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Types of marital breakdown
· divorce- the legal ending of marriage
· Separation- where couples agree to live apart after the
breakdown of a marriage. In the past when divorce was
difficult to obtain and expensive separation was often the
only solution.
· Empty shell marriages- where the husband and wife stay
together in name only. There may be no longer any love or
intimacy between the couple. Today these relationships
usually end in divorce however they may persist for the
sake of their children or for religious or moral reasons.
· There are no reliable estimates of the number of empty
shell marriages as it is difficult to define an empty shell
marriage and those in relationships often like to keep their
personal relationships private. However historical evidence
suggests that marriages were more common in the past
when divorce was almost impossible to obtain.…read more

Slide 2

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Patterns in divorce
· In 1938, 6000 divorces were granted in the UK. In 1970
this figure had increased by 10x and in 1993 figures
had trebled to peak at 180,000. by 2000 the UK figure
had decreased to 154,600 however the years 2001-04
saw a gradual rise to 167,100 people.
· The divorce rate (the number of couples divorcing per
1000 of the married population) has also risen in
England and wales from 5.9 in 1974 to a peak of 14.2
in 1994. between 1995 & 2000 the divorce rate fell to
12.7 however it began to rise again to in 2004 peaking
at 14. however 2005-9 saw a gradual decline in the
divorce rate to 10.5 the lowest since 1977.…read more

Slide 3

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Office for national statistics figures of
divorce in 2010
· The average age for divorce for men was 43.4 and for women 41.
· The average duration of a marriage was 11.4 years
· In almost 1/3rd of marriages at least one partner had been
previously widowed or divorced
· 28% of men and 20% of women divorcing in 2010 had been
married and divorced before.
· Women initiated 67% of divorces. This is in sharp contrast to the
past where in 1946 only 37% of divorces were initiated by
· Half of couples divorcing had at least 1 child under 16
· Couples who are at greatest risk of marital breakdown include;
those who marry young, those who 1 or both partners have been
married before and those couples from working class
backgrounds who have unskilled jobs or who are unemployed.…read more

Slide 4

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The new right and divorce
· New right sociologists argue that increasing
divorce rates are a symptom of a serious crisis in
the family. They claim that;
· Due to the easy availability of divorce couples are
no longer as committed to the family as they were
in the past.
· There is a direct relationship between divorce,
lone parent families and anti social behaviour and
underachievement in children.…read more

Slide 5

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The new right and divorce continued
· The new right claim that children who experience the divorce of their parents
experience a range of problems as they are older such as crime, unemployment
and teenage pregnancy. It is also claimed that such children are they themselves
more likely to experience divorce when they marry.
· Rodgers and Pryor (1998) found that children from separated families are more
likely from children from nuclear families to suffer behavioural difficulties, to
underachieve at school, to become sexually active and if female become pregnant
at an early age, to abuse drink and drugs and to smoke. When they are adults they
are more likely to experience unemployment and poverty.
· Flouri and Buchanan (2002)- studied 17,000 children from separated families. They
found that in families where fathers were still involved with their children the
children were more successful in education and in their careers. They were less
likely to be involved with crime and less likely to suffer homelessness. Such
children also grow up to enjoy more satisfying and stable relationships. However
Buchannan found that if conflict continued after divorce between parents then
children could become vulnerable to developing mental health problems.…read more

Slide 6

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Why is the divorce rate increasing?-
changes in the law
· Changes in the law over the last century have
made divorce much easier and cheaper to
obtain. Men and women have been given
equal divorce rights and this has partly been a
reason for the steep increase in the divorce
rate over the last 50 years.…read more

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jessica harvey


thanks :) Really helped, what grade did you get?!

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