Predisposing Factors for Divorce
Certain situations may predispose a couple to more marital problems. Couples who marry at a young age often suffer more marital disruption than older couples (S. P. Morgan & Rindfuss, 1985), due in part to emotional immaturity. Also, couples who marry because of an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to divorce (G. Becker et al., 1977). Marital stability increases as couples have children but then decreases if the couple has more than five (Zinn & Eitzen, 1993). The interval between marriage and the arrival of children is also an important factor; waiting
longer promotes marital stability by giving couples time to get to know each other prior to the arrival of children and may also allow them to become more financially secure (S. P. Morgan & Rindfuss, 1985). Catholics and Jews are less likely to divorce than Protestants, and divorce rates tend to be high for marriages of mixed religions. Marriages between people having no religious affiliation at all have particularly high divorce rates (Skolnick, 1992).
People who have been divorced before or whose parents have divorced have more accepting attitudes toward divorce than those who grew up in happy, intact families (Amato, 1996). In addition, people who have divorced parents are significantly more likely to report marital problems in their own relationships than people from intact families, and they also tend to be more skeptical about marriage, feeling insecure about the permanence of these relationships (Jacquet & Surra, 2001).