From a Netscape article on the effects of divorce:
Kids of Divorced Parents: Unsettling News
Children whose parents are divorced may have the best intentions not to repeat the same painful mistakes in their own marriages, but the reality is that they face unfavorable odds. According to researchers from the University of Utah, if one spouse comes from divorced parents, the couple may be up to twice as likely to divorce. Spouses who are both children of divorced parents are three times more likely to divorce as couples who both come from intact families.
“Growing up in a divorced family greatly increases the chances of ending one’s own marriage, a phenomenon called the divorce cycle or the intergenerational transmission of divorce,” says Nicholas H. Wolfinger, assistant professor in the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies and author of “Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages.” Wolfinger’s research is based on the National Survey of Families and Households, which included detailed information on family background for 13,000 people, and the General Social Survey, which surveyed 20,000 people over a 30-year period.
After a decade of study, Wolfinger has reached the following conclusions about the children of divorced parents. They are more likely to:
–marry as teenagers.
–marry someone who is also a child of divorced parents.
–They are one-third less likely to marry if they are over 20.
“Divorce is an important topic because it has so many consequences for well-being,” writes Wolfinger, also an adjunct assistant professor in the university’s Department of Sociology. “Its transmission between generations adds a whole new dimension by perpetuating the cycle of divorce. The divorce cycle, in short, can be thought of as a cascade. Ending a marriage starts a cycle that threatens to affect increasing numbers of people over time, a sobering thought in an era when half of all new marriages fail.”
Why do these kids face a higher rate of divorce? Wolfinger says it’s because they have a tendency to marry as teenagers. “The older you are when you marry, the less likely you are to get divorced,” he said. “It’s good advice for everyone.”