By Alison Clarke-Stewart
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Extra info for Divorce: Causes and Consequences
After 5 Years After 10 Years After 15 Years 20% 33% 43% 20% 28% 17% 10% 32% 47% 34% 20% 42% 55% 42% 23% 29% 24% 17% 15% 48% 40% 29% 24% 59% 49% 36% 35% 24% 22% 17% 42% 36% 29% 51% 45% 38% 19% 27% 32% 46% 41% 56% 17% 26% 29% 43% 38% 52% 17% 34% 30% 53% 39% 63% 18% 27% 31% 31% 45% 54% 40% 55% 63% 19% 31% 39% 24% 42% 55% 36 At Risk for Divorce shows the probability of a first divorce by the length of marriage and other selected characteristics such as age, education, and the presence of children. 19 It has consistently been shown that marriage at an early age increases the risk of divorce.
This perspective is useful for understanding interactions among spouses and their children and the reciprocal influences of these interactions on the psychological functioning of family members. Thus divorce could be a product of dysfunctional relationships across the entire family, and it could also be a cause of impaired functioning in children after the divorce. 32 A discussion of divorce in terms The Social Context of Divorce 25 of risk and resilience focuses on the risks divorce creates—downward mobility, social rejection, household chaos, battling parents, neglectful parenting—and the ability of individuals, particularly children, to adapt to these circumstances.
25 Earning fifty thousand dollars a year compared with earning less than twenty-five thousand dollars, for example, is associated with a percent decrease in divorce. Having more economic resources acts as a protective factor for the marriage; and more affluent people also stand to lose more if they divorce, thus their level of affluence raises a barrier to divorce. 26 Race, Ethnicity, and Divorce Marital and divorce patterns also vary by race and ethnicity. 29 African American women today are more likely to divorce and to do it sooner than women in other ethnic groups.