For Better or for Worse. Exploring the Role of Dissolution and Secularization on the Beliefs about the Indissolubility of Marriage in Italy

Alessandra Minello , University of Florence

Believing in eternal marriage means having a good attitude towards the marital choice, that was demonstrated to be a good predictor of future marriage. The interacting role of divorce and secularization in shaping this belief is still unexplored. It is especially important to detect it in a strongly religious country, Italy, currently facing a rise in divorce rate and in secularization, and a decrease in marriage rate. The aim of this article is to describe the role of personal and contextual experiences of dissolution and secularization in defining the beliefs about the indissolubility of marriage. I make use of two identical surveys developed in 2001 and 2017 on a sample of 12thousands university students. I run logistic models to detect the effect of personal experience of parental dissolution and own secularization on beliefs about the indissolubility of marriage. Finally, multilevel models are used to estimate the effect of regional level of dissolution and secularization on marital beliefs. The role of personal experiences of parental dissolution and secularization is confirmed. Parental dissolution role is reduced by secularization, that solely plays a role also at territorial level. However, the role of parental divorce in frustrating beliefs in indissolubility of marriage is growing over time. The future of marriage is not bright. A rise of children experiencing parental dissolution leads to a drop in people believing in the indissolubility of marriage. Despite it, a new secularized vision of indissoluble divorce might, at least partially, compensate it.

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 Presented in Session 104. Family Values and Behaviour