In this thesis young adults’ perceptions of the causes of their parents’ divorce was studied, with special attention made to history of divorce, age at the time of marriage, and religious views. The literature is in large extent similar in regard to the history of divorce in both the United States and Italy, as well as in regards to divorce laws and divorce rates at different points in history in the United States. The available literature offers a variety of factors that may cause divorce, but there are no clear conclusions found. In this study a survey was given to college-aged volunteers. The purpose of the survey was to discover participants’ perceptions of their parents divorce, and to learn what they feel are the leading causes of divorce in the country. Fifty-seven volunteers completed a survey, although only 13 of the participants had parents who were divorced. This is a limitation of the survey, as the comparison between participants whose parents are divorced and participants whose parents are not may not lead to significant conclusions. A majority of all participants answered that age at time of marriage, economic factors, and the ease of obtaining a divorce in the United States were causes of divorce in this country. When looking at the comparison between participants whose parents are divorce and participants whose parents are not, there was not a significant conclusion if age at time of marriage was a cause of divorce, as the ages were very similar for both groups. However, conclusions were able to be made in areas of religion and economic status. Further studies would be beneficial to learn more about the causes of divorce. Having more knowledge of this topic could lead to preventative programs, better services for children and families involved in divorce, as well as more efficient advocating for this population.


Providence College


April 2007







A project based on independent investigation, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Originally written for the Theory Practice Seminar, Providence College, 2007.

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