Increased Risk of Early Home-Leaving, Early Unplanned Pregnancy, Teenage Marriage, and Divorce

Professor John Guidubaldi (1980) concluded a special issue of the School Psychology Review with the following statement:

We are beginning to recognise the impact of pervasive family disruption on a wide range of children's school behaviours. We are becoming uncomfortably aware that the increasing divorce rate isn't just a passing fad or a temporary artefact of the post World War II baby boom. Most importantly, we are beginning to understand that the growing lack of commitment to child rearing may be one of the most significant societal changes in our lifetimes.

Seven years later in an issue of the American Psychologist U.S. Secretary of Education, William J. Bennett (1987) cited continuing evidence of socialisation failure  After describing massive expansion of federal spending during the 1960's and 1970's to improve the well being of American children, Bennett asks, “How did American children fare during those 20 years of unparalleled financial commitment?” He then reported that the birth–rate for uned teenagers rose 200%, the rate of homicide among young people more than doubled, juvenile arrests more than doubled, and that there was no way to even estimate the proliferation of drug use.  Bennett concluded that the absence of fathers was a likely cause of these juvenile problems.


Guidubaldi J (1980). The Status Report Extended: Further Elaboration's The American Family. School Psychology Review. 9(4): 378-370

Bennett W. J (1987). The Role of The Family In The Nurture and Protection of The Young. American Psychologist. 42: 246-250.  See also;

Amato P. R., & Booth A (1991). The Consequences of Divorce for Attitudes Toward Divorce and Gender Roles. Journal of Family Issues 12: 306-322. 

Amato P. R (1996). Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce. Journal of Marriage and the Family 58: 628-640.


Cherlin A. J., Kiernan K. E., & Chase-Lansdale P. L (1995). Parental Divorce in Childhood and Demographic Outcomes in Young Adulthood. Demography. 32: 299-318.

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