This article makes some excellent points, and ignores some key factors in the question about why baby boomers have the highest divorce rates -- higher even than the generation that followed them:
Boomers' unique social history may make them more divorce-prone than other groups. Why? Baby boomers, those 79 million born roughly between 1945 and 1964, are a specific cohort because of the conditions and events that they both experienced and, sometimes, created. Boomers came of age as relatively pampered children of a great postwar economy. With their adolescent disrespect for the past and their theme of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," they pushed against the restrictive conventions of social life their parents more or less had accepted...
As young adults, large numbers of them were part of the civil rights, anti-war, gay rights and women's movements. Books and magazine articles in their time attacked (and counterattacked) traditional gender roles -- and the institution of marriage and its traditions.
Boomer women experienced more recreational sex and more sex partners than women in previous generations. New job opportunities and careers helped create the changes in household formation (such as who was or wasn't home during the day, who did less or more housework, and who wanted more or less sex) that disrupted traditional marriage.
As a result, the boomers experienced decades of relationship innovation, creating cultural confusion about whether marriage was necessary, and what made an excellent -- or even adequate -- marriage. As boomer men and women wavered between choosing self-fulfillment over older traditions of duty, loyalty and lifetime marriage at any cost, the institution of marriage became, over time, more of a voluntary association than a predictably permanent one.
All very true. They rejected the traditions that they inherited (and which created the comfortable world in which they lived) and preferred innovation.
Then there is this observation, which explains SO much:
They are fighting fiercely to remain youthful, to stay employed and/or passionately engaged with life, sexually vibrant (particularly with the help of new medical interventions) and regard their 50s and 60s as every bit the opportunity for love and sexual attraction that their 20s and 30s were.
Yes, all those awkward ads are targeting baby boomers for these very reasons. They rejected the normal boundaries all those years, and even now refuse to accept that nature says slow down.
Ah well, now we come to what's missing. It's obvious that the parents of the baby boomers gave them so much: stable homes, a good education, material comfort, opportunities, etc. But what they didn't give them was faith. The very faith that sustained their parents and grand-parents through two horrid world wars, a depression, and sometimes very trying family dynamics was evidently not worth passing along, rather they thought that mammon alone could give them what they needed.
Most likely, a large number did try to explain virtue, but that message was lost in the cacophany of materialism and innovation. And that leads to the next missing piece: contraception. Without a firm grounding in religious doctrine (why chastity is essential) there were fewer and fewer visible contraindications to promiscuity. They engaged in promiscuity because they could -- the chance of pregnancy was significantly diminished -- and naturally the decisions that flowed from such imprudence were highly self-destructive.
So with no allusion to faith or virtue, what is the author's conclusion? She believes that the younger generation will do much better because they know how much suffering broken families cause, they marry later, they are more economically sophisticated, and they live together at far higher rates -- which is supposed to be some sort of silver bullet to the divorce monster. Tragically. Misguided.
The next generation is far less capable of life-long commitment, they are less family-oriented, they don't see marriage as integrally related to children, they have fewer children overall, cohabitation actually contributes to a far higher divorce rate should the couple move to the altar, and there are fewer role models and sources of reliable advice should they marry and encounter difficulties. And most importantly, without sacramental unions, the graces necessary to carry a couple through the challenges of a life-long union simply aren't available. In short, many of them are simply walking wounded -- the casualties of their parents' cherished "innovations."
Since the source for the article is CNN, one wasn't expecting to find the wisdom of Solomon, but the inability to read even the most basic tea leaves is discouraging. A reliable diagnosis of such cultural crises is essential, but despite the interesting start, this case the author comes up woefully short.