Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gary W. Lewandowski
Divorce represents the official end or dissolution of a legally recognized marriage. It is widely cited that 50 percent of present marriages will eventually end in divorce and that the chances of a second marriage ending in divorce are even more likely. During World War II, divorce rates were elevated, but stabilized during the 1950s and early 1960s. Divorce rates increased through the late 1960s and 1970s in the United States and cross-culturally. In the United States, divorce reached its all-time high in 1980. The rate has leveled off since that time but remains high compared with the 1950s. The divorce rate in the United States is high in historical terms and is significantly higher than in other industrialized countries such as Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Although the divorce rate is high for married couples, the rate at which other romantic relationships dissolve, such as those who ...