Re: Divorce affects researh

James L. Wood (jwood@MAIL.SDSU.EDU)
Sat, 5 Jul 1997 22:17:50 -0400

My son, Jeff Wood, who is a researcher in the area of affects of
divorce on children, and who has a Web page
( on this topic, has decided to add his
comments to the "affects of divorce" debate initiated by Paula Friedman.

Jeff's comments: I think [the previous argument] misses the more salient
correlates of the increased divorce rate of the 70's and 80's: most
importantly, the economic downturn of American society, forcing many
families into more stressful situations (both parents working full-time,
downward mobility, etc) which naturally precipitates upheaval in family
systems; and, the change in the divorce law (no fault), making it much
easier to get a divorce. Most analysts
believe that the latter phenomenon made a real contribution to the divorce
rate, but probably enabled seriously problematic families to relieve some
of their stress by allowing painless divorces. However,overall, there is
striking consistency in studies showing that divorced families have more
psychological and social difficulties than intact families.

James Wood posting for Jeff Wood