Country differences in the relationship between divorce and well-being in Europe

Matthijs Kalmijn, Tilburg University

A general hypothesis in family research is that the effects of divorce for a person's well-being are more severe when divorce is more rare. When divorce is rare, social sanctions against the persons who divorce are stronger and there will be less support for divorcees. This hypothesis is important because if true, it would suggest that when divorce becomes more common and more accepted, it also will become less of a problem in society. Although the hypothesis is simple enough, testing it is complicated by several problems. This paper gives an overview of these problems, it discusses earlier research on this issue, and it presents new analyses, using multilevel models of microlevel data in multiple European countries.

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Presented in Session 82: Individual Consequences of Family Formation and Dissolution