This chapter looks at the uncoupling of relationships, both married and cohabiting. Relationship dissolution, and specifically divorce, is a phenomenon that has transformed the family lives of both adults and children in most Western countries for the past half-century. In this chapter, we first discuss the sociological and legal definitions of divorce, and describe the general societal trends in relationship dissolution. Next, we examine both the causes and the consequences of break-ups. We then investigate divorce risks by exploring the temporal, personal, and societal factors that make relationships less stable. Finally, we look at the consequences of divorce, focusing on the financial consequences for adults and the academic achievement consequences for children.
Dimitri Mortelmans, Petra Meier and Christine Defever
In this chapter, the authors quantitatively investigate the notion of intersectionality in the accumulation of inequalities related to the household position of young adults. This period in life involves a number of significant demographic transitions such as leaving (the parental) home, finishing school, starting work, settling with a partner and/or becoming a parent, and is therefore quite vulnerable to accumulation processes of inequality, differing greatly by gender, ethnicity and social class. The authors use panel data from six countries in the Generations and Gender Programme and a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis to develop a full intersectional perspective crossing gender, migrant status and social class. They show that this analysis gives voice to groups that remain invisible when analysing the social categories separately and that this differs across contexts. They conclude that CART analysis may open new perspectives for approaching issues of intersectionality quantitatively, especially with respect to developing policies tackling the accumulation of inequalities.