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Lombard family law attorneyFor years, marriage and relationship experts have presented evidence suggesting that financial struggles are often a key factor when a couple decides to get divorced. In many ways, the concept makes sense. Money management is a core principle of any relationship and spouses dealing with economic stress and anxiety will often reach a breaking point quickly. A new study, however, seems to indicate that there is more to the story than just money, as its results showed that a husband’s ability to find full-time work directly impacts the couple’s likelihood of divorce.

Behaviors Over Money

Alexandra Killewald, a sociology professor at Harvard University, recently authored a study that was published in the American Sociological Review. She reviewed more than four decades of information related to over 6,300 heterosexual couples in compiling her research. The data did not include husbands who voluntarily choose to fulfill the role of a stay-at-home parent.

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romantic movie, romantic comedies, Illinois family law attorneyMarital and family experts offer a wide variety of advice on how to improve a marriage and to make divorce less likely. Interestingly, however, recent findings suggests that marital stability can possibly be found in a surprising source. It turns out that modeling life after the movies may be just the thing to save your relationship.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester and UCLA, "newlywed couples who watched romantic films together were at a decreased risk for divorce." The research team divided 174 participant couples into four groups that received different levels of couples’ therapy. Two of the groups underwent intensive counseling, focusing on relationship skills, while a third group was given relationship awareness counseling. The last group served as a control, and did receive any counseling.

The study took place over three years. Couples undergoing relationship awareness counseling were instructed to watch romantic comedies together and then talk about the themes presented in the films. At the end of the study, couples that had undergone relationship awareness therapy and watched the films had a comparable and slightly lower rate of separation than couples in structured counseling groups. 13.3 percent of couples that had watched the films had separated compared to 13.4 percent of couples in counseling groups.  Just less than 25 percent of couples that underwent no counseling at all had separated.

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life satisfaction, divorce, Illinois Family Law AttorneyThere have been a number of studies over the years pointing to the negative health impacts related to divorce. Whether emotional health, physical health or both are affected, many such projects identify the stress of a divorce and its aftermath as potential hazards for those who experience it. Despite the research, however, many have maintained that some health risks are worth it if the alternative is remaining in an unhappy or destructive marriage. A new study suggests that this latter group may have been right all along.

Conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado Boulder, the project was recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology. Led by University of Arizona psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa, the study looked at more than 1,600 participants between the ages of 25 and 74. Analyzing both men and women by measuring personality traits, depression, and marital status at intervals approximately 10 years apart, the research team looked to identify trends in health and happiness. The team found that for men, staying married or getting divorced had little effect, if any, on their level of life satisfaction. Women seemed to be much more affected, especially those in low-quality marriages. Compared to women who stayed in poor-quality marriages, those who divorced out of them reported much greater life satisfaction years later. The results also showed that women in good marriages remained happier by staying married, while divorce negatively affected women with slightly below average-quality marriages. According to the researchers, the most important finding of their study is the confirmation that divorce does not represent a negative event for everyone. Such an idea matters not only to counselors and marriage experts, but to unhappily married individuals in low-quality marriages. "Those in the poorest quality relationships may face a variety of negative stressors from which divorce provides a clear relief," the team wrote. Despite their circumstances, the thought of divorce is overwhelming for many people. Just understanding where to start can be extremely difficult, let alone the numerous considerations that must be made throughout the process. Fortunately, help is available. If you feel stuck in a low-quality marriage, divorce may provide you the opportunity to improve your life and start fresh. Contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today at A. Traub & Associates. Our compassionate, caring team understands how difficult a bad marriage can be and is ready to help you build a more hopeful future.

kiss of death, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyDo you and your spouse argue over relatively trivial issues? If you have been together for longer than a month, the answer is probably yes. Married couples, of course, argue from time to time, and often over things that are probably not that important. Disagreement and arguments are not, however, necessarily signs that your marriage is in trouble, so long as you and your spouse continue to love and respect one another. Conversely, if the love and respect is being eroded and replaced with contempt, your relationship may be headed for divorce.

Psychologists John Gottman of the University of Washington and Robert Levenson of the University of California – Berkeley, collaborated on a 14-year behavioral study which used emotional reactions to predict divorce with an accuracy rate of 93 percent. The researchers identified the negative mix of behaviors, including anger, contempt, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness to be a harbinger of impending disaster for the marriage. In particular, Gottman noted, "Contempt is the kiss of death."

A subsequent study concurred with Gottman and Levenson’s conclusions. The second research team examined more than 370 couples over a 16 year period. As in the previous project, the team found that, "indeed, destructive conflict behaviors (e.g., criticism, yelling) predicted increased divorce."

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Health, Divorce, Lombard Family Law AttorneyThere are countless factors that can contribute to an individual’s health, fitness, and overall well-being. Stress levels, sleep patterns, and daily routines have all been shown to have an impact on a person’s ability to stay healthy and achieve or maintain any weight-related goals he or she may have. Significant life events, such as the death of a loved one, a move across the country, or a career change may also have an effect as the person learns to adapt to a new situation. In the last few years, several teams of researchers have examined the impact of marriage and divorce, specifically as it relates to a weight gain or loss experienced by either partner.

One of the most prominent studies with such a focus was conducted by Dmitry Tumin, sociology doctoral student at Ohio State University, and Ohio State sociology professor Zhenchao Qian. Tumin and Qian studied data collected in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a nationally representative research effort spanning nearly 30 years. The Ohio State team looked at more than 10,000 adults surveyed between 1986 and 2008 to find a weight-related trend within two years after a marriage or divorce.

While both marriage and divorce can contribute to weight gain, the study strongly suggested men carried a more significant risk of a large weight gain after divorce. Conversely, the research suggested that women are more at risk for a large weight gain after marriage. A large weight gain was defined by the study as an increase of more than 21 points. The study&s findings also indicated that the risk of a large gain after either marital transition was much more prominent for individuals over 30.

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