In this study, we assess whether divorce experiences in three social contexts shape individual’s permissiveness toward divorce. Using European Values Study data from 44 countries, we find that—net of personal divorce experience—parental divorce before the age of 18 (socialization context); parental divorce after the age of 18, divorce of child, and divorce of relatives (context in adult life); and country’s divorce rate (national context) are related to more permissiveness toward divorce. Value climates in these three contexts clearly mediate the relationships between experiences and attitudes, but parental divorce before the age of 18, divorce of child, and divorce of relatives still are independently and positively related to permissiveness toward divorce. These findings suggest that divorce experiences affect pro-divorce attitudes on top of prevailing value climates in social contexts that are relatively close to the individual. Finally, robustness tests show that personal divorce is not only an important determinant of pro-divorce attitudes, the role played by divorce experiences in the three contexts also depends on being divorced or not. Moreover, singles are more strongly affected by their surrounding contexts than people with a stable relationship.
Sieben, I. J. P., & Verbakel, C. M. C. (2013). Permissiveness toward divorce: The influence of divorce experiences in three social contexts. European Sociological Review, 29(6), 1175-1188. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jct008