Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

David Cotter




divorce, variables, level, risk, explain


Over the past fifty or so years, American society has endured overwhelming changes, affecting nearly all aspects of life. A new set of values emerged and families began adopting more liberal mindsets, leading to an increase in the divorce rate. The first aim of this study is to explain the social, macro-level causes of divorce. Literature on the 1960s identifies these influences as the importance of “the self”, feminism, birth control, no-fault divorce laws, and religious teachings. Further, I use data from the General Social Survey to determine whether micro-level factors influence an individual’s risk of divorce, both during this revolution and in the present-day. Regression models examine the impact of these variables on divorce trends, and a series of interaction tests measure whether these effects have changed over time. Findings indicate that variables such as education and income have an effect on an individuals’ risk of divorce. Yet, many of these results become insignificant with the introduction of other controls, such as those for religion, which change once participation is controlled for. Although analyses of these variables reveals that they cannot fully explain the trend of divorce, macro-level variables set the groundwork for an ideological revolution and micro-level variables help represent the populations most affected by divorce. Since attributes and values cannot be credited with the divorce rate, future studies should attempt to identify the variables that affect the risk of divorce on a societal level.