Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Fifteen-Country Study with the Fertility and Family Survey

By Andreas Diekmann and Kurt Schmidheiny


Studies mainly from the United States provide evidence that children of divorced parents face a higher risk of divorce in their own marriages. We estimate and analyze the effects of divorce transmission using comparative individual data from the United Nations for 13 eastern and western European countries as well as for Canada and the United States. We find substantial and highly statistically significant transmission effects in all samples. This shows that the intergenerational transmission of divorce is a widespread phenomenon observed without a single exception in our data covering a large number of countries with differing historical, institutional, and cultural contexts.Divorce, Divorce Risk, Intergenerational Transmission, Consequences of Divorce, Child Well-being

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1984). A Comparison of the ‘Sickle Function’ with Alternative Stochastic Models of Divorce Rates.
  2. (2002). An Evaluation of the Fertility and Family Surveys Project in the Countries of the UNECE Region. New York and Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  3. (1999). Changes in Demographic Behaviour in Europe: Some Results from FFS-Country Reports and Suggestions for further Research.
  4. (1990). Determinants of Divorce: A Review of Research in the Eighties.
  5. (1996). Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.
  6. (1988). Intergenerational Consequences of Family Disruption.
  7. (2000). Jaap Dronkers and Louis-André Vallet (2000). The intergenerational transmission of divorce risks in France. ASSR working paper 68, presented to the Research Committee 28 - Social Stratification of the International Sociological Association in
  8. (1977). Marital Instability: A Study of its Transmission between Generations.
  9. (1982). Methodological Issues in the Analysis of Family Formation and Dissolution.
  10. (1991). Parental Divorce and Adult Well-Being: A MetaAnalysis.
  11. (1991). Parental Divorce and the Well-Being of Children: A Meta-Analysis.
  12. (2001). The Dissolution of Marriages. The Role of Information and Marital-Specific Capital.
  13. (1988). The Impact of Parental Divorce on Children’s Educational Attainment, Marital Timing, and Likelihood of Divorce.
  14. (1976). The Intergenerational Transmission of Marital Instability: Comparisons by Race and Sex.
  15. (1982). The Intergenerational Transmissionof Marital Instability Reconsidered.
  16. (1987). The Marriages and Divorces of the Children of Divorce.
  17. (1999). The Social Inheritance of Divorce: Effect of Parent’s Family Type in Postwar Germany.
  18. (2001). The Transmission of Marital Instability Across Generations: Relationship Skills or Commitment to Marriage?
  19. (1995). Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.
  20. (2002). Unmarried Cohabitation and Union Stability. Testing the Role of Diffusion Using Data from 16 European Countries. Paper presented at the conference on “Divorce in a Cross-National Perspective. A European Research Network”,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.