Divorce and Remarriage: Problems, Adaptations, and Adjustments

Divorce and Remarriage: Problems, Adaptations, and Adjustments

Divorce and Remarriage: Problems, Adaptations, and Adjustments

Divorce and Remarriage: Problems, Adaptations, and Adjustments


"Divorce and Remarriage is a useful descriptive study of the correlates of divorce and remarriage. It demonstrates once again the strengths of the now-familiar relationships. It is a book that one is happy to see in the literature...." Journal of Comparative Family Studies.


The dramatically increasing rates of divorce in this country have, in recent years, attracted growing attention from professionals and laypersons alike. In 1980 there were an estimated 1, 182,000 divorces, a record high. This represents an increase of 67 percent over the 1970 total and is three times the total number of divorces recorded in 1960.

The important effect of increasing divorce rates on the form and structure of the current American family can be seen from statistics on the number of children living in single parent families. Paul Glick has projected that the proportion of children under 18 living with two parents may be expected to decline to 56 percent by 1990. The situation for black children is even more extreme. In 1978 only 44 percent of black children under 18 were living with two parents (including those in remarriages as well as those in first marriages). Unless current trends change, by 1990 only about one-third of all black children will be living with both natural parents in their first marriage.

Paul Glick and Arthur Norton also point out that if we assume that the future divorce experiences of today's young adults will mirror the experience of older adults in recent years, then we can project that approximately 40 percent of women now in their late twenties will terminate their marriage in divorce. Of the three-quarters of these who will later remarry, about 44 percent will redivorce. The majority of divorces will occur during the first ten years of marriage and the probability of divorce during this period increases dramatically if the marriage has occurred between teenagers.

It is clear that the upsurge in the divorce rate in the United States during the last decade has been stimulated by a growing acceptance that divorce is a reasonable and, at times, even desirable alternative to an unhappy marriage. Norton and Glick note that the increase coincides with a number of other important societal trends including: (1) a liberalization and reform of divorce laws in a . . .

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