The relationship between intelligence and divorce

Paul Holley, Scott Yabiku, Mary Benin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Intelligence has long been a topic of special interest to social scientists, but research that involves intelligence as a predictor of behavior usually focuses on domains such as crime and delinquency, academic achievement, and socioeconomic status. In this article, the authors address this gap in the literature and develop a theoretical framework to hypothesize why intelligence may be related to an important family behavior: divorce. The authors propose three hypotheses in terms of ascribed statuses, achieved statuses, and direct mechanisms, each of which could potentially explain the relationship between intelligence and divorce. The results are consistent with a direct influence of intelligence on divorce, net of ascribed and achieved statuses. The authors conclude by explaining the observed effect on divorce rates through three distinct but interrelated aspects of intelligence: direction, adaptation, and criticism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1723-1748
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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