The divorce rate in England and Wales increased nearly four-fold between 1950 and 1976; in the five years following the implementation of the 1969 Divorce Reform Act in January 1971, it more than doubled. Despite the plethora of public comment about the rising divorce rates, there was at the time very little objective data in our society about either those who chose to resolve their marital unhappiness by divorce, or the possible causes and consequences of such divorce.

    Originally published in 1979, this book, the first published study from the Marriage Research Centre, represented an important landmark in a relatively unexplored field. Who Divorces? Presents the findings of a large-scale study into the characteristics of those who divorce. Certain childhood, adolescent, pre-marital and marital characteristics and experiences of a random sample of men and women who divorced are considered and compared with the characteristics and experiences of a random sample of men and women whose marriages were still intact.

    Additionally, research findings relating to the causes and consequences of divorce, both for the individual and for society, are discussed with particular reference to the wide range of prevailing opinion on these matters.

    Preface.  Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations.  1. Introduction: Background and Methodology  2. Early Background Influences: Family Structure; Health  3. Shaping Influences: Social Class, Education, Religion  4. The Courtship Period  5. Two High Risk Factors: Teenage Marriages and Pre-marital Pregnancy  6. Housing During Marriage  7. The Arrival of Children  8. The Sexual Dimension of Marriage  9. The Time Dimension of Marital Breakdown  10. In Conclusion: The Characteristics of Those Who Divorce.  Appendix I: The Sample.  Appendix II: Statistical Significance and Sources of Error.  Appendix III: Tabulations Relating to the Text.  Appendix IV: Description of AID (Automatic Interaction Detector).  Appendix V: Content of the Interview Schedule.  Appendix VI: The Eysenck PQ Form.  Bibliography.  Subject Index.  Author Index.


    Barbara Thornes and Jean Collard