A Two-Factor Model for Predicting When a Couple Will Divorce: Exploratory Analyses Using 14-Year Longitudinal Data*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported by grant MH35997 from the National Institute of Mental Health to the authors, and by Research Scientist Award K2MH00257 to the first author.

Abstract

This article examines 14-year longitudinal data and attempts to create a post hoc model that uses Time-1 data to “predict” the length of time the marriage will last. The sample consists of the 21 couples (of 79 studied) who divorced over a 14-year period. A two-factor model is proposed. One factor is the amount of unregulated volatile positive and negative affect in the marriage, and this factor predicts a short marriage length for the divorcing couples. A second factor is called “neutral affective style,” and this factor predicts a long marriage length for the divorcing couples. This model is compared to a Time-1 model of ailing marriage in which Time-1 marital satisfaction is used to predict the timing of divorce.

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