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Title of the paper: Progression of the Institution of Family and Marriage and the Effect of Divorce

Academic level: College

Subject: Sociology

Type of Paper: Essay

Citation Format: APA

Number of Sources: 4

Number of Pages(275 words per page): 3

Spacing: Double Spaced

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Extract of the article

Progression of the institution of family and marriage and the effect of divorce

The institution of marriage has evolved over the years to transform into different phases. Even though couples still get married, they now do so much later in life. Therefore, a large population has shifted attention to other forms of companionship. This paper will delve into the gradual evolution of the institution of marriage to show that the motives to get into marriage have changed. It will also investigate the effect of divorce on the parties involved.

Progression of family and marriage

The progression of marriage through different phases has drawn the attention of intellectuals, but it is still not clear whether families began as monogamous or polygamous units (De La Croix & Mariani, 2015). This shows that marriage has become a topic of interest because of its transition from one form to the other. Noticeably, in the modern day, remarriage and divorce have caused a shift from monogamy to serial monogamy where parents have children with many partners albeit not simultaneously (De La Croix & Mariani, 2015). Individuals have realigned their objectives in what they look for in marriage. Self-interests come before interests of partners or children.

Moreover, the society has shown a retreat from marriage terming it as an obsolete institution. In the United States, the 1950’s are seen as the golden age of marriage and a gradual decline in marriage rates began to appear in the 1960’s (Elliott, Krivickas, Brault, & Kreider, 2012). Traditionally, more individuals valued marriage and family and hence, marriage rates were higher.

The modern institution of marriage has been plagued with high rates of divorce than in the past. Remarriage is commonplace in today’s society. However, the rates of marriage, divorce, and remarriage differ from one individual to the other because of the different expectations from individuals (Bruze, Svarer & Weiss, 2015). It emerges that divorce is more acceptable in the modern day than it was in the past.

Effects of divorce

After divorce, parents deal with several major issues. One issue is the challenge of psychological problems and adjusting to the role they play as divorced parents. The relationship between children and parents suffers irreparable damage because of the stress of divorce (Fagan & Churchill, 2012). Parents seeking divorce often undermine the negative effects that follow after.

Every year, more than one million children in America pass through the experience of their parents going through a divorce. Divorce has adverse effects on all parties involved, but children suffer the most. Although some individuals consider divorce beneficial, it has been shown to diminish the quality of life for parties involved (Fagan & Churchill, 2012). This high rate of divorce confirms that marriage has undergone substantial transition, and it takes victims along with it. The biggest losers in the divorce will always be children.

The extent of damage to children’s relationships with divorced parents is worse than those children in unhappy married families. Children are unable to handle conflict if they experience a situation where their parents go through with the divorce. The difference between intact marriages and those that end up in divorce is the manner in which they handle conflict and their ability to come to mutually beneficial agreements (Fagan & Churchill, 2012).


Therefore, the institution of marriage has evolved because of the inability of individuals to handle conflict. Due to this failure to manage conflict, people look for alternatives. Therefore, there is no definite commitment to stay in marriage as long as there are conflicts. Divorce appears as a better option. These beliefs have altered family and marriage through the years. This paper has demonstrated the transformation of the institution of marriage and discussed the negative effects of divorce.


Bruze, G., Svarer, M., & Weiss, Y. (2015). The dynamics of marriage and divorce. Journal of Labor Economics, 33(1), 123-170.

De La Croix, D., & Mariani, F. (2015). From polygyny to serial monogamy: A unified theory of marriage institutions. The Review of Economic Studies, doi: 10.1093/restud/rdv001.

Elliott, D. B., Krivickas, K., Brault, M. W., & Kreider, R. M. (2012). Historical marriage trends from 1890-2010: A focus on race differences. Annual meeting of the Population Association of America (SEHSD Working Paper no. 2012-12

Fagan, P. F., & Churchill, A. (2012). The effects of divorce on children. Marriage and religion research institute research. Retrieved from




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