Guilt is believed to be a common emotion in personal relationships. Few studies, however, have examined if guilt plays a role in the divorce process. The present chapter uses unique nationally representative survey data which included questions on the extent to which parents have feelings of guilt toward their (young or adult) children (N = 3,203). By comparing married and divorced parents while controlling for an elaborate set of control variables, we describe the effect of divorce on guilt. By testing a series of variables that may moderate the divorce effect, we subsequently try to explain why divorce affects guilt. Our findings show that there are significant effects of divorce on the feelings of guilt that parents have toward their children. These effects are stronger when parents have more traditional atti-tudes toward family issues, in line with moral explanations of guilt. The effects are also stronger when the relationship between the child and parent is stronger, in line with explanations of guilt in terms of altruism.
|Title of host publication||Divorce in Europe|
|Subtitle of host publication||New Insights in Trends, Causes and Consequences of Relation Break-ups|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Name||European Studies of Population|
- intergenerational relations