Journal of Marriage and Family (J MARRIAGE FAM )

Publisher: National Council on Family Relations, Blackwell Publishing


The Journal of Marriage and the Family has been the leading research journal in the family field for 60 years. It features original research and theory, research interpretation and reviews, critical discussion concerning all aspects of marriage and the family, and book reviews. It is the journal of the National Council on Family Relations.

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  • Website
    Journal of Marriage and Family website
  • Other titles
    Journal of marriage and the family, Journal of marriage and family, Journal of marriage & the family
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  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

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    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several studies have established that child interparental conflict evaluations link parent relationship functioning and adolescent adjustment. Using differential susceptibility theory (DST) and its vantage sensitivity complement as our framework, we examined differences between adolescents who vary in the DRD4 7 repeat genotype (i.e. 7+ vs. 7-) in how both interparental conflict and positivity affect adolescents’ evaluations of interparental conflict (i.e. threat appraisals) and how these evaluations affect internalizing problems. Results from longitudinal multiple-group path models using PROSPER data (N = 452) supported the hypothesis that threat appraisals for 7+ adolescents would be more affected by perceptions of interparental positivity compared to 7- adolescents; however, threat appraisals for 7+ adolescents were also less affected by interparental conflict. Among 7- adolescents, interparental conflict perceptions were associated with higher threat appraisals and no association was found for perceptions of positivity. For adolescents of both genotypes higher threat was associated with greater internalizing problems.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Family formation changed dramatically over the twentieth century in the United States. The impact of these changes on childbearing has primarily been studied in terms of nonmarital fertility. However, changes in family formation behavior also have implications for fertility within marriage. We use data from ten fertility surveys to describe changes in the timing of marital childbearing from the 1940s through the 21(st) century for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women. Based on harmonized data from the Integrated Fertility Survey Series, our results suggest increasing divergence in fertility timing for white women. A growing proportion of marriages begin with a premarital conception; at the same time, an increasing proportion of white women are postponing fertility within marriage. For black women, marital fertility is increasingly postponed beyond the early years of marriage. Evaluating the sequencing of marriage and parenthood over time is critical to understanding the changing meaning of marriage.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2014; 76(3):520-538.
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence and conventional wisdom suggest that family dinners are associated with positive outcomes for youth. Recent research using fixed-effects models as a more stringent test of causality suggests a more limited role of family meals in protecting children from risk. Estimates of average effects, however, may mask important variation in the link between family meals and well-being; in particular, family meals may be more or less helpful based on the quality of family relationships. Using 2 waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 17,977), this study extended recent work to find that family dinners have little benefit when parent-child relationships are weak but contribute to fewer depressive symptoms and less delinquency among adolescents when family relationships are strong. The findings highlight the importance of attending to variation when assessing what helps and what hurts in families.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2014; 76(1):13-23.
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescent depression may be associated with future relationship problems that have long-term consequences given the developmental importance and health benefits of forming committed unions in emerging adulthood. The authors examined associations between emotional and behavioral indicators of adolescent depression (depressive symptoms, alcohol problems, and suicidal ideation) and romantic relationship and union formation and dissolution in emerging adulthood (n = 14,146) using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Adolescent alcohol problems were associated with more romantic relationships in emerging adulthood. Emerging adults with depressive symptoms or alcohol problems in adolescence were significantly more likely to enter into a cohabiting union, and those with adolescent alcohol problems were less likely to marry. Cohabiting emerging adults with a history of adolescent depressive symptoms were less likely to marry, whereas suicidal ideation was associated with a decreased likelihood of cohabitation dissolution. Implications for future research are discussed.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2014; 76(1):191-206.
  • Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2014; 76(1):234-240.
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    ABSTRACT: Important resources from family support systems, employment, and educational attainment inhibit the risk of death. Independently, these factors are particularly salient for suicide, but how they combine to affect mortality is less clear. Analyses of National Health Interview Survey data from 1986 to 2004 (N = 935,802), prospectively linked to mortality through 2006 (including 1,238 suicides), reveals a process of compensation in the way work status and family combine to affect adult suicide: Individuals who are not working experience more suicide defense from more protective family support systems than do working adults. But a process of reinforcement occurs in the combination of education and family: More education associates with more protection from the family than does less education. The findings demonstrate how families and resources combine to affect mortality in unique ways.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 01/2014; 76(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals often rely on conceptions of family that fall outside of heteronormative definitions regarding blood or legal ties. As a consequence, there is a greater potential for conflict between family identities and identification options on survey instruments. Drawing on interviews with 100 LGBTQ parents, the authors examined conflicts between identity and identification faced by LGBTQ parents who must describe their parent–child relationships on census surveys. They found that in cases where parents lack biological or legal ties or where the legal relationship is established after the parent–child relationship (e.g., with second‐parent adoption), parents often rely on alternative definitions of family when completing surveys. When navigating identification options, participants consider the survey intent and structure, heteronormative legal and biological frameworks of family, and emotional kinship ties. The findings suggest the need for researchers to consider the heterogeneity within each category of parent–child relationship captured on surveys.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 01/2014; 76(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Dating in later life is likely common, especially as the proportion of older adults who are single continues to rise. Yet there are no recent national estimates of either the prevalence or factors associated with dating during older adulthood. Using data from the 2005-2006 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationally representative sample of 3,005 individuals ages 57-85, the authors constructed a national portrait of older adult daters. Roughly 14% of singles were in a dating relationship. Dating was more common among men than women and declined with age. Compared to non-daters, daters were more socially advantaged. Daters were more likely to be college educated and had more assets, were in better health, and reported more social connectedness. This study underscores the importance of new research on partnering in later life, particularly with the aging of the U.S. population and the swelling ranks of older singles.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 10/2013; 75(5):1194-1202.
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    ABSTRACT: The authors examined the effects of marital status and family structure on disability, institutionalization, and longevity for a nationally representative sample of elderly persons using Gompertz duration models applied to longitudinal data from 3 cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 11,481). They found that parents with only stepchildren have worse outcomes than parents with only biological children. Elderly mothers with only stepchildren become disabled and institutionalized sooner, and elderly men with only stepchildren have shorter longevity relative to their counterparts with only biological children. The effect of membership in a blended family differs by gender. Relative to those with only biological children, women in blended families have greater longevity and become disabled later, whereas men in blended families have reduced longevity. The findings indicate that changing marital patterns and increased complexity in family life have adverse effects on late-life health outcomes.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 10/2013; 75(5):1084-1097.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies document that, on average, children cared for in centers, as compared to homes, have higher cognitive test scores but worse socioemotional and health outcomes. The authors assessed whether the quality of care received explains these associations. They considered multiple domains of child development-cognitive, socioemotional, and health-and examined whether mediation is greater when quality measures are better aligned with outcome domains. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort, they found that children in centers have better cognitive skills and behavioral regulation than children in homes, but worse social competence and generally equivalent health (N = 1,550). They found little evidence that quality of child care, as measured by standard instruments (e.g., the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised), accounts for associations between type of care and child developmental outcomes.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 10/2013; 75(5):1203-1217.
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    ABSTRACT: Although children's provision of family assistance is a common routine, little is understood about the day-to-day variability that may exist in children's assistance behaviors. Guided by a family systems framework, the current study examined whether Mexican American adolescents' provision of family assistance was contingent on daily maternal need. Adolescents (N = 354, 49% males, M age = 14.96 years) and their mothers (M age = 41.55 years) each completed reports on 14 consecutive days. The results indicated that adolescents generally responded to maternal need, being more likely to help their families on days when their mothers worked or felt fatigued. This daily contingency was modified by family and adolescent characteristics, with adolescents thought to generally engage in low levels of assistance (i.e., youngest males and those in families with little economic strain) increasing their help when their mothers were fatigued. In contrast, daily maternal work did not appear to stimulate greater assistance among families with low levels of economic strain.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4):964-980.
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    ABSTRACT: Employed parents perceive a time squeeze even as trends from the 1960s show they are spending more time with their children. Work conditions (e.g., hours and schedule control) would seem to affect both parents' time with children and perceived time squeeze, but most studies rely on cross-sectional data that do not establish causality. The authors examined the effects of the introduction of a workplace flexibility initiative (Results Only Work Environment [ROWE]) on changes in mothers' and fathers' perceptions of the adequacy of their time with children and actual time spent with children (N = 225). Baseline data show the importance of work conditions for parents' sense of perceived time adequacy. Panel data show that mothers (but not fathers) in ROWE report increased schedule control and improved time adequacy, but no change in actual time spent with children, except that ROWE increases evening meals with children for mothers sharing few meals at baseline.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4):1014-1029.
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    ABSTRACT: Literature from multiple disciplines suggests that women who are obese during early adulthood may accumulate social and physiological impediments to childbearing across their reproductive lives. This led the authors to investigate whether obese young women have different lifetime childbearing experiences than leaner peers by analyzing data from 1,658 female participants in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Study sample members were nulliparous women ages 20 - 25 in 1982. The authors examined their childbearing experiences between 1982 and 2006 and found that young women who were obese at baseline had higher odds of remaining childless and increased odds of underachieving fertility intentions than young women who were normal weight at baseline. These results suggest that obesity has long-term ramifications for women's childbearing experiences, with respect to whether and how many children women have in general and relative to the number of children they want.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4):920-932.
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the implications of gender attitudes and spouses' divisions of household labor, time with children, and parental knowledge for their trajectories of love in a sample of 146 African American couples. Multilevel modeling in the context of an accelerated longitudinal design accommodated 3 annual waves of data. The results revealed that traditionality in husbands' gender attitudes was linked to lower levels of love. Furthermore, divisions of household labor and parental knowledge moderated changes in love such that couples with more egalitarian divisions exhibited higher and more stable patterns of love, whereas more traditional couples exhibited significant declines in love over time. Finally, greater similarity between spouses' time with their children was linked to higher levels of marital love. The authors highlight the implications of gender dynamics for marital harmony among African American couples and discuss ways that this work may be applied and extended in practice and future research.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4):795-807.
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined within-family stability in parents' differential treatment of siblings from adolescence to young adulthood and the effect of differential treatment in young adulthood on grown siblings' relationship quality. The author used longitudinal data on parent - child and sibling relations from the sibling sample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,470 sibling dyads). Within-dyad fixed effects regression models revealed that the adolescent sibling who was closer to parents went on to be the young adult sibling who was closer to and received more material support from parents. Results from an actor - partner interdependence model revealed that differential parental financial assistance of young adult siblings predicted worse sibling relationship quality. These findings demonstrate the lasting importance of affect between parents and offspring earlier in the family life course and the relevance of within-family inequalities for understanding family relations.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4):981-994.
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing on social exchange theories, the authors hypothesized that educated women are more likely than uneducated women to leave violent marriages and suggested that this pattern offsets the negative education - divorce association commonly found in the United States. They tested these hypotheses using 2 waves of young adult data on 914 married women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The evidence suggests that the negative relationship between women's education and divorce is weaker when marriages involve abuse than when they do not. The authors observed a similar pattern when they examined the association of women's proportional earnings and divorce, controlling for education. Supplementary analyses suggested that marital satisfaction explains some of the association among women's resources, victimization, and divorce but that marital violence continues to be a significant moderator of the education - divorce association. In sum, education appears to benefit women by both maintaining stable marriages and dissolving violent ones.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2013; 75(3):565-581.
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    ABSTRACT: Although attachment theory posits that the use of nonmaternal care undermines quality of mothers' parenting, empirical evidence for this link is inconclusive. Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1,233), the authors examined the associations between nonmaternal care characteristics and maternal sensitivity during the first 3 years of children's lives, with special attention to selection effects and moderation by resource levels. Findings from fixed-effects regression models suggested that, on average, there is little relationship between nonmaternal care characteristics and maternal sensitivity, once selection factors are held constant. Some evidence of moderation effects was found, however. Excellent-quality care is related to more sensitivity for mothers with lower family income. Poor-quality care is related to lower sensitivity for single mothers, but not partnered mothers. In sum, nonmaternal care characteristics do not seem to have as much influence on mothers' parenting as attachment theory claims.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2013; 75(3):760-777.
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    ABSTRACT: Guided by a risk and resilience framework, this study used a prospective longitudinal, multiple-reporter design to examine how social support from a mother figure during pregnancy interacted with Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' self-esteem to inform their parenting efficacy when their children were 10 months old. Using reports of perceived social support by adolescent mothers (M age = 16.24, SD =099) and their mother figures (M age = 40.84, SD = 7.04) in 205 dyads, and controlling for demographic factors (i.e., adolescent age, adolescent nativity, family income, mothers' educational attainment, adolescent-mother coresidence) and adolescents' social support from a significant other, findings indicated that social support during pregnancy was positively associated with adolescent mothers' future parenting efficacy when adolescent mothers had relatively lower self-esteem. Findings were consistent for adolescents' and mothers' reports, and emphasize the value of social support from a mother figure among adolescent mothers with lower self-esteem. Implications for interventions are presented.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2013; 75(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Surveys differ in the measurement of nonstandard work, such that some surveys require respondents to indicate whether they work either a standard or a nonstandard schedule, whereas others allow respondents to indicate that they work both types of schedules. We test whether these measurement decisions influence the estimated prevalence of maternal nonstandard work, using data from two sources: the Current Population Survey (N = 1,430) and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2,524). Using propensity score techniques, we find that giving respondents the option of reporting work at more than one type of schedule doubles the prevalence of nonstandard work, compared to allowing respondents to indicate only one type of schedule. Our results suggest that many mothers of young children regularly work at both standard and nonstandard times and that mutually exclusive conceptualizations of standard and nonstandard work schedules do not fully capture their experiences.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2013; 75(3):523-532.

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