Attitudes towards Divorce in Three Generations in Estonia Kadri Rootalu University of Tartu, Estonia
Generally: attitudes vary little across generations Family attitudes and change in family forms Estonia has relatively high divorce numbers and the acceptance of divorces is comparable to other European countries (Gelissen 2003).
Attitudes towards divorces In three generations (inside the family) Impact of parental divorce/separation on children
Data • Study: “Value of children in Estonia” • It is a three-generation study of: • Adolescent children of both sexes (14-17 years; N=300) • Mothers (N=300) • The maternal grandmothers of theadolescent children (N=115)
Data Questions: • Parents of small children should stay together even if they do not get along • Conflicts between the parents harm children more than divorce • Is it too easy to get a divorce nowadays in Estonia (1 – strongly disagree ... 5 – strongly agree)
Data • Children 49% boys, 51% girls 43% parents divorced or separated • Mothers Age (mean) 42 years 20% parents divorced or separated • Grandmothers Age (mean) 67 years
Results • The middle generation (mothers) is the most tolerant towards divorce • When comparing boys and girls, differences occur for the statement “Parents of small children should stay together”. • Girls accept divorce when there are small children in home more than boys
Results • No major differences in attitudes towards divorce were found when comparing children with divorced parents to children living with both parents • Transmission of divorce attitudes occurred from grandmothers to mothers and from mothers to daughters