Dating teenagers after divorce
These positive attitudes towards divorce affect not only likelihood of divorce, but also overall relationship quality.After controlling for age, high levels of post-divorce inter-parental conflict are associated with less positive views of marriage among adolescents.One study of adolescents after a parental divorce reported that many children fear that their future marriages will lack love, trust, or communication, and that they will be beset by infidelity, conflict, or abuse.They also worry that their marriages will fail or that their spouse will abandon them, In her study of children of divorced parents from Marin County, California, Judith Wallerstein found that the children of divorced parents still had persistent anxiety about their chances of a happy marriage a decade after their parents’ divorce.While parental divorce affects the child’s view of marriage, girls may be less influenced in their attitudes towards divorce “because they have more role models of intimacy and marriage as the ideal in their environment than boys do, especially in the media.” By contrast, boys have fewer role models of intimacy outside of their families.Hence a father’s modeling of interpersonal skills is more important for boys.This anxiety interfered with their ability to marry well: Some failed to form satisfying romantic ties, while others rushed impulsively into unhappy marriages.This may explain why children of divorced parents tend to have a lower relationship quality as adults.
See Paul Amato, “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce,” This chart draws on data collected by the General Social Surveys, 1972-2006.
Men whose parents divorced are inclined to be simultaneously hostile and a “rescuer” of the women to whom they are attracted, rather than the more open, affectionate, cooperative partner, more frequently found among men raised by parents of an intact marriage.
They are also more likely to be more violent toward their partner.
Couples with one spouse from a divorced home are nearly twice as likely to divorce as couples with both spouses from non-divorced families.
Worse still, couples with both spouses from divorced families are over three times more likely to divorce than couples with both spouses from non-divorced families.