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Attitudes on divorce when young children are involved: explaining cross-national patterns

Arieke J. Rijken, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Aart C. Liefbroer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

In this study we examine differences across Europe in attitudes towards divorce if young children are involved. Data from the third wave of the European Social Survey (2006, 25 European countries) are used. A descriptive comparison shows that there are clear differences across countries in people’s attitudes and in expected normative reactions to divorce. To explain these differences, a multilevel analysis will be performed in which both individual level and societal level characteristics are included. Preliminary analyses show that 13% of the variation in the attitudes towards divorce occurs at the national level, and 10% of the variation in the expected normative reactions. To explain this variation, we hypothesize that attitudes towards divorce if children are young will be more favorable in countries where divorce is more common, the institutional support for single parents is high, and the level of secularization is substantial.

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Presented in Session 51: Union dissolution and remarriage