Parental divorce and premarital couples: Commitment and other relationship characteristics

Susan E. Jacquet, Catherine A. Surra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Parental divorce is thought to affect the romantic relationships of young adults, especially with respect to their certainty about the relationship and perceptions of problems in it. We examined these connections with a random sample of 464 coupled partners. Compared with women from intact families, women from divorced families reported less trust and satisfaction, but more ambivalence and conflict. For men, perceptions of relationships were contingent on the marital status of their partners' parents, although men from intact and divorced families did differ on structural constraints that affect commitment. Young adults who were casually dating showed the strongest effects of parental divorce, suggesting that the repercussions of parental divorce may be in place before the young adults form their own romantic relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-638
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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