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  • National Marriage Week: The Long Shadow of Marital Dissolution

    The data is in, and it is now widely recognized that an intact family structure is closely linked to household’s economic well-being and its ability to rise from dependency. Decades of research also provides evidence that children of married couples tend to fare better across a spectrum of measures, including academic performance, behavior, substance abuse, and psychological/emotional well-being.

    What may not be so well known is the fact that the ripple effects of family dissolution go beyond the impact on the immediate children of broken marriages. Current trends toward dissolving (or never forming) marriages have consequences for a third (and even fourth) generation, given that children’s life course of relationships tend to track that of their parents.

    Children who do not grow up in intact families are less likely to have positive attitudes toward marriage and have lower expectations for their own marriages. Correspondingly, in adulthood, they are more likely to form a high-risk marriage, experience less marital satisfaction, and have marriages that end in divorce.

    Moreover, research by a leading sociologist in the arena of family structure found that even the divorce of grandparents was associated with a greater likelihood of marital discord and divorce among grandchildren in adulthood—even if the grandparents’ divorce occurred before the child was born.

    The silver lining of this gloomy news is the converse of these findings: Any investment in building and strengthening healthy marriages today can brighten the prospects of generations to come.

    To learn more about National Marriage Week and find a community event near you, visit nationalmarriageweekusa.org.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to National Marriage Week: The Long Shadow of Marital Dissolution

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    4. Scott, York PA says:

      disclaimer: Not spell checking and i am very poor at spelling.

      I didn't buy in to the idea that the family structure had a big impact on children. Until my wife and I separated for a year. Our son's grades and school performance went into the toilet. We agreed on joint custody and the back and forth just made everything a giant mess. Now that we are back together, the turn around is an absolute 180.

    5. Bob Ulmer Owensboro, says:

      Divorce is a national tragedy! It seems to happen out of a lack of RESPECT for each other, especially men have this void in their life from their wives! Men love your wife, ladies respect your husband! My parents divorced after 24 years of marriage and I also got a divorce after being married 33 years. It seems like we keep on passing this sin down from generation to generation. I would like to recommend this book for all to read before or after you are married or if your divorced. The book is titled: Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

    6. StacyK, Nashville, T says:

      I agree with Bob wholeheartedly! The book "Love & Respect" completely transformed my marriage. My husband and I attended one of their marriage conferences and we now give that book as a wedding gift to any of our friends and family who get married. We both come from divorced homes and now have the tools to break that cycle of brokenness and leave a legacy of commitment to our children. There are lots of resources, testimonies, and links to upcoming conferences on their website at http://www.loveandrespect.com.

      "When I say that a husband needs respect, I am not saying that he deserves the respect. I am saying that he needs to be approached respectfully when she confronts the issues about him that upset her just as she needs him to approach her lovingly and respectfully when he addresses the issues about her that concern him." ? ~Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, "Love & Respect for a Lifetime" (p.78)

    7. American Abroad, Ban says:

      The data from these studies seems to suggest that keeping families together has a more long-term positive effect which can carry on through multiple generations. Though there are many other factors involved which ultimately increase risk of divorce in successive generations, I feel that the conclusions from these studies seem to have some merit. If I consider Thailand, for example, I see that there are lower divorce rates here than back home. Thailand divorce law may be different than in America, but not so drastically that it can affect the divorce rates. Traditional beliefs within the society are probably more critical to the lower divorce rate. Divorce is not so widely accepted, therefore couples are pressured to keep their marriage rather than end it. You can sometimes even see couples that have legally divorced, but still reside in the same house in an effort to keep the reputation of the family in good status.

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