Its Causes and Psychological Reasons
Dominion High School
This paper explores psychological research on the topic of divorce to further analysis its causes and psychological reasons. Divorce is a vastly more common than ever before in recent years (University of Utah). The reason why it is such a problem is because besides the legal part of a divorce it is a psychological process that the partners, children and family have to endure (Margulies, 2008). Research methods vary from extensive interviews, questionnaires, and analysis of interactive behavior between couples (The Gottman Institute). Divorce enables series of mental and physical deteriorations of health. Women trend to have overload of new responsibilities and tend have more depression (Triere & Peacock, 1982). Men, on the other hand, have an increase on alcohol abuse (Trivedi, Sareen, Dhyani, 2009). Causes of divorce also vary from lack of communication, lack of commitment, to failure to acquire better communication skills (Meyer). This paper will also suggest how such research can be applied and what further research can be examined.
Psychological Research of Divorce and
Its Causes and Psychological Reasons
In the United States alone, researchers estimate that 40%–50% of all first marriages, and 60% of second marriages will end in divorce. Despite divorce being a constant concern, it has become more common in the last 50 years and divorce rates continue to remain historically high (Utah State University). While some may define divorce as simply signing legal documents and court hearings, what makes this a problem is process to disassemble emotional attachments between two individuals. Divorce can be a traumatic experience that alters an individual’s living arrangements, finances, parenting, and the outcome of children involved.
Personally, my parents separated in 1999 and divorced in 2004. Therefore, I have a firsthand account of the effects of divorce on the children of a marriage. Luckily in my situation, both my mother and father are still best friends for they have known each other for over 30 years. Based on the fact that I never grew up in a household with both my parents, I essentially got used to the fact that my parents were divorced fairly quickly growing up, as opposed to watching them split later on in my life. Currently I feel divorce is a process that needs to happen in certain situations, because I know my household would be catastrophic with my parents living back together. I have learned and accepted that life is much more enjoyable when they are separated than being together.
A vast amount of methods are applicable to the research of divorce. The Gottman Relationship Institute is renowned for its research in the field of relationships. Over a multitude of studies, Dr. Gottman has received an accuracy rate of about 90% for predicting divorce among couples. Throughout his studies, he has utilized a multi-method approach to examine couples. Such methods include the following:
Perception (self-assessment through questionnaires and video recall)
Interactive behavior (coding individual emotions and behavior as couples interact)
Physiology (measuring endocrine and autonomic systems) (The Gottman Institute).
Another more recent research method is genetic analysis of a DNA. The examination of DNA uncovers specific proteins that may be a link to the predictability of divorce between two people. Zoe Donaldson along with her colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia conducted a series of experiments using this method. They proceeded by altering genetic material to prove that behavior differences can be traced by the amount vasopressin receptors present. The results showed that wives of those who were married were less satisfied with their marriage than women whose husbands did not have the genetic variant called “334”. Also it revealed that those