According to the General Social Surveys (GSS), 18 percent of adults who were raised in an intact family have ever been divorced or separated, compared to 28 percent of those who lived in a non-intact family. Finally, parental divorce when their offspring are in their twenties may even inoculate them against divorce.
See Paul Amato, “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce,” This chart draws on data collected by the General Social Surveys, 1972-2006.
Couples with one spouse from a divorced home are nearly twice as likely to divorce as couples with both spouses from non-divorced families.
Worse still, couples with both spouses from divorced families are over three times more likely to divorce than couples with both spouses from non-divorced families.
In particular, “boys who feel close to their fathers, regardless of biological status, have better attitudes about intimacy and the prospect of their own married lives than boys who do not feel close to their fathers.” Daughters of divorced parents anticipated cohabiting before marriage, regardless of the amount of affection between them and their fathers. According to Amato and Booth’s research, the risk is highest when the divorce takes place before the child reaches age 13.
Among daughters of intact marriages, it was mainly those with poor relationships with their fathers who anticipated they would cohabit. The risk that the child will divorce decreases significantly when their parents’ divorce takes place during the teen years.
In 2006, a third sample was added for a total sample size of 4,510. Fagan and Althea Nagai, “Mapping America 62: Divorce or Separation: Family Structure in Adolescence,” Mapping America Project. This entry draws heavily from Effects of Divorce on Children.Persons raised in divorced families tend to have less positive attitudes towards marriage, and more positive attitudes towards divorce.This negative attitude about marriage leads to decreased commitment to romantic relationships, which in turn is related to lower relationship quality.Men whose parents divorced are inclined to be simultaneously hostile and a “rescuer” of the women to whom they are attracted, rather than the more open, affectionate, cooperative partner, more frequently found among men raised by parents of an intact marriage.They are also more likely to be more violent toward their partner.