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Divorce trends in seven countries over the long transition from state socialism 1981-2004

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posted on 11.02.2020 by Juho Härkönen, Sunnee Billingsley, Maria Hornung
The collapse of communism was a defining geopolitical event of late-20th century Europe, with well-documented economic, social, and political implications. Yet there is a striking absence of research on how it influenced divorce. The objective of this study is to provide an exploratory analysis of trends in divorce over the long transition from communism—starting from the decline of the communist economy in the 1980s and ending with economic revival—in seven countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Russia. We discuss how the transition could be expected to either increase or decrease divorce risks. We analyze retrospective micro-level data on first marriages from the Changing Life Course Regimes in Eastern Europe (CLiCR) dataset. Based on our event-history analyses, we find that divorce rates increased in each country at some stage during the long transition and these increases cannot be explained by compositional change of the marriages. However, no uniform pattern emerged in the timing and duration of the increase in divorce risk. This striking variation leads us to conclude that even the effect of major societal ruptures is contextually contingent.

Funding

the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via the Linnaeus Center for Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE), grant registration number 349-2007-8701

the Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (SCOHOST) at Södertörn University

History

ISSN

2002-617X

Original title

Divorce trends in seven countries over the long transition from state socialism 1981-2004

Original language

English

Publication date

11/02/2020

Associated Publication

ärkönen J., Billingsley S., Hornung M. (2020) Divorce Trends in Seven Countries Over the Long Transition from State Socialism: 1981–2004. In: Mortelmans D. (eds) Divorce in Europe. European Studies of Population, vol 21. Springer, Cham https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25838-2_4

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