Gender and the Divorce Experience

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Publication Date

October 2008

Publication Title

Journal of Divorce and Remarriage

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The object of this study is to examine the extent to which males and females are converging in their divorce experience. We consider the issue of the convergence by examining both quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a survey questionnaire containing 189 close-ended items and 3 open-ended items administered to 268 persons in Indianapolis. The divorce experience is conceptualized along four dimensions: (1) lifestyle, (2) attitude toward married life, (3) life after divorce, and (4) adjustment to divorce. We demonstrate in the quantitative analysis that there is a weak to moderate difference in three of four dimensions between the male and female experience of marital breakup. There is only a demonstrable convergence in the views of males and females in the fourth dimension, adjustment to divorce. The qualitative section examines responses to the open-ended question, "What seems to be the best thing that has happened after your divorce?" While about half of the response categories show similarities between males and females, there are some differences in the ways in which males and females reconstruct their identities in the process of adjustment.Note: Link is to the article in a subscription database available to users affiliated with Butler University. Appropriate login information will be required for access. Users not affiliated with Butler University should contact their local librarian for assistance in locating a copy of this article.