The Costly Consequences of Divorce
Assessing the Clinical, Economic, and Public Health Impact
of Marital Disruption in the United States.
A Research-Based Seminar
David B. Larson, M.D., M.S.P.H.
James P. Swyers, M.A.
Susan S. Larson, M.A.T.
National Institute for Healthcare Research
Table of Contents
Purpose and Intended Audience for This
Structure of the Seminar
- Module 1: Is Marriage An Endangered Institution?
- You will become familiar with recent trends in marriage, divorce, and
remarriage statistics and the accompanying changes in Americans' attitudes
about marriage and family life that have helped to shape these trends.
You will also become familiar with how these trends have substantially
altered family life in this country. You will then be able to begin to
examine how this knowledge may be relevant to family and marital problems
and begin to formulate potential approaches for dealing with these difficulties.
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 What Are Trends in Marriage, Cohabitation, Divorce, and Remarriage in Recent Decades?
- 1.2.1 Marriage
- 1.2.2 Cohabitation
- 1.2.3 Divorce
- 1.2.4 Remarriage
- 1.3 How Have Americans' Views and Attitudes About Marriage, Divorce, Being Single, and Parenthood
Changed in Recent Decades?
- 1.3.1 Trends in Attitutes About Marriage
- 1.3.2 Trends in Attitudes About Divorce
- 1.3.3 Trends in Attitudes About Remaining Single
- 1.3.4 Trends in Attitudes About Parenting and Childlessness
- 1.3.5 Trends in Attitudes About Cohabitation
- 1.4 How Have Recent Changes in Marriage Behavior and Attitudes About Marriage Altered Family Life in the
- 1.5 Conclusion
- Module 2: What Are The Clinical
And Economic Consequences Of Marital Disruption For Spouses?
- You will become familiar with the economic and clinical consequences
of divorce for adults and also be able to discuss the issues such consequences
raise for potential marital and family counseling, treatment, and intervention.
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 What Are the Mortality and Morbidity Consequences
of Marital Disruption?
- 2.2.1 Mortality
- 2.2.2 Morbidity
- 2.3 What Are the Psychological Consequences
of Marital Disruption for Spouses?
- 2.3.1 Psychiatric Disease
- 2.4 What Are the Economic Well-Being and Social
Adjustment Consequences of Marital Disruption for Spouses?
- 2.5 Economic Well-Being
- 2.5.1 Social Adjustment
- 2.5.2 Research Linking Economic Hardship and Social
Adjustment Problems with Psychological Stress
- 2.6 Conclusion
- Module 3: What Are The Clinical And
Economic Consequences Of Marital Disruption For Children, Adolescents,
And Young Adults?
- You will become familiar with the major potential consequences of divorce and separation for
children, adolescents, and young adults. This includes a variety of effects that either independently or in combination
with other predictive factors can significantly affect the ability of many individuals who have experienced divorce as a
child to adjust to everyday life strains and adversity. You will then be able to use this information to form an overall
picture of post-divorce family dynamics, both short-term and long-term.
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 How Does Marital Disruption Affect Parent-Child
- 3.3 What Are the Consequences of Marital Disruption
on Child Self-Esteem?
- 3.4 How Does Marital Disruption Affect Child-Peer
- 3.5 How Does Marital Disruption Affect the Academic
Success of Children?
- 3.6 How Does Marital Disruption Affect the Short
and Long-Term Behavioral Adjustment of Children, Adolescents, and Young
- 3.6.1 Delinquent and Antisocial Behavior
- 3.6.2 Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
- 3.6.3 Behavioral and Emotional Problems
- 3.6.4 Suicide and Depression
- 3.6.5 Early Sexuality
- 3.7 How Does Marital Disruption Affect the
Physical Health of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults?
- 3.8 How Does Marital Disruption Affect the Economic
Well-Being of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults?
- 3.9 Conclusion
- Module 4: Does Remarriage Lessen Negative
Consequences Of Marital Disruption?
This module will review many of the challenges and stressors faced by stepfamilies when compared
to nuclear families and how these additional stresses can affect both the adults and children involved. You will also
become familiar with some explanatory models that have been developed to help explain why stepfamilies face
additional complicating stressful factors as well as research providing support for these models. In essence, this
module attempts to provide a more complete picture of the different types and sequences of events that are likely to
occur as the result of the breakup of a first marriage when it is followed by a remarriage.
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Why Are Remarriages Less Stable Than First-Time
- 4.3 How Well Are People Prepared for the Rigors of
- 4.4 How Well Do Stepfamilies Bond?
- 4.5 What Are the Physical and Psychological
Consequences for Stepfamily Members When Adequate Cohesion Fails to Occur?
- 4.5.1 What Are the Physical and
Psychological Well-Being Consequences for Stepchildren?
- 4.5.2 What Are the Physical and
Psychological Health Consequences for Stepparents?
- 4.5.3 Conclusion
- Module 5: What Are Public Health And Public
Policy Issues Associated With Marital Disruption?
- This Module reviews the research concerning several major potential public health and public policy
issues associated with marital disruption. One issue concerns the increased utilization of health care services and
social welfare programs by those who have experienced a marital disruption. In addition, public health consequences
such as increased costs to society of undereducation of individuals who have experienced a marital disruption as a
child as well as their increased potential for becoming involved in juvenile delinquency and adult crime are discussed.
Finally, possible public health and policy responses to these continuing problems are reviewed.
- 5.1 Introduction
- 5.2 How Does Marital Disruption Contribute to
Health Care Costs?
- 5.2.1 Utilization of Mental Health Services
- 5.2.2 Utilization of Outpatient and Inpatient
- 5.2.3 Use of Medicaid
- 5.3 How Does Marital Disruption Contribute to Child
Poverty and Welfare Dependency?
- 5.4 How Does Marital Disruption Contribute to Diminished
Economic and Occupational Achievement for Adults Who Experienced Divorce
as a Child?
- 5.5 How Does Marital Disruption Contribute to
Juvenile Delinquency and Crime?
- 5.6 Conclusion
- Module 6: What Are The Determinants Of Marital Instability And
- This module reviews several important factors that research shows can contribute to marital
instability and divorce. The module also reviews factors that the research shows can contribute to higher levels of
marital satisfaction, in turn increasing marital stability. This information may be useful in saving and improving troubled
- 6.1 Introduction
- 6.2 Who Is Most Likely to Divorce and Why?
- 6.2.1 How Does Exposure to Divorce as a Child Affect
Later Marital Instability?
- 6.2.2 Does Having Premarital Sex Affect Marital
- 6.2.3 How Does Age at First Marriage Affect Marital
- 6.2.4 How Does Length of Courtship Affect Marital
- 6.2.5 How Does Premarital Cohabitation Contribute
to Marital Instability?
- 6.2.6 Is There a Relationship Between Racial Characteristics
and Marital Instability?
- 6.2.7 How Does Socioeconomic Status Contribute
to Marital Instability?
- 6.2.8 How Do Economic Cycles Contribute to Marital
- 6.2.9 Personal Accounts of Divorce
- 6.3 Determinants of Marital Stability and Satisfaction
- 6.3.1 How Can Effective Communication and
Conflict Resolution Protect Marriages?
- 6.3.2 How Does Wife-Husband Division of Household
Labor and Childrearing Responsibilities Contribute to Marital Satisfaction
- 6.3.3 Does Childbearing Contribute to Marital
- 6.3.4 How Does Religious Commitment Affect Marital
- 6.3.5 Personal Accounts of Enduring Marriages
- 6.4 Conclusion
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