RISKS FOR DIVORCE - Immaturity o Women who marry under 20 have 3x more likely to divorce o 6x more likely to divorce if married greater than 30 - Lack of homogamy – similarity of goals and interests - Lack of equality – exchange theory o Partners need to perceive a fair exchange across all dimensions of relationship o Problems often emerge around balancing work and family o Gotta pull your weight in the relationship o Can both be working, or man being breadwinner and woman as stay-at-home mom o This can create enormous stress, can cultivate resentment REASONS FOR INCREASING DIVORCE RATES - Liberalization of divorce laws - People have higher expectations of marriage o Paradoxically lowered the quality of marriage o May be a uniquely western phenomenon  Lower divorce rates in other cultures GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ADJUSTMENT - Men are more likely to be surprised o More likely to be blamed from the cause o More likely to be depressed initially - Women are more likely to ask for a divorce o Less likely to have another relationship because women usually get physical custody of the children DIVORCE PRONESS - People in remarriages more likely to consider divorce as an option - Remarried people more critical of marriage - Higher likelihood that remarried people had family problems in their early years o When your divorced parents survive and remarry, it also wont be as scary - If you’ve already been divorced, its not as scary - Level of satisfaction and risk for divorce is higher WIDOWHOOD Effects ofwidowhood - Difficult emotional experiences - Effects can last many years Who becomes a widow - Not only people in heterosexual marriages - Women more likely than
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