"Men who are not employed have a greater risk that their wives will initiate divorce, and are also more likely to initiate divorce themselves, a new study shows. ... Whether or not a woman had a job, however, had no effect on the likelihood that her husband would decide to leave the marriage,... despite more women entering the workplace, the pressure on husbands to be breadwinners largely remains, according to researchers at Ohio State University."
Study info: "in a forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Sociology. ... The study, which was led by Liana Sayer of Ohio State University, was based on data from more than 3,600 couples that had been collected from three waves of the U.S. National Survey of Families and Households. The survey waves were conducted from 1987-88, 1992-94 and 2001-02."
More than half of currently married couples have been married at least 15 years and 35 percent have been married 25 years - a slight increase since 1996, the Census Bureau reports.
1% of couples have both spouses married three or more times. 72 percent of couples have both spouses in their first marriage. 6% have the wife in her second marriage and the husband in the first; 8% have the husband in his second and the wife in her first.
The article cites increased pre-marital education offered or required by churches as a possible reason, and also that people are now older when they first marry, and "31 percent of women who have recently married have a bachelor’s degree", up from 21% in 1996.
"According to new research published Thursday in the American Sociological Review. children whose parents divorce perform worse in math and have poorer social skills, and they struggle more with anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and poor self-esteem than their peers whose parents are not divorced. They are also more likely to have trouble making friends and maintaining those friendships, expressing emotions positively, and getting along with other kids who are different from them."
The study, also reported in USA Today, tracked children from kindergarten through 5th grade and focused on those whose parents divorced between 1st and 3rd grade. The USA Today story points out that problems did not show up in school before the divorce process began -- it was not the bad marriage, but the divorce itself and perhaps post-divorce developments, that correlated with the problems.
China Radio International June 20 - "Modern Fatherhood.The US is facing a growing "fatherhood gap", with children in wealthy families spending substantially more time with their fathers. Changes in the expectations for fathers are creating new challenges, sometimes leading to depression." Guests: Paul Schenk, Clinical psychologist; Will Courtenay, PhD, LCSW, "The Men's Doc", McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Author of Dying to Be Men.
I listened to this and it was thoughtful and insightful - we hear about the class-based marriage gap but it may take a foreign power to point out that cultural developments in modern fatherhood also vary dramatically by economic class, education etc. It also looks at the dynamics of child-raising in an intact family and how some fathers, too, can develop a form of post-partum depression.
Unlike many studies of marriage education, and indeed of almost any other kind of education or counseling for any kind of social behavior, this study was able to have a control group that did not take the classes, AND to randomly assign couples between the control group and the group that took marriage education, specifically "PREP for Strong Bonds" delivered by Army chaplains. One year later, 2% of the marriage-educated group divorced and 6% of the control group divorced.
This is not the first study using randomly-assigned control groups - earlier studies have likewise found that what's most effective for couples is curricula which are professionally developed, but which are delivered within a particular group, whether religious, ethnic or occupational.
Most media stories about something in the family law field "increasing" have no basis in reality, but the source for this one is impeccable -- the Office of Children's Issues at the U.S. Department of State. These are the people who actually work on cases of international child abduction. I know them, I work with them, and they know what they're doing.