The Effects Of Divorce On Family Structure Essay

The Effects Of Divorce On Family Structure Essay

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The greatest change to happen to family structure in the past century was the increase in divorce rates (Amato 2000 p 1269). Divorce statistics are not easily measured and the perception that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce is overgeneralizing and is incorrect (US Divorce Rates). In all of the studies that have been researched for this paper, it has been shown that being married is associated with better mental health than being unmarried. Various surveys have overall found that divorced individuals, compared to those that are married, “report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and general unhappiness” (Booth p 397). It has also been shown that divorced individuals often have “very high levels of meaninglessness and very low levels of home life satisfaction” (Gove p 131). The mental health effects of divorce depend largely on two factors: whether the individual initiated the divorce or not and the quality of the marriage before the divorce.
Studies have shown that the individual who proposed the divorce mourns the end of the marriage less than the partner who wanted to continue to stay married (Amato 2000 p 1272). Additionally, for those in unhappy marriages, divorce may seem like a relief after the turmoil of a troublesome marriage (Booth p 398-399). Therefore, expressing relief was associated with “fewer signs of mental health problems (Booth p 399). The divorce-stress-adjustment perspective views marital stress as a “process that begins while the couple lives together and ends long after the legal divorce is concluded” (Amato 2000 p 1271). The perspective consists of two models, the crisis model and the chronic strain model, which provide explanations for mental health after a divorce.
The advantaged individual, t...

... middle of paper ...

...ual who initiated the divorce will probably fare better than their partner during the process. However, it is the unwilling partner who experiences the greatest change over time, because as they become accustomed to their newly single life, they begin to acknowledge that their well-being is much better off. The research also supports that while divorce can create intense distress initially, it tends to dissipate and dissolve eventually. This is consistent with the crisis hypothesis, but for some people, the divorce may provide to be a chronic problem whose negative effects outlast those with similar circumstances.
As previously stated, it would be beneficial to target couples at risk of getting divorce if they do not have a troublesome marriage. They could receive counseling to prevent the mental health issues that may accompany the ending of a problem less marriage.

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