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Divorce and Single Parent Children

I have included here several sources that I located on the internet concerning the causes and effects of divorce. The central cause of divorce appears to be women entering the work place. Because women are now capable of some financial independence, there is a greater tendancy for divorce. But as I have shown in the last chapter, and is agreed with in the following sources, there is also a greater tendancy for those who do divorce to live in poverty. And as the Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs chapter shows, increased poverty directly leads to an increase of crime. Therefore, logically, women entering the work force can be seen as one of the causes of the increase in crime since the 1960s.

CAUSES FOR DIVORCE
What Explains Higher Divorce Rates?
Please note that most explanations for divorce, especially increasing divorce rates through time, place the "blame" on women. That is, when women have the power to divorce or when a woman's social situation allows her [to] effectively deal with the consequences of divorce (e.g., lost income) divorce rates will increase. Also, realize that in our culture we tend to view divorce as a 'social problem' and view it negatively (although this is changing). Try not to allow this to color your understanding of divorce.
Another point should be made about divorce: it takes two to divorce. When it is shown that increased economic opportunities for women lead to divorce this seems to indicate that divorce is caused by women. However, imagine two cases: (1) a farm woman in the 1900s with an abusive husband; and (2) a woman lawyer today living with an abusive husband. One would predict that the modern women would more likely divorce and the farm woman would not even though she might like to. However, if neither of the men were abusive then neither of the women might be motivated to divorce.


The hypothesis is that divorce rates increase with increasing female status. Trent and South state:
"Increases in economic opportunities for women provide the requisite independence for dissolving unhappy marriages (p. 198)."


Pearson and Hendrix note that divorce rates are higher as
* women inherit real and moveable property
* polyandry is permitted
* adultery is not strongly punished for men or women
* and other factors that indicate women can be political and religious actors
http://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/peenotes.htm


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CAUSES FOR DIVORCE
Causes of Divorce
1. Individualism is on the rise, families spending less time together
2. Romantic love often fades.
3. Women are less dependent on men, increasing participation in the labor force
4. Many of today's marriages are stressful; both people working, raising children is harder
5. Divorce is more socially acceptable
6. Divorce is legally easier to accomplish


Who Divorces?
Young spouses (brief courtships, few financial resources, and aren't emotionally mature)
Unexpected pregnancies, and substance abuse also increases the chances, individuals who are not religious are more likely to divorce than those who are.
More common among women with successful careers, moving also boosts the odds (weakens ties with families and friends) Habitual divorcees, if they do it once, more likely to do it again.
http://www.mstc.edu/Instructor/SRathe/socnotes13.htm


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CAUSES FOR DIVORCE
Some demographers consider divorce to be a result of growing individualisation and secularisation in society. These two processes put pressure on the traditional values of marriage and raising children, leading to an increased divorce rate. If this is true, European societies with less secularisation and individualisation should have lower divorce rates. If a higher educational level of couples produces a higher level of individualisation, there should be a positive relation between educational level of both spouses and their divorce risk.


An economic tradition attributes the rise in divorce rates to changes in the balance between the cost and benefits of marriage for both husband and wife. If this is true there should be a higher divorce rate among women with high income jobs, because a high income lowers the cost of divorce for them. In that case, divorce rates in European societies with more full-time working mothers in higher positions should be higher. But the negative effect of parental divorce on children is often explained by the poverty of mother-headed single families. In that case, negative effects of parental divorce should be smaller in European societies with more full-time working mothers in higher positions than in other societies. Social security systems might reduce the degree of poverty in mother-headed single families, which might lead to differences in negative effects of parental divorce between European societies.

Liberal divorce laws might also lead to higher levels of divorce, as some politicians maintain. If this is true, differences between and changes in divorce rates of European societies depend on the differences in their divorce laws. But the most accepted explanation of the negative effect of parental divorce on children is the conflict between parents before and after the break-up. If this is true, liberal divorce laws might dampen the negative effects for children because they prevent long lawsuits and thus the intensity and length of the parental conflict.

Another assumption about the consequences of divorce for inequality is that they result from stigmatisation of the divorcees and their children by the surrounding society. If this assumption is true, the consequences of divorce for inequality should become smaller when the divorce rates increase, because the higher these divorce rates are the more normal divorce becomes and thus the lower the level of stigmatisation. In that case, policy makers do not need to worry about the divorce rates but only need to combat the stigmatisation of divorce in order to counter the relation between inequality and divorce. Therefore, it makes sense to test this assumption of stigmatisation by comparing these negative consequences in different European societies with different divorces rates.
http://www.iue.it/Personal/Dronkers/DivorceandInequality.htm


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EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN
Despite this general finding across many studies, there are important qualifications of these findings. Overall, the children are more alike than different. Amato (1994) reminds us that average differences do not mean that all children in divorced families are worse off than all children in intact families. In Figure 1 (p. 145) in THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN (1994) Amato presents an illustration of how much the children in both groups overlap. Thus, while there are average differences there are more similarities than differences. Another way to examine this issue is illustrated by findings of Mavis Hetherington (1993). Hetherington, like many others, finds these average differences, but she also looked at some of her measures and examined the degree to which children in divorced and intact families were more severely impaired. Here we find some important variations. On a measure of behavioral problems, Hetherington (1993) reports that 90% of adolescent boys and girls in intact families were within the normal range on problems and 10% had serious problems that we would generally require some type of help. The percentages for divorced families were 74% of the boys and 66% of the girls in the normal range and 26% of the boys and 34% of the girls were in the problematic range.
The implications of these findings for practitioners are two-fold. On the one hand, the majority of children from divorced families did not have serious problems requiring professional help. On the other hand, a larger percentage of children from divorced families than intact families did have serious problems. Another way to say this is that MOST children in divorced families do not need help, but MORE children in this group than in intact families are likely to need help. This is a complicated message for all of us to deliver and it is why researchers, practitioners and the media often errs on the side of one or the other of these two types of findings. Increasingly, it is important to make both kinds of points.
http://www.hec.ohio state.edu/famlife/divorce/effects.htm#ARE_CHILDREN_OF_DIVORCE_WORSE_OFF_THAN_CHILDREN_IN_MARRIED_TWO-PARENT_FAMILIES?


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I've included the lyrics to the following two songs as well. I don't think it proves anything. But hopefully it might illustrate that a change in mentality towards relationships is occurring.

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        It's Too Late
        Carole King - Album: Tapestry

        Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
        There's something wrong here
        There can be no denying
        One of us is changing
        Or maybe we've just stopped trying

        And it's too late baby
        Now it's too late
        Though we really did try to make it
        Something inside has died
        And I can't hide
        And I just can't fake it
        Wo no no no...

        It used to be so easy living here with you
        You were light and breezy
        And I knew just what to do
        Now you look so unhappy
        And I feel like a fool

        And it's too late baby
        Now it's too late
        Though we really did try to make it
        Something inside has died
        And I can't hide
        And I just can't fake it
        Wo no no no...

        There'll be good times again for me and you
        But we just can't stay together
        Don't you feel it too
        Still I'm glad for what we had
        And how I once loved you

        And it's too late baby
        But it's too late
        Though we really did try to make it
        Something inside has died
        And I can't hide
        And I just can't fake it
        Wo no no no no no...

        It's too late, baby, it's too late
        Now darling, it's too late

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        Easier to Say Goodbye
        Oleta Adams - Album: Evolution

        We need a love revival,
        somewhere for us to begin to take apart the wounded hearts
        and love them back together again.

        Solemn promises are
        too quickly spoken.
        That tie that binds the hearts
        is easily broken.
        It hurts to leave and
        yet it hurts to live a lie.
        It's easier to say goodbye.

        The family chain has oddly
        gained a missing link
        Cheating pairs don't seem to care
        what the children think
        They pledge fidelity
        but they're too weak to try
        It's easier to say goodbye

        I just want to make it better
        it's easier to say goodbye.
        I just want to mend a heart,
        it's easier to say goodbye.

        Men and women lack
        the courage of commitment.
        All their energies
        and passions are misspent.
        Will we ever understand
        the reason why
        it's easier to say goodbye.

        I just want to make it better
        (I wanna try to make it better,
        gotta try to stay together,
        we've gotta find the reasons why)
        it's easier to say goodbye.

        We need a love revival,
        somewhere for us to begin
        to take apart the wounded hearts
        and love them back together again.

        I just want to make it better
        (I wanna try to make it better,
        gotta try to stay together,
        we've gotta find the reasons why)
        it's easier to say goodbye.

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Sources
http://www.hec.ohio state.edu/famlife/divorce/effects.htm#ARE_CHILDREN_OF_DIVORCE_WORSE_OFF_THAN_CHILDREN_IN_MARRIED_TWO PARENT_FAMILIES?
http://www.csubak.edu/~jgranskog/BS435MarFamKin/sld036.htm
http://www.mstc.edu/Instructor/SRathe/socnotes13.htm
http://www.iue.it/Personal/Dronkers/DivorceandInequality.htm
Singer: Oleta Adams - Album: Evolution - Song: Easier to Say Goodbye
Singer: Carole King - Album: Tapestry - Song: It's Too Late
--
Jonathan Scott
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