Family Relationships: A Life Span Development Approach [NOTES Part 16] - 4.0ed the course

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Florida State University
Family and Child Sciences
FAD 2230

Chapter 12: The Process of Divorce  Today’s High U.S. Divorce Rate • On average, 40 to 50% of marrieds can expect to have their marriages dissolved over the life course • The divorce rate is about 50% for the first marriages; increases for second/remarriage to 65%  How are divorce rates calculated? • Number of divorces per year • Ratio of current marriages to current divorces • Lifetime records of marriage and divorce – looking at divorces over multiple generations (not very applicable to younger generations) • Crude divorce rate - number of people who divorce per 1000 population • Refined divorce rate***- number of divorces per 1,000 women over the age of 15 (best way to calculate divorces) → You want to only count women because if you count both sexes, you could be counting the same divorce twice  Why are couples divorcing? • Various factors can bind marriages and families together, including: → Economic interdependence – if both partners make a good amount of money, the family can be rather well off but once you change it to one income, a lot of things may have to change → Legal, social, and moral constraints – even though it’s more accepted, it still has negative associations with it; moral values/society say it’s good to have a lifelong partner and/or that if you make a commitment to someone, you keep it; divorce is expensive → Spouse’s relationship – people hope that the relationship may improve in the long- term; they’re not happily married but they still don’t want to hurt their partner • The binding strength of some of these factors has lessened; they’re still there, but aren’t as strong as they used to be • Economic factors → Wives in the labor force ⇒ Independence effect: when women work, they feel much more independent emotionally and psychologically; they feel strong and able; it could encourage them to believe that they can take care of themselves ⇒ Income effect: with the money they get from their work, they are more able to support themselves and get out of an unhappy marriage • High expectations of marriage → It’s shifted from arranged to choice; what we can do to romance • The changed nature of Marriage itself → It’s now all about companionship • Decreased social, legal, and moral constraints • Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce – now we have multiple generations divorcing so it’s easier/more accepted to get divorced; when parents/grandparents are divorced, it becomes more of an option for them to be divorced • Remarried mates are more likely to divorce • Cohabitation before marriage increases the likelihood of divorce • Premarital pregnancy may increase the risk of divorce in a subsequent marriage – having that child may have pushed them into marriage whereas they wouldn’t have otherwise • Remaining child-free is associated with higher likelihood of divorce • Race and ethnicity are differentially associated with the chance of divorcing  Are people happier after a divorce? • Compared to marrieds, divorced people: → Have lower levels of life satisfaction → More negative general mood → Poorer physical health → More depressed → Somewhat more inclined to suicide • Those in unhappy marriages tend to be more depressed than divorced individuals; if you don’t want to deal with all the problems related to a divorce is trying to make your current marriage happier  Getting the divorce • Emotional divorce → Part of the divorce where one or both people start withdrawing love and affection from their partner; stop saying things like “I love you”, dismiss them in their mind, stop spending time with them; can happen long before the legal • Legal divorce → Actual event that includes diving assets/deciding custody/etc.; not always fair; if you were the only one bringing in income so you technically “owned” everything, you still have to divide everything in half; gets very nasty financially because emotions are still involved and you’re angry so that’s how you take it out on one another • Community divorce → Happens when two individuals that built a social network together have to divide that social network up; you have mutual friends and now you have to decide who “ke
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