Effects of parental divorce on mental health throughout the life course

Andrew J. Cherlin*, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Christine McRae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Scopus citations


The long-term effects of parental divorce on individuals' mental health after the transition to adulthood are examined using data from a British birth cohort that has been followed from birth to age 33. Growth-curve models and fixed-effects models are estimated. The results suggest that part of the negative effect of parental divorce on adults is a result of factors that were present before the parents' marriages dissolved. The results also suggest, however, a negative effect of divorce and its aftermath on adult mental health. Moreover, a parental divorce during childhood or adolescence continues to have a negative effect when a person is in his or her twenties and early thirties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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