Broad explanations and categories of predictors. 4. Theories Table 4: Results of univariate models showing odds ratio for separation given the presence of the . Official divorce statistics underrepresent relationship dissolution. Firstly. There are only few studies on relationship predictors of dissolution conducted Thus, divorce and relationship dissolution affects a large proportion of the to predict divorce quite accurately using models that include marital. predictors of divorce and dissolution is an important task. vulnerability-stress- adaptation model (Karney & Bradbury, ), as it is the first conceptual.
However, one retrospective study of divorced individuals in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland suggested that low commitment and deficits in interpersonal competencies are central predictors for divorce [ 11 ].
In summary there is a strong link between dissatisfaction and dissolution, yet this relationship may be attenuated by an assortment of factors [ 57 ]. Depression is associated with increased risk of divorce in both men and women [ 1640 ], but the association is nevertheless most likely bidirectional.
Not only is depression associated with subsequent divorce, suggesting that depression or its consequences might impair relationships to the point of dissolution, but loss of a romantic relationship also confers significant risk of depression [ 74047 ]. Interestingly, in some cases, depression may be associated with staying in an unhappy marriage [ 22 ]. The main picture that emerges is nevertheless that higher levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression are associated with relationship dissolution.
Researchers differentiate between acute life events and persistent strain [ 15 ], and both are explicitly defined categories of events and difficulties that are characterized by a high degree of threat and unpleasantness and by a high likelihood of prolonged consequences [ 50 ].
It can be hypothesized that acute life events, such as serious illness, have a considerable effect on marriage, and studies have investigated whether cancer patients are at increased risk of divorce. The findings have been mixed: One study found that breast cancer does not appear to be associated with marital breakdown [ 24 ], while a Danish population study found increased risk of divorce among survivors of cervical cancer [ 18 ]. Regarding enduring strain, there is evidence suggesting that economic hardship or instability in the household increases the likelihood of marriage dissolution [ 204356 ].
One longitudinal study, measuring strain with a summative indicator adding strain from different domains such as job, children, finances, and daily hassles suggested a long-term association between strain and marital outcomes [ 10 ]. A number of studies have investigated the relationships between a variety of socio-demographic risk factors and marriage dissolution. Most of these predictors have remained relatively stable over the last several decades [ 4 ].
The relation between education and relationship dissolution is unclear. Investigations conducted in the US and Scandinavia have found that higher educational levels for wives [ 34 ] and for both spouses [ 364554 ] are negatively associated with divorce risk.
However, research findings suggest that the relationship between education and divorce varies among European countries [ 3146 ]. When the husband is unemployed, dissolution rates increase [ 3643 ]. Age at marriage is perhaps the most consistent predictor of marital instability: Interaction effects To our knowledge, only a few of the studies investigating predictors of relationship dissolution have had enough statistical power to determine interaction effects between relationship variables and other factors.
The results from one study suggested interaction effects between factors such as race and relationship satisfaction [ 14 ]. Another study reported that individuals with higher levels of education are more likely than those with less education to cite incompatibility with the partner as the cause of divorce [ 6 ]. Aims of the study This study of a large cohort of women and their male partners addressed two research questions. Based on the previous research, we aimed to investigate the contribution of a set of risk factors that might be associated with relationship dissolution, such as: The outcome variable was relationship dissolution over a month period.
Because non-marital cohabitation is commonly accepted in Norway as an alternative to legal marriage and is well established as a childbearing institution, we combined data from cohabiting couples and married couples.
We hypothesised that relationship dissatisfaction would be of particular importance for the men and women in our sample. The second research question addressed in this study was: In brief, MoBa is a cohort study of more thanpregnancies recruited from to and presents a broad basis to study health development. All hospitals and maternity units in Norway with more than births annually were included during certain periods of the study [ 48 ].
Later follow ups of the MoBa sample are ongoing [ 48 ]. Women undergoing their first routine ultrasound examination at gestation week 17—18, were invited to participate with their male partners.
The women received a postal invitation to participate in the MoBa together with their appointment cards for the ultrasound scan http: The participation rate in MoBa was Only the women were followed up at later time points t2—t5.
The current study was based on the Version 4 of the quality-assured data files released for research in At that time, 90, of the planned sample ofwomen and 71, of their partners had been recruited and returned the questionnaire at t1. Because the pregnant women and their families were recruited sequentially over a year period, only 46, women had been in the study long enough to be invited to participate at t5.
The sample has been found to be slightly biased with regard to some demographic variables, but not biased in terms of associations between variables [ 51 ].
Predictors of Relationship Dissolution in Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Adoptive Parents
As expected because of the large number of questions included in the questionnaire, some items were not answered. Therefore, we chose to impute values for missing scores according to specific criteria see below. After replacement of missing values, the net sample size was 18, couples. These couples had responses for all questionnaires t1—t5 and complete data on all variables included in the analyses. When couples completed the first questionnaire, the mean age was The sample has been described in more detail elsewhere [ 5159 ].
Measures The outcome variable was coded as a dichotomous variable, whereas all independent variables were entered into the analyses as categorical variables. Relationship dissolution To measure relationship dissolution, we used one of a set of life event items: There was also one question about current marital status on each questionnaire. This information generally corresponded well with the item described above. Still, 68 subjects reported that they were married on two succeeding questionnaires, and simultaneously reported relationship dissolution in between.
These respondents were considered misclassified, and their scores were changed to 0 no relationship dissolution. Relationship dissatisfaction To measure perceived dissatisfaction with the relationship, we used responses to the item Relationship Satisfaction Scale RS [ 60 ] reported at gestational week 17 t1.
The scale was constructed for MoBa, and is based on typical items used in scales developed previously [ 933 ]. The RS scale has shown good psychometric properties, correlates 0. The response categories ranged from 1 strongly agree to 6 strongly disagree.
The satisfaction scale was reversed to measure dissatisfaction. An index of overall relationship dissatisfaction based on the 10 items was computed as an average score across the items. The cut-off values were 1. The lowest category least dissatisfied was used as reference category. The Cronbach alpha reliability for the RS score was 0. Emotional distress Male and female emotional distress was measured at t1 using a short version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist SCL [ 78 ].
The SCL is a self-administered instrument designed to measure symptoms of anxiety and depression [ 67 ]. The five-item version SCL-5 correlates 0. The SCL-5 [ 69 ] consists of these items: The Cronbach alpha reliability for the SCL-5 was 0.
Predictors of Relationship Dissolution in Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Adoptive Parents
The SCL-5 scores were highly skewed with a tail to the right. We recoded the emotional distress variable into three categories: In an unpublished dissertation, Turtletaub interviewed 10 lesbian mothers five former couples and found that women named disagreements about parenting and money as contributors to their breakup; they also noted that weak communication was often exacerbated by the challenges of parenting.
No quantitative studies have examined predictors of relationship dissolution among same-sex couples who are parents. But, studies examining predictors of relationship dissolution among male and female same-sex couples who are not parents have found that, similar to research on heterosexual couples, interpersonal processes predicted relationship dissolution: Furthermore, using observational and self-report data obtained from male and female same-sex cohabiting couples, Gottman and colleagues found that partners who demonstrated higher levels of empathy for their partners were less likely to dissolve their unions 12 years later.
Becoming a parent through adoption, specifically, can introduce additional challenges e. Adopting an older i. Likewise, a study of same-sex and heterosexual couples who adopted via child welfare found that couples often described the transition to parenthood as taking a toll on their relationship, in that they were often adopting a child who was older and had special needs, thus creating unique demands on their time and energy Goldberg et al.
In addition to aspects of the adopted child, aspects of the adoption process — including how much adoption- and parenting-related preparation the couple receives before adopting — may also contribute to individual and relational stress Goldberg, a. That is, pre-adoption education and training typically focuses on adjusting and responding to the needs of the child, rather than helping couples to prepare for the challenges that they might face as a couple once they adopt.
The Current Study The current study examines predictors of relationship dissolution across the first 5 years of parenthood among a sample of heterosexual, lesbian, and gay male adoptive couples. We examine the role of interpersonal processes i. We control for demographic variables that have been linked to risk for relationship dissolution i. Method Recruitment and Procedures Inclusion criteria for the original transition to parenthood study, which focused on the transition to adoptive parenthood, were: We recruited couples in the pre-adoptive period by asking adoption agencies throughout the US to provide study information to clients who had not yet adopted.
Over 30 agencies provided information to their clients, and interested clients were asked to contact the principal investigator for details regarding participation. Both heterosexual and same-sex couples were targeted through these agencies to facilitate similarity on geographical location and income. Participants in this study completed a set of questionnaires and individual telephone interviews approximately 1—1. Approximately 5 years post-adoptive placement, participants were re-contacted and asked to complete a follow-up assessment.
This follow-up assessment took place between 5—6. Description of the Sample The current sample consists of adoptive couples, 15 of whom dissolved their relationships over the course of the first 5 years of parenthood. Of the 15 couples, 7 were lesbian, 1 was gay male, and 7 were heterosexual.
That is, some couples who participated in the pre-placement and post-placement assessments either did not respond to, or declined, our request to participate in the 5 year follow-up. We do not include these participants who dropped out after 3 months post-placement in the larger comparison sample of intact couples, as they may in fact have ended their unions sometime after the initial transition to parenthood, without our knowledge.
Our larger comparison sample of intact couples represents those participants who, as of 5 years post-placement, were verified as remaining intact. A total of Of note is that attrition analyses were conducted to determine whether the current sample of adoptive parents differed from those who dropped after the initial follow-up.