Nearly half of all marriages now end in divorce; and from 1970 to 1992, the number of divorced adults in America quadrupled.

  • Remarriages after divorce tend to be unstable, break up more often, and end more quickly than do first-time marriages. Remarriages are 50% more likely to divorce in the first five years compared to first marriages.
  • Morbidity studies-rates of particular diseases among distinct population groups-showed that divorced persons exhibited consistently higher rates of acute medical crises, chronic medical conditions, and highest physician use rates.
  • Rates of psychiatric illness were highest for divorced persons vs. any other marital group. Men were affected the most.
  • Clinical depression rates overall were highest among divorced women, but divorced men showed the highest rates among those who had not been previously depressed. Depression was most acute among those divorced who did not have consistent relations with their children, among ex-spouses who continued in on-going conflict, and among those who were socially isolated.
  • Alcohol abuse and alcoholism affected divorced men at a rate 4.5 times higher than married men. Social isolation, depression, and suicidal struggles were all shown to contribute to the abuse of drugs.
  • Women and children suffered most economically. Only half of the divorced men in America pay their full support responsibility; one-quarter make partial, inconsistent payment, and one-quarter pays nothing.