Differential effects of divorce on social integration

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    Disagreement exists about the relationship between divorce and social integration. A liberation hypothesis predicts an increase in integration, however, an isolation hypothesis predicts a decrease in integration. We combine these hypotheses by specifying that liberation will occur for some dimensions of integration, whereas isolation will occur for others. Using cross-sectional survey data from the Netherlands, results generally lend weak support to the liberation hypothesis. Divorcees report more friendship contacts and are more involved in alternative forms of participation ('new age' meetings) compared with the married, but no effects were found for most other liberation indicators. There is more support for the isolation hypotheses at least for some dimensions. We also find that post-divorce resources and constraints play an important intermediating role, especially for women. There is a general negative association between divorce and social integration, but results are nuanced and the effects are not as strong as is often believed. Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-476
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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