A crise do casamento contemporâneo: um estudo psicossocial

Rodrigues, Aroldo
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The present nuclear urban familyand the institution of marriage are going through a difficult period, Deep socioeconomic changes brought contemporary marriage to a state of crisis hig.hlighted by a growing number of divorces that nowadays tends to reach 50% of married couples shortly after the wedding. The first part of our study depicts the main factors that seem to account for this situation. Thus, declining religiousness, modernization and industrialization, family shortening, overevaluation of love as sole basis of marriage and universal remedy, longer life expectancy, sexual revolution, a life style that brings individualism to the fore, women's liberation movement, lower social integration within the community, and a growing degree of isolationism would be the main causes of the crisis and of the state we call – because of the isolation thereby caused - the 'familha'. To test a number of hypotheses to divorce-proneness and to compare researches' opinions with those of common people, we show in the second part the results of a research made with four hundred middle-class subjects divided in four conditions: single youths, married7 divorced and aging married people (half male, half female). Using specifically prepared questionnaires, we compared personal evaluations according to marital status, age and sex in the four groups. Social psychological principles were also applied to our study. Thus, in the research we included questions based on (a) Jones and Nisbett's hypotheses on divergent perspectives on causal atribution by actors and observers, (b) perception of inequities in man/woman relationships and their consequences (topics on distributive justice), and (c) the division of power in marriages. In the last section the main hypotheses that were confirmed are summarized and related to the causes depicted at the beginning: the overevaluation of love, mainly among young people, the growing secularization and its consequences, the women's movement, the prevailing individualistic mood and the great number of extramarital relationships, are some of the principal factors contributing to the breakup of marriages. We also established, in addition to men's and women's distinct views of marriages, the connection between the perception of inequities and dissatisfaction in marriages, the existence of differing perspectives on causal atribution by actors and observers, and a more egualitarian power division among young couples.

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