Essay Writing Samples

Article Review: Essay on Divorce

This sample article review summarizes the factors behind growing divorce rates. Divorce is something that has impacted virtually every corner of society, and so learning about the causal factors involved with American divorces through this Ultius essay will be helpful.

Article review of “New Marriage and Divorce Statistics”

Divorce is a common occurrence in contemporary American society. The article by The Barna Group (2008) argues that divorce has lost much of its social stigma, meaning that unhappy couples are less pressured to avoid separation. The Barna Group article also demonstrates that a growing number of Americans reject the idea of permanent monogamy and that many people do not expect to find happiness in a single, long-term relationship.

Patterns surrounding divorce

According to the article, one in three adults who have been married have experienced divorce.

The article points to several factors that seem to support this trend.

  • According to the research provided in the article, Americans, particularly young Americans, tend to view divorce as a natural part of life.
    • There appears to be less stigma attached to divorce and an assumption that, in spite of the desire to be in a lifelong committed relationship, most people do not have the expectation a marriage will last. The article states, “America has become an experimental, experience driven culture.” (The Barna Group, 2008). This trend may run counter to longterm marriages.
  • The research indicates that some people even consider the idea of serial monogamy, having more than one married partner in succession during their lives, as a possible approach to partnership.
  • The statistics on divorce do not vary significantly between religious believers and non-believers, which may be due to cultural trends as well.
  • Research suggests that cohabitation increases the possibility for divorce and yet living together before marriage is becoming more popular.
  • The article also summarizes that active preparation for marriage increases the likelihood for success. However, people seem less inclined to utilize the information and teaching available to better prepare for married life.

Continuing trends

Given the data presented in the article, it is likely that these trends will continue. The younger generation does seem more accepting of divorce, less likely to prepare and plan for a successful marriage and more likely to base these types of decisions on how they feel in a particular point in time. Like many differences between future generations, Millennials have different feelings on the subject. It is unlikely that these patterns will change unless perceptions change.

It would seem that preparing for successful marriage can be done in a variety of ways and beginning much earlier in life. Perhaps by looking at what components contribute to healthy marriages and teaching those skills to children at varying levels of development could have a positive effect.

Skills such as listening effectively, problem solving, and stress management would be high on the list of important skills to learn  as they lead to emotional intelligence. Social networks and social development in young adults have changed rapidly over the last few decades. Yet, emotional intelligence can be developed over time, according to the authors. These skills seem to be taught at varying degrees in schools and churches but more effective in-depth programs could serve to better prepare young people for the challenges they will face in their marriages.

According to the article, at the community level, schools and churches could provide more frequent and varied training on how to model effective relational skills as well as how to teach children and adolescents directly regarding these skills. Although this does seem to occur in some school settings it is often a supplemental teaching that may not have the force required to make an impact. Perhaps it is unrealistic to imagine emotional intelligence being taught as traditionally as math or science, but it may be possible to teach it as an elective subject at different levels of development.


Barna Group, Ltd. (2008). New Marriage and Divorce Statistics Released. Barna Group. Retrieved from

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