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The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages

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Abstract

In this article, the author uses data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth to examine the impact of childhood living arrangements on the characteristics of marriages formed by womenbetween 1970and 1989.The focus is on sociodemographic characteristics of marriage that may be taken to indicate a heightened risk of marital stress or marital disruption. With the exception of parental death,it is foundthat any time spent in an alternative family increases the likelihood that a woman forms a union with characteristics that decrease the like-lihood of a successful union (i.e., women who experience parental divorce are more likely to cohabit before marriage). The author provides several theoretical alternatives for explaining the effects of childhood living arrangements. Two alternatives, selectivity and socialization, appear to be most consistent with the data.

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... 2 parental loss as part of a larger focus on family structure, such as growing up in a single-parent family (Teachman, 2003(Teachman, , 2004Valle & Tillman, 2014), which makes it difficult to distinguish between the effects of the two exposures. Furthermore, factors that may be important in identifying potentially vulnerable subgroups of bereaved children, such as the child's age at the time of a parent's death and cause of death (Jakobsen & Christiansen, 2011;Oltjenbruns, 2001), have not been investigated with regard to adult intimate relationship outcomes. ...
... Furthermore, factors that may be important in identifying potentially vulnerable subgroups of bereaved children, such as the child's age at the time of a parent's death and cause of death (Jakobsen & Christiansen, 2011;Oltjenbruns, 2001), have not been investigated with regard to adult intimate relationship outcomes. Also, results indicating that children who grow up in singleparent families are more likely to cohabit, less likely to marry, and more likely to divorce than those who grow up with two parents (Teachman, 2003(Teachman, , 2004Valle & Tillman, 2014), may be outdated. Many marriages in Western countries now begin as cohabiting relationships and an increasing number of cohabiting couples remain unmarried even when they start families (Kasearu & Kutsar, 2011;Smock, 2000). ...
... As previous studies have found that relationship outcomes differ between men and women (Del Giudice, 2011;Eaton et al., 1991), we examined the formation and end of relationships in men and women separately. We also adjusted for the potentially confounding effects of parental income, education, and psychiatric illness, as family socioeconomic and mental health status have been linked to both the likelihood of parental death and relationship outcomes of young people in previous studies (Berg, Rostila, Saarela, & Hjern, 2014;Teachman, 2004;Valle & Tillman, 2014). These studies have shown that children of parents who have lower socioeconomic positions or histories of psychiatric illness are more likely to experience parental death, move out of their family homes, and cohabitate with partners, thus potentially confounding the association we wish to study. ...
Article
Being able to form and maintain intimate relationships is an essential part of development and the early loss of a parent may negatively affect this ability. This study investigates the association between parental loss before the age of 18 years and the formation and dissolution of marriage and cohabitation relationships in adulthood, in relation to factors that may help identify potentially vulnerable subgroups of bereaved children, that is, sex of the deceased parent, cause of death and child’s age at the time of death. Using data from national registries, we followed all children born in Denmark between 1970 and 1995 (n = 1,525,173) and used Poisson regression models to assess rate ratios by gender for relationship formation and separation according to early parental loss. We stratified the analyses by sex of the deceased parent, cause of death and child’s age at the time of death, and adjusted for the confounding effects of parental income, education level, and psychiatric illness. We found that parental loss was associated with a higher rate of relationship formation for young women, but not young men, and higher rates of separation for both men and women. The associations with separation were stronger for persons who lost a parent to suicide than to other causes. The effects were relatively small, a possible testimony to the resilience of developmental processes in most children. However, as long-term relationships are associated with physical and psychological health, interventions for bereaved children and families are important, especially in the subgroup bereaved by suicide.
... 1993), and to form early cohabitations and marriages and experience union instability themselves (Amato, 1996;Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1998;Teachman, 2002Teachman, , 2003Teachman, , 2004Wolfinger, 2001). Relatively few of these studies that have focused on young people's own relationship formation behaviors, however, have used a comprehensive, longitudinal view of children's family structure experiences that includes parents' marriage and cohabitation experiences. ...
... Therefore, as hypothesized, these models offer support for both socialization theory (with its focus on the importance of family structure type and duration) and the instability and change perspective (with its focus on the number of transitions). Our findings about the importance of number of transitions and type of family structure status closely correspond to findings from past studies (Aquilino, 1996;Hill et al., 2001;Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004. The duration dimension of family structure history has not been well-studied by other scholars investigating cohabiting unions (e.g., Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004Wolfinger, 2001); thus, we know of no other research which has found that the duration of time in a single-mother family is associated with greater odds of early cohabitation, although some work has shown a positive association between duration outside of a married, two-parent family and adverse child outcomes, especially for Whites (see Dunifon & Kowaleski-Jones, 2002;Hao & Xie, 2002;Heard, 2007a). ...
... Our findings about the importance of number of transitions and type of family structure status closely correspond to findings from past studies (Aquilino, 1996;Hill et al., 2001;Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004. The duration dimension of family structure history has not been well-studied by other scholars investigating cohabiting unions (e.g., Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004Wolfinger, 2001); thus, we know of no other research which has found that the duration of time in a single-mother family is associated with greater odds of early cohabitation, although some work has shown a positive association between duration outside of a married, two-parent family and adverse child outcomes, especially for Whites (see Dunifon & Kowaleski-Jones, 2002;Hao & Xie, 2002;Heard, 2007a). ...
Article
Using data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N=4,538), we examine the intergenerational link between parental family structure history and relationship formation in young adulthood. We investigate: (a) first, whether parental family structure history is associated with young adults' own relationship formation behaviors; (b) second, which dimensions of family structure history are most predictive of children's later relationship formation behaviors; and (c) third, if the association between family structure history and young adulthood relationship formation differs by gender. Our findings provide evidence of an intergenerational link between parent relationship histories and their offspring's own relationship formation behaviors in young adulthood, over and above confounding factors.
... Women have also been found to be affected by parental divorce, or growing up with a single mother (Teachman, 2004). In a study from the National Survey of Family Growth (1973), Teachman (2004 found that those women who grew up in a single mother home were more likely to have premarital pregnancy, marry with less than a high school education, or enter into a marriage with both spouses having less than a high school education. ...
... Women have also been found to be affected by parental divorce, or growing up with a single mother (Teachman, 2004). In a study from the National Survey of Family Growth (1973), Teachman (2004 found that those women who grew up in a single mother home were more likely to have premarital pregnancy, marry with less than a high school education, or enter into a marriage with both spouses having less than a high school education. Those women who had experienced parental divorce were more likely to have premarital birth and premarital cohabitation (Teachman, 2004). ...
... In a study from the National Survey of Family Growth (1973), Teachman (2004 found that those women who grew up in a single mother home were more likely to have premarital pregnancy, marry with less than a high school education, or enter into a marriage with both spouses having less than a high school education. Those women who had experienced parental divorce were more likely to have premarital birth and premarital cohabitation (Teachman, 2004). This study concludes that women who live in alternate types of families (instead of intact) " marry younger and with less education, marry husbands with less education, are more likely to have a premarital birth (or conception), and are more likely to cohabit before marriage " (Teachman, 2004, p. 104). ...
Article
Fathers, once deemed as “forgotten contributors to child development” (Lamb, 1975, p. 246), may provide more than just a bread winning role for their children. More studies have examined the effects of a father’s absence and involvement on his children, specifically among adolescents’ early sexual activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of father absence on young adults’ choices of cohabitation, marriage and divorce. The data for this analysis came from The February-March 2007 Social Trends Survey by the Pew Research Center, a nationally representative sample in the United States. This analysis selected 802 young adult respondents (ages 18-40 year old). Results support previous research that the two key factors leading to father absence are children whose parent never married or whose parents divorced. Father absence was associated with children's future cohabitation rates for the whole sample, but not when examined individually by gender, race or ethnicity. Higher marriage rates were associated with father-present homes among men and in the overall sample, but not for women or according to race or ethnicity. No associations were found between father absence and children's future divorce rates. Tracking young adults’ rates of marriage and divorce according to father absence and cohabitation (tables 4.4 through 4.9) found that young adults who had the combination of a father-present and did not cohabit had the lowest divorce rates. Future research should investigate the disparity in father-present homes between those who did and did not cohabit, father and child religiosity, and father involvement. Implications for family life education were also presented. Master of Science Masters Department of Family Studies and Human Services Walter R. Schumm
... This may in part account for the bifurcated marriage patterns of children of divorced parents (Wolfinger, 2000); the adult children of divorced parents are slightly less likely to marry than those from intact families, but they also are more likely to form unions at either an earlier or later age (Teachman, 2003;Wolfinger, 2003). Young adults who grew up with divorced parents are also more likely to cohabit or remain single relative to marrying (Clarkberg, 1999;Sassler & goldscheider, 2004;Thornton, 1991) and are more likely to cohabit prior to marriage (Teachman, 2004). The effects of growing up in a stepfamily, however, often differ by gender. ...
... The number of mothers who were never married at the child's birth was too small (n = 66) to adequately assess the statistical relationship between subsequent union transitions and their children's union formation patterns. Previous studies have examined the age at which parental union disruption occurred, whereas others focus on the number of transitions that parents experience in their marital histories (Amato, 1996;Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004. We focus here on the type of union entered following parental divorce, but data limitations prevent us from measuring the age at which the child experienced the dissolution or subsequent union transitions of the parents. ...
... This may in part account for the bifurcated marriage patterns of children of divorced parents (Wolfinger, 2000); the adult children of divorced parents are slightly less likely to marry than those from intact families, but they also are more likely to form unions at either an earlier or later age (Teachman, 2003;Wolfinger, 2003). Young adults who grew up with divorced parents are also more likely to cohabit or remain single relative to marrying (Clarkberg, 1999;Sassler & goldscheider, 2004;Thornton, 1991) and are more likely to cohabit prior to marriage (Teachman, 2004). The effects of growing up in a stepfamily, however, often differ by gender. ...
... The number of mothers who were never married at the child's birth was too small (n = 66) to adequately assess the statistical relationship between subsequent union transitions and their children's union formation patterns. Previous studies have examined the age at which parental union disruption occurred, whereas others focus on the number of transitions that parents experience in their marital histories (Amato, 1996;Teachman, 2003Teachman, , 2004. We focus here on the type of union entered following parental divorce, but data limitations prevent us from measuring the age at which the child experienced the dissolution or subsequent union transitions of the parents. ...
Article
The authors examine whether young adults who experienced their parents' divorce and new relationships have different relationship trajectories than those who spent their childhoods living with biological parents in married-couple families. The analysis is based on longitudinal reports from more than 1,500 children from Wave 1 of the 1987-1988 National Survey of Families and Households who were ages 18 to 34 at Wave 3 (in 2001-2002). The results suggest that parents' intimate relationships serve as templates for their children. Children of divorce had elevated rates of cohabitation as adults, relative to marriage. But union outcomes were not uniform for all children who experienced parental divorce. Those whose parents cohabited following divorce exhibited elevated odds of cohabiting themselves, compared to young adults whose parents remarried without first cohabiting or remained in stable marriages. Parental cohabitation also undermines relationship quality and stability among married or dating young adults.
... Despite the literature on parental divorce and entry into marriage, there is hardly any research on whether parental divorce is related to who people marry. The few exceptions are the recent studies by Wolfinger (2003b) and Teachman (2004). Wolfinger (2003b) found that children of divorce have a higher likelihood of marrying someone with a similar experience, while Teachman (2004) reported-among other results-that children of divorce are more likely to marry someone with a low level of education. ...
... The few exceptions are the recent studies by Wolfinger (2003b) and Teachman (2004). Wolfinger (2003b) found that children of divorce have a higher likelihood of marrying someone with a similar experience, while Teachman (2004) reported-among other results-that children of divorce are more likely to marry someone with a low level of education. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the large literature on the long-term effects of parental divorce, few studies have analyzed the effects of parental divorce on spouse selection behavior. However, the characteristics of one's spouse can have important effects on economic well-being and on marital success. We use discrete-time, event-history data from Finnish population registers to study the effects of parental divorce on entry into marriage with spouses who have different educational qualifications (both absolute and relative to one's own education), using conditional multinomial logistic regression models. The results show that Finnish children of divorce have lower rates of marriage than those from intact families. In particular, children of divorce have a lower likelihood of marrying spouses with secondary education or more, and especially low rates of marrying someone with a tertiary degree. The latter gap is smaller among those with tertiary education, as a result of the higher rates of homogamous marriage among the children of divorce with high education. Our findings suggest that children of divorce carry with them traits and behaviors that make them less marriageable candidates in the marriage market. We discuss the possible implications of these findings.
... Previous work has not considered whether relationship quality explains the gap in the stability of cohabiting and married parent families. Compared with marriages, cohabiting unions contain more complex families in terms of prior relationships (marriage and cohabitation) and prior fertility (Carlson & Furstenberg, 2006; Goldscheider & Sassler, 2006; Manning, 2004; Stewart, Manning, & Smock, 2003), which is notable because family complexity, in terms of cohabitation and marital history, is associated with marital instability (Raley & Bumpass, 2003; Sweeney & Phillips, 2004; Teachman, 2004). Individuals who have a history of dissolving marriages and cohabitations may be more prone to end their current union. ...
... Thus we expect family complexity will have a greater effect on Whites than Blacks or Mexican Americans. Finally, marriages are less stable for Black than White families (Phillips & Sweeney, 2005; Raley & Bumpass, 2003; Teachman, 2004), whereas Mexican American and White married couples share similar relationship stability (Roebuck Bulanda & Brown, forthcoming). Thus, the union status differentials in terms of cohabitation versus marriage may be smaller for ...
Article
We draw on three waves of the Fragile Families Study (N = 2,249) to examine family stability among a recent birth cohort (1998 – 2000) of children. We find that children born to cohabiting versus married parents have over five times the risk of experiencing their parents’ separation by age 3. This difference in union stability is greatest for White children, as compared with Black or Mexican American children. For White children, differences in parents’ education levels, paternal substance abuse, prior marriage, and having children from prior unions account for the higher instability faced by those born to cohabiting parents, whereas the higher rate of separation from cohabitation among Black and Mexican American children is not fully explained by sociodemographic characteristics of the parents, economic resources, parental relationship quality, or family complexity.
... Divorce was more pronounced among women who emerged from father abandoned families than among women from father present households or households without a father due to migration or death. This finding is consistent with the Draper and Harpending Father Absence Theory which posit that absence of a co-resident biological father during early childhood is associated with earlier age of puberty and first sexual intercourse and increased likelihood of marital breakdown in the following generation (Teachman, 2004). The explanations for divorce among women who did not grow up with fathers can also be explained from an Afro-centric point of view in which Makofane (2015) argues that women who grew up without fathers did not have proper models to observe appropriate behaviours for a wife and as such were unlikely to maintain a stable relationship. ...
Thesis
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Father absence is a developing trend globally and locally. Its impact is felt in the lives of children at a very young age and even in adulthood. This quantitative study sought to ascertain the impact of father absence on the subjective wellbeing of women who grew up in father absent homes. This was achieved by making comparisons between women who grew up without fathers against those that grew up with a resident father. The comparison was made in terms of their anxiety and depression levels; sexual partner preference and relationship strategies. An exploration of how the type and duration of father absence influences the adult life of fathers was also done. The study was guided by the father absence theory and the psychosocial acceleration theory. The ex post facto design was employed and a one stage cluster sampling strategy was used to select 392 women who participated in this study. Of the 392 participants, 168 were women who had grown up in father absent homes and the remaining 224 had grown up with a resident father. This research made use of a combined standardized close ended questionnaire that was adapted from three standardized instruments namely the Burns anxiety inventory, the Burns depression inventory; and the Mate preference questionnaire. The study revealed that the type or nature of father absence has an effect on anxiety and depression levels. This effect extended to relationship strategies. Women who came from father absent homes due to abandonment expressed more extreme forms of anxiety and ranked higher in divorce when compared to other groups of women. The duration of father absence was also found to be influential in anxiety and depression levels of father absent women. This study further established that women who grew up without fathers expressed more anxious feelings, negative thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety than women who grew up with fathers (u = 15075.5, p<.01). It was also found that father absence influenced depression symptoms among women as depression levels of women who grew up in father absent homes significantly differed from those of women who grew up with resident fathers (u = 12605.5, p<.01). Another outcome of the study was that there were significant differences in the sexual partner preferences of women from father absent homes as compared to those of women who grew up with their fathers. A number of recommendations were proffered. Future research should explore the role of father involvement in children's lives. This is critical as father presence alone is not important without father involvement. Moreover, this study proposes that a voluntary organisation that promotes fatherhood programs be set up to raise awareness on the importance of fathering and drive fatherhood programs. This recommendation was presented in a detailed form in a father absence coping mechanism model presented in this thesis.
... In addition to the potential increased economic security of a present father, there are additional benefits to children living in poverty who have a father in their life. The presence of a father may play a role in children's pro-social behaviors, such as delayed engagement in sexual behavior, later childbearing and marriage, and reduced engagement in criminal activity, especially among young men of color (Langley, 2016;Teachman, 2004), leading to a reduced risk of poverty as an adult. Conversely, the absence of a father increases the risk of poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, criminal activity, and decreased formal education (Anderson et al., 2002;Bryan, 2013;Ferguson & Morley, 2011;McLanahan, 2004). ...
Article
Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World ("GA"), a capacity-building, anti-poverty, group-based intervention, is widely used in the United States and internationally. This U.S. nationwide study examines gender differences in intake characteristics and outcomes (N = 328). Specific focus was on men (n = 108), because they are often the minority in GA groups and may have different poverty-related risk factors and help-seeking behaviors. At intake, men were more likely to have criminal convictions and substance abuse problems. Outcome comparisons indicated that men had lesser increases in mental health and well-being, social support, hope, and goal-directed behavior and planning throughout participation in GA than did women. Findings suggest that modifications might need to be made to GA to better meet the needs of men.
... The intergenerational transmission of marital outcomes has been of great interest given the relatively high divorce rates of recent decades. There are a variety of explanations for how one's family-of-origin circumstances might contribute to eventual divorce or variation in marital quality, often including factors related to beliefs, attitudes, commitment, family interaction, and role modeling (Amato & DeBoer, 2001;Segrin, Taylor, & Altman, 2005;Teachman, 2004;Whitton, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2008). The precise mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of marital dynamics are likely multifaceted and difficult to observe. ...
Article
Full-text available
Working models of marriage (WMM) is a unique application of attachment theory because it applies to beliefs about being a spouse and about another's ability to be one's spouse. It varies from generic working models of the self and other by its reflection of one's assumptions about marriage as a unique relationship form. Unmarried, young adults (n = 1,490) completed a survey that focused on family-of-origin, attachment, marital beliefs, and marital intentions constructs. Results indicated that two WMM dimensions were significantly predicted by the variables and that individuals grouped into four WMM classifications based on the two dimensions were likewise different among the variables. Implications for relationship confidence and for conceptual refinement are discussed.
... Some evidence also suggests that childhood family structure may have longterm ramifications for union formation patterns in adulthood. For example, compared with individuals who grow up in two-biological parent households, those who experience parental divorce are more likely to enter into cohabiting unions (Sassler & Goldscheider, 2004), to cohabit prior to marriage (Teachman, 2004), and to cohabit at younger ages (Thornton, 1991). Individuals who grow up in a stable single-mother household (Ryan, Franzetta, Schelar, & Manlove, 2009) and other nontraditional families (Landale, Schoen, & Daniels, 2010) are also at a higher risk of cohabiting in early adulthood. ...
Article
Full-text available
We use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine whether childhood family structure experiences influence the development of romantic relationships during adolescence and whether adolescent relationships, in turn, help to shape long-term relationship trajectories. Young people who live in nontraditional families during their childhood are more likely than their peers to engage in romantic relationships during adolescence. Family-related mechanisms are significant mediators of this association. Individuals who were raised in stepparent and single-parent families are also more likely to cohabit during adulthood, and those who were raised in single-parent families are less likely to have ever married. Childhood family structure is not associated with serious relationship conflict during adolescence or adulthood, however. Moreover, although adolescent relationship experiences have long-term effects on relationship trajectories, they do not significantly mediate the associations between childhood family structure and relationship outcomes in adulthood.
... We include a proxy for socioeconomic status with the inclusion of mother's education. Youth from single parent or divorced families experience earlier timing of family formation (Cavanaugh 2011;Martinez et al. 2012;Musick and Meier 2010;Ryan et al. 2009;Teachman 2004). Family background acts as indicator of economic resources and stress that are linked to earlier transitions to cohabitation and nonmarital fertility (Amato and Kane 2011). ...
Article
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Cohabitation is an integral part of family research; however, little work examines cohabitation among teenagers or links between cohabitation and teenage childbearing. Drawing on the National Survey of Family Growth (2006-10), we examine family formation activities (i.e., cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing) of 3,945 15-19 year old women from the mid 1990s through 2010. One-third (34 %) of teenagers cohabit, marry, or have a child. Teenage cohabitation and marriage are both positively associated with higher odds of having a child. The vast majority of single pregnant teenagers do not form a union before the birth of their child; only 22 % cohabit and 5 % marry. Yet most single pregnant teenagers eventually cohabit, 59 % did so by the child’s third birthday and about 9 % marry. Cohabitation is an important part of the landscape of the adolescent years, and many teenage mothers described as “single mothers” are actually in cohabiting relationships.
... Few studies have analyzed the effects of parental divorce on spouse selection behavior (see, however, Wolfinger 2003a;2005: 45-52;Teachman 2004). The question of spouse selection is, however, an important one. ...
... is onder meer gekeken naar zaken als schooluitval, druggebruik, criminaliteit, gezondheid en sterfte (Albrecht en Teachman, 2003; Dronkers, 1999; Hansagi, Brandt en Andréasson, 2000; Modin, 2003; Pong, Dronkers en Hampden-Thompson, 2003 en Teachman, 2004). Anderen bestudeerden de gevolgen voor kinderen van het opgroeien in een samengesteld gezin, dat wil zeggen een gezin waar stiefvader of -moeder deel van uitmaken (Spruijt, 1996). ...
... Previous literature and family theory also suggests that aspects of family structure are likely to be transmitted across generations (Axinn and Thornton, 1996;McLanahan and Percheski, 2008;Thornton, 1991;Teachman, 2004). The most commonly cited example is divorce: experiencing parental divorce increases offspring risk of divorce for a variety of reasons (Amato 1996). ...
Article
This study employed latent class analysis to create children's family structure trajectories from birth through adolescence using merged mother and child data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (N=1870). Input variables distinguished between biological fathers and stepfathers as well as mother's marriages and cohabitations. The best-fitting model revealed five latent trajectories of children's long-term family structure: continuously married biological parents (55%), long-term single mothers (18%), married biological parents who divorce (12%), a highly unstable trajectory distinguished by gaining at least one stepfather (11%), and cohabiting biological parents who either marry or break up (4%). Multinomial logistic regression indicated that mother's education, race, teen birth status, and family of origin characteristics were important predictors of the long-term family trajectories in which their children grew up. These findings suggest that latent class analysis is a valuable statistical tool for understanding children's complete family structure experiences.
... The most consistent family background risk factor for marriage breakdown is parental divorce where respondents whose parents have divorced are more likely to divorce. The most common explanation is that children of divorced parents receive poor socialisation and role modelling for marriage (Kiernan & Cherlin 1999, Mueller & Pope 1977, Teachman 2002, Teachman 2004). In addition children of divorced parents compared to children with still married parents, are more likely to have relationship and fertility histories that increase the risk of divorce. ...
Conference Paper
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Changes to family life in Australia over the last century have been numerous. One such change has been the increase in the number of couples divorcing. Around half of divorces involve children under the age of 18 and it is estimated that around 25% of children are living in households with only one parent (de Vaus 2004). Much research has investigated the consequences of parental divorce for children, and finds that children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves (the intergenerational transmission of divorce). Relatively little attention has been given to the ways in which parental divorce shapes adolescents' perceptions and expectations of their own marriage and family life. In this paper we use data on 6,680 high school children in Queensland, Australia to investigate the association between parental divorce and adolescents' expectations of their own divorce. We find that, net of a range of social and demographic characteristics, there is a strong a positive association between parental divorce and adolescents expectations that they will also get divorced. This adds to our understanding of the intergenerational transmission of divorce as these expectations are likely to contribute to the trajectories and behaviours that increase the risk of divorce in adult children of divorced parents.
... Similarly, Kuh and Maclean (1990) found evidence to suggest that parental divorce is related to early age at marriage. Teachman (2004) and others (Glenn and Kramer 1987;Bereczkei and Csanaky 1996) also showed relationships between parental divorce and early marriage. ...
Article
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This paper examines the effects of three different types of father absence on the timing of life history events among women in rural Bangladesh. Age at marriage and age at first birth are compared across women who experienced different father presence/absence conditions as children. Survival analyses show that daughters of fathers who divorced their mothers or deserted their families have consistently younger ages at marriage and first birth than other women. In contrast, daughters whose fathers were labor migrants have consistently older ages at marriage and first birth. Daughters whose fathers died when they were children show older ages at marriage and first birth than women with divorced/deserted fathers and women with fathers present. These effects may be mediated by high socioeconomic status and high levels of parental investment among the children of labor migrants, and a combination of low investment, high psychosocial stress, and low alloparental investment among women with divorced/deserted fathers. Our findings are most consistent with the Child Development Theory model of female life history strategies, though the Paternal Investment and Psychosocial Acceleration models also help explain differences between women in low paternal investment situations (e.g., father divorced/abandoned vs. father dead). Father absence in and of itself seems to have little effect on the life history strategies of Bangladeshi women once key reasons for or correlates of absence are controlled, and none of the models is a good predictor of why women with deceased fathers have delayed life histories compared with women whose fathers are present.
... Although the importance of studying the transmission of family-life trajectories has been acknowledged (Teachman 2004;Thornton 1991;Wolfinger 2000), empirical research on the transmission of patterns is scarce. Most research that focuses on the transmission of the occurrence and timing of specific family-related events, like marriage, entry into parenthood and divorce, suggest intergenerational continuity in the timing of these events (Amato 1996;Barber 2000Barber , 2001Diekmann and Engelhardt 1999;Furstenberg et al. 1990;Wolfinger 1999). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether family-life trajectories during young adulthood are transmitted from parents to children and which mechanisms might explain the level of intergenerational similarity in these trajectories. A new indicator to measure similarity is compared with an indicator of similarity based on Optimal Matching (OM). Using data from the NSFH, it is shown that intergenerational transmission of family-life trajectories exists and that mechanisms of value socialization, role modeling and status inheritance influence the level of similarity between parents and children. The newly developed similarity measure is found to perform superior to the OM-based measure. Methodological and substantive implications of the findings are discussed.
... Specifically, they hypothesised that psychosocial stress leads to poor attachment and both a more opportunistic approach to relationships, and an accelerated life history trajectory. A large body of literature has accumulated showing that absence of a coresident biological father during early childhood is associated with earlier age of puberty (see ELLIS 2004, for a review) and first sexual intercourse (e.g.ELLIS et al. 2003;GRAINGER 2004), and increased likelihood of marital breakdown in the following generation (e.g.WOLFINGER 2003;TEACHMAN 2004). Poor parent–child relationships have similar associations (see e.g.ELLIS et al. 1999;DAVIS and FRIEL 2001). ...
Article
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The purpose of this research was to determine whether or not the father absence litera-ture can be successfully used to predict patterns of female preferences for facial masculinity in young adulthood. Predictions were made based on the effect father absence may have on the de-velopment of (a) sexual strategy, and (b) female 'condition', and were tested in two independent samples. Results for the link between father absence and masculinity preference were mixed; across both studies, however, daughters who reported low quality relationship with parents during childhood showed lower masculinity preference. These results predominantly support the condi-tion dependence predictions that early family stress should be associated with reduced ability to compete for mates and thus preference for less masculine men. Additionally, in Study 2, family background was associated with facial preferences and age of menarche only amongst women who were not currently in happy and committed relationships, which suggests that there are sys-tematic physiological and/or psychological differences between women for whom father absence is and is not related to long term outcomes.
... Consistent with Draper and Harpending's (1982), Belsky et al.'s (1991), and Chisholm's (1993) theories, individuals who experienced parental divorce were significantly less likely to report being married than those raised in two-parent households (Bereczkei and Csanaky 1996), and if they did get married, they were more likely to do so when they were a teenager (Carlson 1979;McLanahan and Bumpass 1988), or at a younger age than those raised in intact households (Bereczkei and Csanaky 1996;Glenn and Kramer 1987;Keith and Finlay 1988;Mueller and Pope 1977;Teachman 2004). Furthermore, individuals who experienced parental divorce or sexual abuse were more likely to report marital problems (Dube et al. 2005) and divorce themselves (Bereczkei and Csanaky 1996;Bumpass and Sweet 1972;Fleming et al. 1999;Glenn and Kramer 1987;Keith and Finlay 1988;Mueller and Pope 1977;Quinlan 2003;Wolfinger 2003). ...
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Early psychosocial stress (e.g., parental divorce, abuse) is conjectured to place individuals on a developmental trajectory leading to earlier initiation of sexual activity, earlier reproduction, and having more sex partners than those with less early psychosocial stress. But does it also affect an individual’s mate choice? The present study examined whether early psychosocial stress affects preferences and dislikes for opposite-sex faces varying in masculinity/femininity, a putative indicator of mate quality, in premenopausal women (58 with a natural cycle, 53 pill-users) and 196 men. No significant three-way interactions were found when women selected the most or least preferred face with participant group (natural cycle, pill), conception risk (low, high), and early psychosocial stress (low, high) as between-subjects factors. Early psychosocial stress did not affect men’s face preferences when selecting the most preferred face. However, men with high early psychosocial stress disliked masculine faces significantly more so than men with low early psychosocial stress. Overall it was concluded that early psychosocial stress does not affect mate choice with the exception that men with high early psychosocial stress were more likely to dislike masculine female faces. It was suggested that men with high early psychosocial stress may dislike masculine female faces because they have nothing to gain from associating with women with such faces.
... Many studies indicate that childhood family structure has implications for young adults' family formation transitions. Youth with divorced single parents are more likely than those with continuously married parents to engage in nonmarital cohabitation (Amato & Booth, 1997;Axinn & Thornton, 1993;Cherlin, Kiernan, & Chase-Landale, 1995;Furstenberg & Teitler, 1994;Musick & Meier,2010;Ryan, Franzetta, Schelar, & Manlove, 2009;Sassler, Addo & Hartmann, 2010;Teachman, 2003;Teachman,2004;Thornton, 1991)and to have nonmarital births (Cherlin, Kiernan, & Chase-Landale,1995;Furstenberg & Teitler, 1994;McLanahan & Bumpass, 1988;McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994;Musick & Meier, 2010;Teachman, 2004). These studies provide consistent evidence that parental divorce is linked with an increased likelihood that youth will adopt nontraditional family behaviors. ...
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We used data from the Add Health study to estimate the effects of parents' marital status and relationship distress on daughters' early family formation transitions. Outcomes included traditional transitions (marriage and marital births) and nontraditional transitions (cohabitation and nonmarital births). Relationship distress among continuously married parents was not related to any outcome. Offspring with single parents and remarried parents had an elevated risk of nonmarital births and nonmarital cohabitation. Offspring with remarried parents with a high-distress relationship had an elevated risk of early marriages and marital births. These results, combined with analyses of mediating variables, provide the strongest support for a modeling perspective, although some support also was found for a perspective based on escape from stress.
... In sociology two common models for such data are referred to as the random effects model (REM) and fixed effects model (FEM) (Allison 1994;Guo and Hipp 2004). Indeed, a number of articles have made use of the FEM or REM in sociology (e.g.,Nielsen and Hannan, 1977;Nielsen, 1980;Kilbourne, England, Farkas, Beron, and Weir, 1994;Alderson, 1999;Alderson and Nielsen, 1999;Conley and Bennet 2000;Mouw, 2000;VanLaningham, Johnson, and Amato, 2001;Budig and England, 2001;Wheaton and Clarke, 2003;Teachman, 2004;Yakubovich, 2005;Beckfield 2006;Brand, 2006;Matsueda, Kreager, and Huizinga, 2006;Shauman and Noonan, 2007). A major attraction of these models is that they provide a way to control for all time-invariant unmeasured (or latent) variables that influence the dependent variable whether these variables are known or unknown to the researcher. ...
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Fixed- and random-effects models for longitudinal data are common in sociology. Their primary advantage is that they control for time-invariant omitted variables. However, analysts face several issues when they employ these models. One is the choice of which to apply; another is that FEM and REM models as usually implemented might be insufficiently flexible. For example, the effects of variables, including the latent time-invariant variable, might change over time. The latent time-invariant variable might correlate with some variables and not others. Lagged endogenous variables might be necessary. Alternatives that move beyond the classic FEM and REM models are known, but they involve estimators and software that make these extended models difficult to implement and to compare. This article presents a general panel model that includes the standard FEM and REM as special cases. In addition, it provides a sequence of nested models that provide a richer range of models that researchers can easily compare with likelihood ratio tests and fit statistics. Furthermore, researchers can implement our general panel model and its special cases in widely available structural equation models software.
... Variation in well-being among children living outside of two-biological-parent married families (e.g., married step, cohabiting, and singleparent families) is comparatively low and often negligible (Artis, 2007; Brown, 2004; Manning & Lamb, 2003). The benefits associated with marriage not only are evident in the short-term but also endure through adulthood (Amato, 2005; Biblarz & Raftery, 1999; Hill, Yeung, & Duncan, 2001; Teachman, 2002 Teachman, , 2004). The relationship between family structure and child well-being appears to be more pronounced for White than for either Black or Hispanic children (Dunifon & KowaleskiJones, 2002; Manning & Brown, 2006). ...
Article
Over the past decade, the linkages between marriage and child well-being have attracted the attention of researchers and policy makers alike. Children's living arrangements have become increasingly diverse and unstable, which raises important questions about how and why family structure and stability are related to child outcomes. This article reviews new research on this topic, emphasizing how it can inform policy debates about the role of marriage in reducing poverty and improving child outcomes. It also pays special attention to new scholarship on unmarried, primarily low-income families, the target of recent federal marriage initiatives, to appraise the potential contributions of family research to ongoing policy discussions.
... Hence, we ask, Do the processes leading to parenthood work the same way for young men and women in terms of the relationship with the child's other parent? The broader literature on various consequences of childhood family structure has identifi ed three pathways of impact: social learning, social control, and instability (Albrecht and Teachman 2003; Amato 2000; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994; Teachman 2004; Wu 1996; Wu and Martinson 1993). We consider each in turn as they might apply to the context of early parenthood for young men and women. ...
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With the rise in out-of-wedlock childbearing and divorce in the last quarter of the twentieth century, an increasing proportion of children have been exposed to a variety of new family forms. Little research has focused on the consequences of childhood family structure for men's transition to fatherhood or on the family processes that account for the effects of family structure on the likelihood that young women and men become first-time unmarried parents, what we now call "fragile families." The data come from the linked Children and Young Adult samples of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), which provide information on the children of the women of the NLSY79 from birth until they enter young adulthood. Females growing up with a single parent and males experiencing an unstable family transition to parenthood early, particularly to nonresidential fatherhood for males. For males, the effects are strongly mediated by parenting processes and adolescent behaviors and are shaped by economic circumstances. Having experienced multiple transitions as a child is associated with a reduced likelihood that males father their first child within marriage and an increased likelihood that they become fathers within cohabitation, demonstrating how changes in family structure alter family structure patterns over time and generations.
... Researchers considered the implications of this change in family structure in terms of a variety of outcomes. Sociological studies linked the living arrangements of children to such later-life outcomes as school dropout, drug use, age at marriage, marital dissolution, and adult and old-age mortality (Albrecht & Teachman, 2003;Hansagi, Brandt, & Andréasson, 2000;McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994;Modin, 2003;Teachman, 2004). Psychologists studied the effects of parental divorce during childhood and of growing up in an incomplete family on children's adjustment, on cognitive ability, on behavior problems and on the mental health of young adults (Amato & Keith, 1991;Aughinbaugh, Pierret, & Rothstein, 2005;Chase-Landale & Cherlin, 1995). ...
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In this dissertation, new challenges for intergenerational family relationship research were formulated and empirically investigated. Major socio-demographic and socio-cultural developments have induced changes in Western family life. These were changes in the structure of families and changes in the nature of intergenerational family ties. Changes in family structure are the emergence and presumed decline of the nuclear family, increasing family heterogeneity, and the increasing significance of intergenerational bonds. Significant changes in the nature of intergenerational family ties are: the decreasing need for mutual dependency structures in the shift from obligatory to more chosen parent-child ties, the growing emphasis on emotions and relationship quality, accompanied by increasing complexities and the rising importance of negotiation within parent-child ties. Analyses were done with data from The Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN) and The Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS).
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Using data from administrative registers for the period 1970–2007 in Norway and Sweden, we investigate the intergenerational transmission of multipartner fertility. We find that men and women with half-siblings are more likely to have children with more than one partner. The differences are greater for those with younger versus older half-siblings, consistent with the additional influence of parental separation that may not arise when one has only older half-siblings. The additional risk for those with both older and younger half-siblings suggests that complexity in childhood family relationships also contributes to multipartner fertility. Only a small part of the intergenerational association is accounted for by education in the first and second generations. The association is to some extent gendered. Half-siblings are associated with a greater risk of women having children with a new partner in comparison with men. In particular, maternal half-siblings are more strongly associated with multipartner fertility than paternal half-siblings only for women.
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It is well established that parental divorce has deleterious effects on youth's outcome. As society has become more tolerant toward divorce, it is not clear whether or not parental divorce still affects youth negatively. Reviewing the latest literature on divorce, this entry sheds light on the effects of divorce. Specifically, it focuses on the effect of parental divorce on youth's outcome, including juvenile delinquency, substance and alcohol use, risky sexual behavior, and related youth problems.
Objective: To report on the current state of research analyzing early father-infant bonding, including influential factors and interventions, to identify gaps in the literature. Data sources: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychInfo computerized databases were searched using the keywords bonding, paternal, father, infant, relationship, engrossment, and postpartum. Study selection: Twenty-eight articles were compiled on the basis of key inclusion criteria. Quality measures were undertaken using specific components of SQUIRE 2.0 to ensure quality of methodology and data. Data extraction and synthesis: Each study was carefully dissected and initially arranged in a generic annotated bibliography. This process resulted in pattern recognition and identification of three major themes. The findings of every article were compared for commonalities and differences and were synthesized into an integrated review of father-infant bonding. Results: The synthesis revealed three themes: Father's Adjustment and Transition, Variables That Influence Father-Infant Bonding, and Interventions That Promote Father-Infant Bonding. Conclusion: There is an immediate need to perform studies on specific interventions aimed at the promotion of early father-infant bonding in the United States. More research is needed to better understand the timing of early father-infant bonding and how this bonding influences a provider's role, attitude, and priority for establishing successful bonding interventions for fathers.
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Addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) that influence teen pregnancy is paramount to eliminating disparities and achieving health equity. Expanding prevention efforts from purely individual behavior change to improving the social, political, economic, and built environments in which people live, learn, work, and play may better equip vulnerable youth to adopt and sustain healthy decisions. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with the Office of Adolescent Health funded state- and community-based organizations to develop and implement the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Community-Wide Initiative. This effort approached teen pregnancy from an SDOH perspective, by identifying contextual factors that influence teen pregnancy and other adverse sexual health outcomes among vulnerable youth. Strategies included, but were not limited to, conducting a root cause analysis and establishing nontraditional partnerships to address determinants identified by community members. This article describes the value of an SDOH approach for achieving health equity, explains the integration of such an approach into community-level teen pregnancy prevention activities, and highlights two project partners’ efforts to establish and nurture nontraditional partnerships to address specific SDOH.
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As with most developed Western nations marriage dissolution has become a prominent feature in Australian family life over the last several decades. In this chapter data from the Negotiating the Life Course project is used to examine three key mechanisms through which social and demographic characteristics influence marital separation including factors that operate through normative and cultural mechanisms, those that influence the quality of the match, and factors that provide barriers to marriage dissolution. The chapter shows that all of these mechanisms are important for understanding marital separation and divorce. Men and women are less likely to experience separation if their normative and cultural social characteristics such as religiosity, birth cohort, ethnic background, and cohabitation before marriage reflect more traditional family organization and greater commitment to the institution of marriage. Similarly, social characteristics that imply a poorer mate selection process such as young age at marriage or early birth, or that decrease the ability of both or one spouse to negotiate relationships such as parental divorce, tend to increase the risk of separation. Barriers are also important for both men and women, with children and partners’ income reducing the likelihood of separation. Ongoing changes in the timing and formation of relationships and women’s economic status over the life course are all likely to have implications for future rates of marriage dissolution.
Article
The transformation of Europe’s demographic regime over the past two centuries has led to considerable changes in the living arrangements of children. We study long-term changes, making use of three datasets covering the living arrangements of children born between 1850 and 1993 in the Netherlands: a historical national sample of children born between 1850 and 1922, a retrospective survey covering children born between 1923 and 1985, and data from the national population registry relating to children born between 1986 and 1993. We describe the changes in terms of whether fathers, mothers, and stepparents lived with these children at birth and at age 15. We observe a massive increase in the percentage of children growing up in a complete family between the 1850–1879 cohort and the mid-twentieth century cohorts and a return to nineteenth-century conditions in the most recent birth cohort. Time spent in a complete family increased continuously from the mid-nineteenth century on, to decrease again from the 1960s on.
Article
This study examines whether intergenerational continuity exists in the demographic trajectories of parents and children during young adulthood. A new indicator to measure similarity, based on the idea that trajectories are more similar, the more subtrajectories they have in common, is compared to a similarity indicator based on optimal matching. Using data on parents and children from the NSFH, it is shown that intergenerational transmission of demographic trajectories exists, despite the dramatic changes in such trajectories in the last half-century. Continuities in demographic patterns across generations to a large extent result from continuities in general societal processes that structure the life course, but processes that operate within the family itself are important as well. Substantive and methodological implications of the findings are discussed. Keywords: sequence analysis; young adulthood; cohort change; intergenerational transmission; demographic trajectories
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The demographic and social processes of the past 150 years have radically changed the number of parents that children grow up with. This article uses two unique data sets to illustrate long-term changes in the living arrangements of children born between 1850 and 1985 in the Netherlands. Changes are described in terms of whether fathers, mothers, and stepparents lived with these children at birth and at age 15. A massive shift occurred in the living arrangements of the 1850-1879 cohort compared with the 1880-1899 cohort of children, and there is only a slight return to 19th-century conditions in the most recent birth cohort. Researchers and politicians should be careful when comparing contemporary family life with the extraordinary situation Western families were in just after World War II. To some degree, contemporary complexities are more comparable to those in the 19th century, although the sources of these complexities are different.
Article
Unmarried parents have less stable unions than married parents, but there is considerable debate over the sources of this instability. Unmarried parents may be more likely than married parents to end their unions because of compositional differences, such as more disadvantaged personal and relationship characteristics, or because they lack the normative and institutional supports of marriage, thus rendering their relationships more sensitive to disadvantage. In this article, we evaluate these two sources of union instability among married, cohabiting, and dating parents following the birth of a shared child, using five waves of longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Using discrete-time event history models, we find that demographic, economic, and relationship differences explain more than two-thirds of the increased risk of dissolution for unmarried parents relative to married parents. We also find that differential responses to economic or relationship disadvantage do not explain why unmarried parents are more likely to end their unions than married parents.
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This paper provides new estimates of changing patterns of serial cohabitation, using data from the 1995 and 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. Serial cohabitation is defined as having multiple premarital cohabiting relationships. Analyses indicate that rates of serial cohabitation increased by nearly 40 percent over the late 1990s and early 2000s, and rates were especially high among young adults and recent marriage cohorts. A large majority of women – 75 percent – nevertheless lived only with men they eventually married. Although rates of serial cohabitation are higher among never-married women than ever-married women, there is little indication that single women – even older single women – have embraced serial cohabitation as an alternative to marriage or even as an intensive kind of dating. The results show that serial cohabitation is heavily concentrated among disadvantaged populations (e.g., women who grew up in single parent families). Early sexual activity and teen childbearing are especially important “risk” factors for serial cohabitation in the never-married population. There is little evidence, however, that recent shifts in the sociodemographic risk profile of the US population have been responsible for observed increases in single-instance or serial cohabitation. Increases in serial cohabitation have been broadly experienced across population groups in America.
Article
The relationship between multiple dimensions of childhood living arrangements and the formation of subsequent unions is investigated. Using the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, both statuses and transitions associated with childhood living arrangements at three different stages of childhood are considered. It was found that both statuses and transitions, but not the ages at which they occur, are related to the risk of union formation. Women who experienced more transitions in childhood living arrangements and who lived with other than married, biological parents form premarital cohabiting unions faster than other women. Rates of first marriage are higher among women who lived with a stepparent, and they are lower among women who lived with a parent and that parent's cohabiting partner.
Article
This article analyzes the desirability of a "conscriptive" approach that bases the obligations of cohabitants on status instead of contract. This approach has been adopted in some other nations; the American Law Institute has advocated its use in the United States, arguing that marriage and cohabitation are functionally equivalent. The article examines the evidence relevant to this claim and finds that it does not support the ALI position. Instead, the evidence shows that married and cohabiting couples tend to behave and view their relationships quite differently: cohabitants are much less likely than married couples to share or pool resources; cohabitation usually functions as a substitute for being single, not for being married. Cohabitation thus does not imply marital commitment, the accepted basis of marital obligation. Nor, given its typically short duration and limited sharing, is it likely that cohabitation generally induces dependency or leads to unjust enrichment. Because of these differences, it would be unfair to impose marital obligations on cohabitants simply because a relationship has survived for a legislatively determined time period. Individualized inquiry into the nature of a couple's relationship is also undesirable as it is likely to produce highly uncertain and inconsistent results.
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The ALI domestic partnership proposal would partially assimilate cohabitation to marriage: based on a finding of domestic partnership, it would impose on the cohabiting couple who have chosen to avoid marriage personal obligations identical to those the couple would have incurred had they elected to marry. The ALI proposal rests on the claims the absence of formal marriage may have little or no bearing on the character of the parties' domestic relationship and on the equitable considerations that underlie claims between lawful spouses at the dissolution of a marriage. However, the research evidence demonstrates that, in the United States, cohabitation usually functions as a substitute for being single, not for being married; cohabitants thus tend to behave and view their relationships very differently than married couples. Adoption of the ALI proposal would also produce negative effects. The proposal requires individualized fact finding and thus would necessitate time-consuming and expensive litigation that would almost certainly produce inconsistent status determinations. The proposal would introduce discordant values into the law of relational obligation and diminish personal autonomy. Because marriage is associated with significant advantages to both marriage partners and adults, the proposal also risks harm to individual interests and the public good. For all these reasons, the ALI domestic partnership proposal should be rejected.
Article
Using detailed data on the childhood living arrangements of children taken from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), the impact of multiple dimensions of parent histories on the likelihood of offspring divorce is investigated. Although past research is replicated by finding a positive impact of parental divorce on offspring divorce, the author also finds that living apart from both parents, irrespective of the reason, is associated with an increased risk of divorce. In particular, children who were born out of wedlock and who did not experience parental divorce or death experience a very high risk of marital disruption. However, neither the number of transitions in childhood living arrangements nor parental remarriage appear to substantially affect the risk of marital dissolution. Finally, variations in the timing of and circumstances surrounding marriage appear to mediate a substantial proportion of the effect of parent histories on offspring divorce.
Article
Persistent effects of childhood living arrangements and family change on adolescent outcomes have often been attributed to differences in socialization and intrafamily processes. We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to assess an alternative explanation: that neighborhood context and residential mobility represent a central set of mechanisms through which family structure affects adolescent risk behavior. Our results indicate that the effects of childhood living arrangements and family change on the risk of dropping out of school (n = 8,267) and of experiencing a premarital teen pregnancy (n = 6,063) are largely attenuated when differences in the level of neighborhood disadvantage and the number of residential moves experienced by adolescents is taken into account.
Article
This report provides an overview of marital and cohabiting relationships in the United States among men and women aged 15-44 in 2002, by a variety of characteristics. National estimates are provided that highlight formal and informal marital status, previous experience with marriage and cohabitation, the sequencing of marriage and cohabitation, and the stability of cohabitations and marriages. The analyses presented in this report are based on a nationally representative sample of 12,571 men and women aged 15-44 living in households in the United States in 2002, based on the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 6. Over 40% of men and women aged 15-44 were currently married at the date of interview, compared with about 9% who were currently cohabiting. Men and women were, however, likely to cohabit prior to becoming married. Marriages were longer lasting than cohabiting unions; about 78% of marriages lasted 5 years or more, compared with less than 30% of cohabitations. Cohabitations were shorter-lived than marriages in part because about half of cohabitations transitioned to marriage within 3 years. Variations--often large variations-in marital and cohabiting relationships and durations were found by race and Hispanic origin, education, family background, and other factors.
Article
How have recent changes in U.S. family structure affected the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the nation's children? Paul Amato examines the effects of family formation on children and evaluates whether current marriage-promotion programs are likely to meet children's needs. Amato begins by investigating how children in households with both biological parents differ from children in households with only one biological parent. He shows that children growing up with two continuously married parents are less likely to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood but also in adulthood. Although it is not possible to demonstrate that family structure causes these differences, studies using a variety of sophisticated statistical methods suggest that this is the case. Amato then asks what accounts for the differences between these two groups of children. He shows that compared with other children, those who grow up in stable, two-parent families have a higher standard of living, receive more effective parenting, experience more cooperative co-parenting, are emotionally closer to both parents, and are subjected to fewer stressful events and circumstances. Finally, Amato assesses how current marriage-promotion policies will affect the well-being of children. He finds that interventions that increase the share of children who grow up with both parents would improve the overall well-being of U.S. children only modestly, because children's social or emotional problems have many causes, of which family structure is but one. But interventions that lower only modestly the overall share of U.S. children experiencing various problems could nevertheless lower substantially the number of children experiencing them. Even a small decline in percentages, when multiplied by the many children in the population, is a substantial social benefit.
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In a national and international economy that requires fluid movement of both labor and capital, it is important to know that families and other helping institutions can mitigate the losses of social capital that may accompany family migration. Coleman's (1990) theory of social capital emphasizes the roles of mothers and fathers in enhancing the life prospects of their children. However, Coleman's (1988) analysis of family migration and high school completion found an anomalous null effect of parental support. Elder's (1994) life course perspective on "linked lives" suggests that parental involvement with their children can have interactive effects as well as main effects in mitigating losses of community social capital resulting from a family's moves. Following this lead and using more elaborate measures, we find that the negative effects of family migration are significantly more pronounced in families with uninvolved fathers and unsupportive mothers. In these families the diminished social capital provided by parents does not compensate for the community social capital lost as a result of a family's move.
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In this study, I explore the role of neighborhood characteristics in determining race differences in the nonmarital sexual activity of adolescents. I use individual- and aggregate-level data to examine the association between race differences in the risk of intercourse and selected neighborhood characteristics in a national sample of adolescent women. The impact of neighborhood characteristics on the race difference in sexual activity is posited to be a function of the pervasive racial segregation characterizing housing patterns in the United Stares. The results suggest that the race difference in the risk of first intercourse reflects race differences in access to economic resources and exposure to successful adult role models. The absence of cross-level race interactions indicates that black and white teenage women respond similarly to structural constraints and opportunities.
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Data are used from both waves of the National Survey of Families and Households to test the hypothesis that individuals who experience many parental relationship transitions will often reproduce these behaviors as adults by dissolving multiple marriages. This hypothesis is confirmed, and the findings are essentially unchanged when controlling for socioeconomic characteristics of both respondents and their families of origin. These results are consistent with the family change hypothesis, which attributes the deleterious consequences of nonintact parenting to the strain of experiencing family structure transitions rather than the state of living without a male role model or the poverty often induced by parental divorce. Finally, the findings reconceptualize the often-studied intergenerational transmission of divorce. Neither family structure of origin nor offspring marital behavior can be treated as dichotomies: Multiple family structure transitions make things worse for children, and many of these children will end more than one marriage.
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The social inheritance of divorce is one factor contributing to the upward trend in marriage dissolution rates during the last few decades. Several studies confirm the transmission hypothesis for U.S. marriages. We investigate the intergenerational transmission of divorce risk among German first marriages using multivariate event-history techniques. Our data are from the 7,200 respondents of the German Family Survey. The historical circumstances of postwar Germany allow a comparison between families dissolved by war and familities dissolved by divorce. Respondents whose parential families dissolved by the death of a parent have only slightly higher divorce risks than respondents who grew up in two-parent families. There is, however, a large gap in marital instability for respondents from divorced-parent families compared with respondents from two-parent families and families with a widowed parent. Hence, the inheritance of divorce cannot be explained simply by the absence of a parent. The data suggest that differences in personal investments in the marriage partnership may partially explain the transmission effect.
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Among the many transitions young people make as they enter adult-hood, marriage is perhaps the most important. This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to examine the transition to marriage and how it differs by sex, testing the extent of variation in the desirability of marriage for men and women, and the effects of marriage market factors and marital and nonmarital roles. The design of the analysis allows the effects of these factors to vary over the young adult years. The pattern of findings suggests that recent declines in the marriage rate have not resulted from increased barriers to marriage but from declines in relative preferences for marriage.
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We evaluate a marital search model that links the quantity and quality of available men to first marriage transitions among black women and white women in the United States. Our analysis provides a more complex assessment of the hypothesis that racial differences in transitions to first marriage reflect shortages of marriageable men in local marriage markets. We attach several indicators of local marriage market conditions (primarily sex ratios from the 1980 Census) to women's marital histories available in the 1979 through 1986 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Our discrete-time logit models support the following conclusions: (1) A shortage in the quantity and quality of available males in local areas depresses women's transitions to first marriage; (2) economic independence among women (as measured by employment and earnings) is positively associated with entry into marriage; (3) racial differences in mate availability account for a relatively small share of existing racial differences in marriage; (4) indicators of local mate availability nevertheless account for a larger proportion of observed racial differences in transitions to first marriage than factors such as family background, welfare status and living arrangements (e.g., multigenerational family); (5) the effects of marriage market characteristics are contingent on whether women are ''searching'' in the marriage market; and (6) the effect of a shortage of ''economically attractive'' men is not simply an artifact of local demographic deficits of men to marry.
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The long-term effects of parental divorce on individual's mental health after the transition to adulthood are examined using data from a British birth cohort that has been followed from birth to age 33. Growth-curve models and fixed-effects models are estimated. The results suggest that part of the negative effect of parental divorce on adults is a result of factors that were present before the parents' marriages dissolved. The results also suggest, however, a negative effect of divorce and its aftermath on adult mental health. Moreover, a parental divorce during childhood or adolescence continues to have a negative effect when a person is in his or her twenties and early thirties.
Article
National Longitudinal Surveys are used to investigate the patterns and determinants of marital dissolution for first marriages. The focus of this paper is to examine the associations between socioeconomic status differences and changes within marriage of marital partners and marital instability. Based on a discrete hazard model, the results indicate the risk of marital instability is highest among couples who have heterogamous education and who do not follow the most traditional working arrangement where only the husband is employed full-time in the labor market. Those couples who do equalize their original education and conventionalize employment status enjoy higher marital stability. However, marriages in which couples change to educational heterogamy and unconventional employment statuses are less likely to survive.
Article
Black teenagers living in metropolitan areas of the US initiate sexual intercourse at earlier ages than other teenagers and have higher rates of premarital pregnancy. Ethnographic studies of black families have claimed that economic uncertainties cause young blacks to delay marriage, while many young women achieve adulthood through premarital parenthood. It is also probable that girls who grow up in a female-headed family or who see their sisters become teenage parents are more likely to accept single-parenthood as a way to achieve adult status. The ethnographic explanations of the fertility behaviors of black adolescents are tested, using data from a random sample of more 1000 black females aged 13-19 who lived in the city of Chicago in 1979.-Authors
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Previous research has typically ignored the spatial dimension of marriage markets, focusing instead on highly aggregated data or on individual models of entry into marriage. A basic premise of this study is that national marriage rates are played out across local marriage-market areas that define female opportunities for marriage. Using local area data from the newly released 1980 Public Use Microdata Sample (D file), the article provides a direct test of several alternative explanations of US marital behavior and of black and white differences in marriage rates. The analysis reveals that local economic opportunities (including welfare) for females, spouse availability, and urbanization contribute significantly to spatial variations in female marriage rates, that the local supply of economically "attractive' males plays an especially large role in the marital behaviors of US black and white women, and that racial differences in marriage-market conditions accentuate, but do not explain completely, black-white differences in US marriage rates. The study reinforces the view that local marriage-market conditions play a fundamental and often unappreciated role in the marital search process of American women. -Authors
Article
We describe recent changes in propensities to marry according to the age and educational attainment of potential spouses. Relating actual marriage to the population of men and women at risk enables us to distinguish between changes in the availability of eligible partners and changes in the force of attraction between men and women in particular categories. The procedure is applied to data from 1973, 1980, and 1988 Current Population Surveys. Multivariate analysis suggests that the sharp declines in marriage rates between 1972 and 1979 were not highly differentiated by age or education for either men or women, but that the smaller declines between 1979 and 1987 were highly concentrated among younger women. Age and education homogamy increased during the latter period. Including cohabiting unions in the definition of marriage reduces the magnitude of the declines but does not alter their essential patterns.
Article
Competing theories of marriage formation are evaluated by merging several contextual variables, primarily marriage market characteristics from the 1980 census, with men's marital histories observed between 1979 and 1984 in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Discrete-time event history models reveal that, net of conventional individual-level predictors, a shortage of prospective partners in the local marriage market impedes white men's transition to first marriage. Women's aggregate economic independence, measured in terms of the proportion of females in the local marriage market who are employed and in terms of the size of average AFDC payments, also diminishes men's marriage propensities. Although earnings and home ownership facilitate men's marital transitions, racial differences in socioeconomic and marriage market characteristics account for relatively little of the substantial racial difference in marriage rates.
Article
We examine the effects of childhood family structure on leaving and returning home. Using retrospective data from the National Survey of Families and Households, we develop a competing risks, proportional hazards model of linkages among family experiences and the probability of leaving home very early (ages 15-16) and by given routes (schooling, the military, marriage, cohabitation, employment, and independence) and of returning home. We find that growing up in any of a variety of alternative family structures decreases the likelihood of leaving home via college attendance and of returning home but increases the likelihood of leaving early, especially to independence and marriage.
Article
In this paper, we explore the determinants of marital timing for males and females, separately by race, using a sequential model and data from the National longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. Results indicate that background factors are relatively unimportant in determining directly when marriage will occur. Rather, events and circumstances that are more current are the determining factors as to whether a marriage will occur. In addition, the factors important in determining marital timing vary systematically according to sex and race. The models for blacks are distinct in that few measured predictors of marital timing show consistently significant effects, contrary to the case for whites. This suggests a much different marriage market for each of the races.
Article
This study compares how being raised in an original, two-parent family and being raised in other family structures affects educational achievement, occupational status, and earnings attainment for a national sample of 30- to 59-year-old women and men. Data are derived from the 1989 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Findings suggest that family structure has different effects by gender. Although both men and women from original, two-parent families earn more, on average, than those from other family structures, for women, this effect occurs through educational attainment. For men, the association between family structure and attainment is explained by other family background variables, including smaller family size, being Catholic, higher levels of parental education, and being White. Men who are raised by both natural parents are not advantaged educationally, compared with those who grow up in other types of family structures. A cohort analysis for men that compares baby boomers with prebaby boomers, however, suggests contradictory effects of family structure that deserve more exploration.
Article
The argument presented here is that parental divorce diminishes the economic and social resources available to children, which in turn has negative consequences for children's educational attainment, marital timing, marital probability, and divorce probability. Based upon a combined sample of national data, for white respondents only, the analysis shows that parental divorce is associated with lower educational attainment and earlier age at marriage for both sexes. Daughters of divorced parents have a higher probability of being divorced. For sons of divorced parents, the probability of ever marrying is lower and of divorcing is higher only if they have lower social class backgrounds.
Article
Longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics show that parental divorce sharply increases the annual probability that children will move out of their neighborhoods. Conditional upon moving, children of divorce move to significantly poorer neighborhoods than do children in stable, two-parent families, a difference attributable to the negative impact of parental divorce on children's family income. The impact of divorce on these mobility outcomes is especially pronounced for African American children and for children whose parents owned their homes prior to divorcing. Parental remarriage is associated with higher mobility rates, but this difference is attributable to preexisting differences between parents who remarry and those who do not. Mobile children whose parents remarry move to slightly wealthier neighborhoods than mobile children whose parents remain unmarried.
Article
Using data from the young and mature women samples of the National Longitudinal Survey, this paper examines how the determinants of divorce (and separation) vary by the duration of marriage. In general, we find little evidence that the strength of previously identified predictors of divorce varies by marital duration. Variables such as race, wife's labor force participation, husband's employment, and urban residence seem to influence the probability of divorce, irrespective of the stage in the marital life course. The principal exception to this finding is the effect of wife's education, which appears to decrease the probability of divorce at early marital durations but to increase it at later durations. There is also suggestive evidence that the effects of home ownership and age at marriage may vary by marital duration.
Article
In previous work, my colleagues and I reported (1) a strong and statistically significant association between frequent changes in the numbers and types of parental figures a young woman has lived with and her risk of bearing her first child out of wedlock, and (2) weak and statistically nonsignificant associations between measures of a young woman's exposure to a mother-only family during childhood and adolescence and her risk of a premarital birth (Wu and Martinson 1993). A serious limitation of these findings is the absence of controls for income. Failure to control for income is especially problematic because the positive association between frequent changes in family structure and premarital birth risks could be an artifact of changes in economic circumstances that typically accompany family changes. In this study, I use prospective income histories and retrospective parental histories from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to determine if the effect of family instability on premarital births is an artifact of low, unstable, or declining family income. I find that low income, declining income, and frequent changes in family structure are associated with significantly increased premarital birth risks. The effects of income and change in family structure are largely independent.
Article
Analyses of data from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households demonstrated that parents' gender did not account for family structure variations in parental socialization. Among parents (n = 3,738) of children aged 15 to 18, male and female single parents reported less restrictive rules than did married parents, while stepmothers, stepfathers, and cohabiting male partners reported significantly less frequent activities with and positive responses to children than did original parents. Some evidence was found for the primary alternative explanations for these differences—that two adults are more effective than one, and that stepparents are relative strangers to children.
Article
Using the National Survey of Families and Households, we investigate effects of individual characteristics, parental background, and childhood living arrangements on adults' attitudes toward marriage, divorce, and nonmarital childbearing. The strongest predictors are age, sex, and marital status, with older persons, men, and married persons displaying more traditional attitudes. Higher parental socioeconomic status and maternal employment liberalize attitudes. Effects of childhood family structure are weak, but suggest that nontraditional family arrangements in childhood liberalize attitudes toward divorce and nonmarital fertility. Childhood family structure does not affect views on desirability of marriage. Respondents who never lived with biological fathers are less likely than others to disapprove of unmarried motherhood.
Article
Longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for a sample of 2,794 women observed between 1968 and 1993 are used to examine whether the impact of established sociodemographic determinants of the risk of a first premarital birth has changed over time or varies by age. Event history analyses reveal that the risk of a premarital birth is greater for Black women and Latinas than for White women and non-Latinas, that it declines with the socioeconomic status of the family of origin, is greater for women growing up in a mother-only family, increases with neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, and is higher in metropolitan areas and in areas outside the South. Over time, the racial difference in the risk of a first premarital birth has declined, a trend that cannot be attributed to changing racial differentials in family background characteristics or geographic location. In contrast, the difference in premarital childbearing risks between Latinas and non-Latinas has widened. The inverse impact of childhood family income on women's risk of a premarital birth weakens significantly as women age.
Article
Based on a national sample of adults, individuals who experienced parental divorce as children were compared with those who did not experience marital dissolution. Respondents from disrupted families of origin scored lower than those from happily intact families of origin on measures of psychological, social, and marital well-being ― but not on measures of socioeconomic adequacy. These differences, however, were generally weak in magnitude. Individuals from intact family backgrounds who described their parents as unhappily married exhibited lower levels of well-being than did individuals who described their parents as happily married. Divorces that entailed a decline in parent child-relations, and multiple divorces on the part of parents, appeared to be particularly problematic. Individuals experiencing “low-stress” parental divorces did not differ appreciably from those who grew up in happily intact homes.
Article
Census and vital statistics data for U.S. metropolitan areas in 1980 were analyzed to investigate the effects of mate availability, men's and women's levels of socioeconomic status and employment, level of public assistance, population size, and region on several aspects of family formation and family structure among African Americans. As predicted by theory, mate availability as measured by the sex ratio had a positive effect on marriage prevalence for women and a negative effect on marriage prevalence for men, and the effect on women's marriage prevalence was stronger in absolute magnitude. Mate availability also had strong positive effects on the prevalence of husband-wife families and the percentage of marital births. Men's socioeconomic status had positive effects on men's and women's marriage prevalence, the prevalence of husband-wife families, the percentage of children residing in husband-wife families, and the percentage of marital births. Women's socioeconomic status and level of public assistance had negative effects on these variables. We conclude that mate availability, men's socioeconomic status, and women's status and economic independence are important determinants of African American family formation and family structure.
Article
Vital statistics data are merged with census data to examine the impact of women's marriage opportunities on family formation and dissolution. Measures of the quantity and quality of potential spouses specific for a woman's age, race, education, and area of residence are linked to rates of marriage, divorce, and nonmarital fertility. Greater marriage opportunities increase rates of marriage and divorce, and decrease illegitimacy ratios. Unemployment among prospective husbands reduces marriage and divorce rates, but increases illegitimacy. Racial differences in marriage opportunities account for a moderate proportion of the racial difference in female marriage.
Article
This study uses national longitudinal data to explain the intergenerational transmission of divorce. Parental divorce is associated with an increased risk of offspring divorce, especially when wives and both spouses have experienced the dissolution of their parents' marriage. Offspring age at marriage, cohabitation, socioeconomic attainment, and prodivorce attitudes mediate modest proportions of the estimated effect of parental divorce. In contrast, a measure of interpersonal behavior problems mediates the largest share of the association. The findings suggest that parental divorce elevates the risk of offspring divorce by increasing the likelihood that offspring exhibit behaviors that interfere with the maintenance of mutually rewarding intimate relationships.
Article
Respondents from a national survey of Australians between the ages of 18 and 34 who experienced parental divorce as children were compared with respondents who grew up in continuously intact families or who experienced parental death as children, on eight measures of attitudes toward marriage and family life. Compared with respondents from intact families, those from divorced families held more negative attitudes toward their families of origin. Few differences emerged between groups in their attitudes toward the advantages and disadvantages of marriage, living together, or singlehood, once other family-of-origin variables were statistically controlled. Examination of individual items from a family values scale revealed that adults from divorced families of origin held relatively complex views of marriage: they valued marriage but were aware of its limitations and tolerant toward its alternatives.
Article
We investigate the reciprocal relationships between parents' attitudes and their children's behavior by focusing on attitudes toward nonmarital cohabitation and experience with cohabitation and marriage. We test hypotheses predicting that parental attitudes influence their children's behavior and that children's behavior alters their parents' attitudes. We use data from an intergenerational panel study of mothers and their children to specify models testing these predictions. Our findings support the hypotheses that (1) parental attitudes toward cohabitation influence children's behavior after controlling for children's own attitudes and (2) children's behavior influences their parents' attitudes. The empirical results also shed light on gender differences in the links between attitudes and behavior and possible causal links between aggregate level trends in family formation attitudes and behavior.
Article
The effect of alternative family structures on children's educational and occupational success has been constant over the past 30 years. Higher rates of unemployment and lower-status occupational posi- tions could account for the negative effect of single-mother families on children's attainment throughout the period. Children from single-father families and stepfamilies have consistently had lower attainments than children from both two-biological-parent and sin- gle-mother families. The influence of many other dimensions of chil- dren's family background declined from the 1960s to the 1980s but has declined no further since. Among six candidate theoretical frameworks, the findings are most consistent with an evolutionary view of parental investment.
Article
This study estimates the impact of a separation from a biological parent during childhood on adult socioeconomic attainment Data were drawn from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). For white males, white females, black females, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic females, respondents who experienced a separation had lower levels of attainment than those who lived continuously with both parents. However, no significant associations were observed for black males or Hispanic males. The estimated effects of parental absence on socioeconomic well-being were largely mediated by education and marital status. Overall, the data provide no support for the notion that growing up in a single parent family contributes to the low attainment of minority males.
Article
Different types of family structures experienced during childhood have varying effects on men's socioeconomic attainment and social mobility. Holding origin occupational characteristics constant, men (both white and African American) from a mother-headed family structure do as well as men from two-biological-parent families. In contrast, there is a negative effect of other types of family structures (father-headed, stepfamily) on socioeconomic attainment. Also, intergenerational occupational inheritance — from male family head to son or from female family head to son — is strongest when the mother is present, weakest when the mother is absent. The farther alternative family structures take sons away from their mothers, the more the intergenerational transmission process breaks down.
Article
We used data from the National Survey of Families and Households to investigate economic resources and parental behavior explanations for family structure effects on children. The economic explanation received considerable support in terms of singlemother disadvantage and accounted for a smaller proportion of disadvantage associated with mother-partner families. Parental behaviors, particularly maternal and paternal support, accounted for much smaller proportions of disadvantages found in motherstepfather as well as mother-partner families. Parental behaviors did not appear to mediate any of the economic resource effects on children.
Article
We explore the influence of education on cohabitation and marriage, formulating a theoretical framework that identifies ways in which the multiple dimensions of education influence both cohabitation and marriage. Our theoretical framework links education and union formation through the incompatibility of educational and marital and cohabiting roles, the opportunity costs of truncating education, and the accumulation of skills, knowledge, and credentials gained from school attendance. Using this theoretical framework, we formulate hypotheses about the influence of school enrollment and accumulation on marriage and cohabitation--hypotheses that are sometimes contradictory to what has been theorized in prior research. We evaluate our hypotheses using event-history data from a panel study of young adults. Results indicate that school enrollment decreases the rate of union formation and has greater effects on marriage than on cohabitation. School accumulation increases marriage rates and decreases cohabitation--a pattern suggesting that less educated individuals tend to substitute cohabitation for marriage, while those with greater school accumulation are more likely to marry.
Article
Studies of the relationship between race and delinquency have typically found that broken homes lead to greater delinquency among blacks than whites, but have not demonstrated empirically why this is so. This paper derives theoretical mechanisms from differential association theory and social control theory, specifying how broken homes may influence delinquency among both blacks and nonblacks. The analysis specifies a structural equation model of delinquency (Matsueda 1982), derives competing hypotheses from the two theories, and estimates a cross-population model for blacks and nonblacks using data from the Richmond Youth Project. Consistent with previous research, we find that broken homes have a larger impact on delinquency among blacks than nonblacks, but, unlike previous studies, our model explains this effect completely. In both populations, the effects of broken homes and attachment to parents and peers are mediated by the learning of definitions of delinquency, a finding that supports differential association over social control theory.
Article
This article reviews research on the premarital factors associated with later marital quality and stability in first marriages. Three major categories of factors are described, including background and context, individual traits and behaviors, and couple interactional processes. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal research are summarized. Recommendations for future research and implications for family life education and premarital counseling are described.
Article
Data from a handful of studies suggest that at any given marital duration, premarital cohabitors have a higher risk of ending the first marriage. A recent study of the 1972 high school senior cohort suggests that this difference can be explained in the United States by the greater time cohabitors have spent in a union. This hypothesis was reinvestigated with a more broadly representative sample of the population. Consistent with results for Sweden, we found that cohabitation in the United States is associated with a greater hazard of dissolution even after counting the time spent in unmarried cohabitation as part of marital duration.
Article
The National Survey of Families and Households is used to examine the relationship between premarital cohabitation and marital instability among U.S. women born between 1928 and 1957. As previously observed, cohabitation is generally associated with higher risks of marital dissolution. However, that differential is much smaller (or reversed) in recent cohorts where cohabitation is more common. The association between cohabitation and marital dissolution observed in earlier cohorts may reflect the select nature of those who cohabited, and may largely disappear as cohabitation becomes more common.
Article
Integrating ideas from child development with sociological models of educational attainment, we examine the relationship between family structure--whether both parents are present in the household--and children's achievement in high school. Using data from the High School and Beyond study, sophomore cohort, 1986, we ask whether differences in achievement are accounted for by differences in parents' educational aspirations and parenting styles. Children who live with single parents or stepparents during adolescence receive less encouragement and less help with school work than children who live with both natural parents, and parental involvement has positive effects on children's school achievement. Differences in parental behavior, however, account for little of the difference in educational attainment between children from intact and nonintact families.
Article
Using national data on white ever-married women under forty-five, differentials in marital instability are examined for several of the wife's characteristics at first marriage and for the couple's combined age, education and religion. Dummy variable multiple regression is used to adjust for the effects of differing durations since first marriage and to obtain effects for each variable net of other variables. With other variables controlled, an inverse age at marriage-instability relationship persists; and differences in marital stability by education appear largely attributable to differences in age at marriage by education. Other characteristics we considered are the wife's religion while growing up, whether she grew up on a farm, whether she lived with both parents at age fourteen, whether she was pregnant before her first marriage and whether her first husband had been married before. When we included the husband's variables, we found husbands age at marriage and education to have a negative relationship with marital instability. Higher instability for intermarriage is found among couples divergent in age or religion; only extreme differences in education are associated with higher instability.
Article
Using data from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households, we found that couples who cohabited before marriage reported lower quality marriages, lower commitment to the institution of marriage, more individualistic views of marriage (wives only), and greater likelihood of divorce than couples who did not cohabit. Effects were generally stronger for those who had cohabited for longer periods before marriage. Social and economic characteristics accounted for the higher perceived likelihood of divorce among those who had cohabited less than a year; differences in marital quality and institutional commitment accounted for remaining effects of longer cohabitation, while marital individualism did not have significant effects on perceived likelihood of divorce.
Article
With the use of a midified job-search theory, a conceptual framework is developed to show that some factors influence marriage timing by either facilitating or impeding assortative mating. Transition-to-work is emphasized because work structures people's lifestyles and is the major source of socioeconomic status; however, its nature is often unpredictable in early adulthood, while other personal attributes emerge early. The theory is applied to the dynamics of assortative mating under two contrasting scenarios: when gender roles are highly segregated, and when women's economic roles start to resemble those of men. Finally, the implications of the analysis for Becker's reduced-gains-to-marriage argument are assessed.
Article
This article examines the influence of mothers' marital histories on the cohabitational and marital experiences of their children. Significant factors include whether the mother was pregnant at marriage, her age at marriage, and her experience with marital disruption and remarriage. The analysis is conducted within an event-history framework that controls for other features of the parental home including socioeconomic status and religious affiliation. The evidence suggests that the children of mothers who married young and were pregnant at marriage entered into their own marital and nonmarital unions significantly earlier than others. The experience of parental marital dissolution increases children's nonmarital cohabitations but has little effect on their marriages. While no single causal mechanism can easily account for all of the empirical data, the combination of different attitudes toward marriage, nonmarital sex, and cohabitation can account for the empirical findings. -Author
Article
Utilizing a sample of 76 white, middle-class couples from a rural midwestern county, this study examined two central propositions: (a) the negative impact of economic hardship on a spouse's marital quality (happiness/satisfaction) or marital instability (thoughts or actions related to divorce) is in part a function of its influence on the affective quality of marital interactions, and (b) this process is particularly applicable to the hostile, irritable response of men to financial difficulties. A series of analyses supported these propositions. Economic pressures had an indirect association with married couples' evaluation of the marriage by promoting hostility in marital interactions and curtailing the warm and supportive behaviors spouses express toward one another. The hypothesized process was most pronounced for husbands, whose behavior was more strongly associated with economic problems than wives' behavior. Findings from the study are consistent with previous research that identifies negative affect as a principal behavioral correlate of marital distress; however, the results also suggest that more research needs to be done on the role of warmth and supportiveness in promoting marital quality. Limitations of the research and future research directions are discussed.
Article
This study examines the relationship between family structure, private transfers, and the economic well-being of families with children under 18. We use family wealth as a measure of economic well-being to mitigate some of the criticisms of traditional measures based on income. We examine family structure beyond marital status to include remarriage, cohabitation, and the gender of single parenthood. We focus on financial transfers from both kin and nonkin. After analyzing the distribution of family wealth and transfers by family structure, we estimate the effects of family structure, transfers, and their interaction on family wealth. Drawing on data from the National Survey of Families and Households (1987–88), we find that (1) family net wealth and total private transfers vary with family structure along three lines, marriage-remarriage, marriage-cohabitation, and male-female single parenthood; (2) marriage is a wealth-enhancing institution; (3) private transfers promote family net wealth; and (4) marriage reinforces the promoting effect of private transfers on family wealth.
Article
This review encompasses work published in the 1980s that concerns the causes of divorce. Substantive findings are reviewed under three broad headings: macrostructure, demographics and the life course, and family process. Trends in methods, samples, and theory are also reviewed. This decade's research on divorce is characterized by bigger and better data sets, more sophisticated research techniques, and a growing body of conclusive empirical findings in the areas of demographic and life course factors. Relatively neglected areas include theory and family process. The review ends with recommendations for future research.
Article
This paper addresses several issues concerning separation and divorce attitudes and attitude change, using data from an intergenerational panel study of mothers and their children. A definite trend toward approval of marital dissolution is observed between 1962 and 1980. A theoretical model of the determinants of attitudes shows that affiliation with Catholicism or fundamentalist Protestantism tends to reduce approval of marital dissolution, but that between 1962 and 1980 the effect of Catholicism declined and the effect of fundamentalist religion increased. Church attendance also has an important traditional influence on marital dissolution attitudes. Older women had the most approving attitudes in 1962, but they experienced the smallest subsequent change. Age at marriage is also negatively related to approval of marital dissolution. Attitudes toward marital dissolution are shown to have little influence on subsequent marital dissolution, whereas a marital dissolution influences attitudes significantly. ...
Article
This study examines whether the greater instability of marriages begun by premarital cohabitation can be accounted for by cohabitors' greater unconventionality in family ideology. The hypothesis was largely unsupported. Although family attitudes and beliefs tend to predict the attractiveness of a cohabiting lifestyle, they do not account for differences between cohabitors and noncohabitors in instability. Moreover, controlling for background differences, only serial cohabitation is associated with greater instability among intact first marriages of up to 10 years duration.
Article
Sharp declines in both first marriage rates and rates of remarriage have been largely offset by increasing cohabitation. The increase in the proportion of unmarried young people should not be interpreted as an increase in "singlehood" as traditionally regarded: young people are setting up housekeeping with partners of the opposite sex at almost as early an age as they did before marriage rates declined. The characteristics of cohabiting couples are documented here, including the role of the least educated in leading this trend, and the presence of children with 40% of the couples. While most cohabitors expect to marry their partner, there is a substantial proportion who disagree about marriage, and a high proportion are concerned about the stability of their relationship. Thus the picture that is emerging is that cohabitation is very much a family status, but one in which levels of certainty about the relationship are lower than in marriage.
Article
Previous research into declining marriage rates among black women has focused on aggregate-level marriage market models and has failed to adequately assess attitudinal and motivational factors in the decision to marry. Individual-level data are presented here based on the National Survey of Families and Households that confirm the underlying assumptions of restricted marriage market models and contradict the notion that black women are rejecting marriage or see marriage as economically nonviable. These data suggest that marriage rates are lower among black women because black women place greater emphasis on having economic supports in place prior to marriage and are more resistant to marrying someone who has fewer resources. These attitudinal differences are seen as exacerbating the effects of more economically restrictive marriage markets for black women.