E. Hetherington

E. Mavis Hetherington is emeritus professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. The results of her studies are most recently reported in For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, co-written with John Kelly.

Recent Articles

Marriage and Divorce American Style

On average, recent studies show parents and children in married families are happier, healthier, wealthier, and better adjusted than those in single-parent households. But these averages conceal wide variations. Before betting the farm on marriage -- with a host of new government programs aimed at promoting traditional two-parent families and discouraging divorce -- policy makers should take another look at the research. It reveals that there are many kinds of marriage and not all are salutary. Nor are all divorces and single-parent experiences associated with lasting distress. It is not the inevitability of positive or negative responses to marriage or divorce that is striking, but the diversity of them. Men do seem to benefit simply from the state of being married. Married men enjoy better health and longevity and fewer psychological and behavioral problems than single men. But women, studies repeatedly have found, are more sensitive to the emotional quality of the marriage. They...