The Role of Stress in Divorce: A Retrospective Study in Three Nations

Anna Marta Maria Bertoni, Raffaella Iafrate, Cristina Giuliani, Guy Bodenmann, Linda Charvoz, Thomas N. Bradbury, Rainer Banse, Jenny Behling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing upon earlier models of stress and divorce, this retrospective study investigates how divorced individuals appraise the role of stress in their divorce. Data from divorced individuals (N = 662) from Germany, Italy, and Switzerland suggest that low commitment and deficits in interpersonal competencies (communication, problem solving, coping) are more likely than stress to be perceived as reasons for divorce. However, when considering everyday stresses, participants reported trivial daily events to be one of the main reasons contributing to their decision to divorce. Although general stress level did not influence individuals’ decision to divorce, most participants considered the accumulation of everyday stresses as a central trigger for divorce. Future research should investigate the process of divorce, particularly in relation to commitment and interpersonal competencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-728
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Divorce
  • stress


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