"I'm Scared because Divorce Sucks": Parental Divorce and the Marital Paradigms of Emerging Adults. By: Willoughby, Brian J.; James, Spencer; Marsee, Ian; Memmott, Madison; Dennison, Renée Peltz. Journal of Family Issues. Jun2020, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p711-738. 28p.

Previous studies have suggested that parental divorce influences the relational beliefs and orientation toward marriage of adolescents and emerging adults. Most of this previous work has been limited to links between parental divorce and global attitudes toward marriage or attitudes toward divorce. Using a mixed-method design, the current study explored links between parental divorce and various aspects of emerging adults’ marital paradigms using cross-sectional, longitudinal, and qualitative data among a sample of unmarried emerging adults. Quantitative results suggested that parental divorce was linked to a variety of negative marital beliefs including less overall marital importance, less marital permanence, and less marital centrality. There was no evidence of longitudinal changes in these associations over time. Qualitative results among emerging adults with divorced parents revealed several key themes in how emerging adults viewed the impact of parental divorce, suggesting implications for perceived interpersonal competence and the internalization of negative marital beliefs stemming from parental role modeling.