Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce, 1973-2018
I first started doing research on the divorce cycle 25 years ago. At the time, it was already old news that the children of divorce were especially prone to end their own marriages. By examining decades of data, I was able to show that this intergenerational transmission of divorce had abated greatly over time. Put another way, the gap in divorce rates between people from intact families and the children of divorce had narrowed considerably over the years. I further explored this finding in my 2005 book, Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages, interpreting the declining rate of divorce transmission as evidence that as divorce became more common and accepted, some of its negative effects on children had abated. Since then, I’ve beaten back some methodological criticism and confirmed a decline in divorce transmission using stronger statistical methods.