Divorce Rates Following the OK City Bombing



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Paul A. Nakonezny, Rebecca Reddick, and Joseph Lee Rodgers recently conducted a study of divorce rates in Oklahoma following the 1995 bombing of the Edward R. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The researchers found that "The decline in divorce in the entire state of Oklahoma...,was reliably greater during the 1- to 2-year period following the bombing (1996 and 1997), with the effect dampening over time."

Furthermore, the study found "divorce rates decreased most noticeably following the bombing in the general Oklahoma City metropolitan area (i.e., Oklahoma County) and its adjacent counties where thousands of persons experienced firsthand the physical and emotional destruction of the bombing."

"Both terror management theory and attachment theory" predict that the trauma of violence may cause "individuals...who might have divorced otherwise [to seek] the comfort and
support of the person with whom life was shared, the spouse, by keeping the marital relationship intact," noted the reasearchers.

[Paul A. Nakonezny, Rebecca Reddick, and Joseph Lee Rodgers, "Did Divorces Decline After the Oklahoma City Bombing?" Journal of Marriage and Family 66 [2004]: 90-100. Cited in World Congress of Families Family Update Online Volume 05 Issue 2415 June 2004.]


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