Predictors of Divorce Adjustment: Stressors, Resources, and Definitions

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Abstract

We used data from 208 individuals who divorced during a 17-year longitudinal study to examine factors that predict adjustment to marital disruption. Using stress and coping theory as a guide, we hypothesized that adjustment would be associated with variables reflecting stressors, resources, and people's definitions of the divorce. Contrary to expectations, we found little evidence that stressors (large declines in per capita income, losing friends, or moving) affected divorce adjustment, except among individuals who were not employed. Adjustment was positively associated with income, dating someone steadily, remarriage, having favorable attitudes toward marital dissolution prior to divorce, and being the partner who initiated the divorce. In addition, older individuals showed some evidence of poorer adjustment than did younger individuals.

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