Explaining the intergenerational transmission of divorce.
This study uses national longitudinal [U.S.] data to explain the intergenerational transmission of divorce. Parental divorce is associated with an increased risk of offspring divorce, especially when wives or both spouses have experienced the dissolution of their parents' marriage. Offspring age at marriage, cohabitation, socioeconomic attainment, and prodivorce attitudes mediate modest proportions of the estimated effect of parental divorce. In contrast, a measure of interpersonal behavior problems mediates the largest share of the association. The findings suggest that parental divorce elevates the risk of offspring divorce by increasing the likelihood that offspring exhibit behaviors that interfere with the maintenance of mutually rewarding intimate relationships. Data are from the Study of Marriage Over the Life Course. (EXCERPT)