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Archive for the ‘marriage and divorce’ Category

First Comes Social Networking, Then Comes Marriage? Characteristics of Americans Married 2005–2012 Who Met Through Social Networking Sites

April 10, 2014 Comments off

First Comes Social Networking, Then Comes Marriage? Characteristics of Americans Married 2005–2012 Who Met Through Social Networking Sites
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Although social networking sites (SNS) have become increasingly prevalent and integrated into the lives of users, the role of SNS in courtship is relatively unknown. The present manuscript reports on the characteristics of Americans married between 2005 and 2012 who met through SNS drawn from a weighted national sample (N=18,527). Compared to other online meetings (i.e., dating sites, online communities, one-on-one communication), individuals who met through SNS were younger, married more recently, and were more likely to be African American. Compared with offline meetings, individuals who met through SNS were more likely to be younger, male, African American and Hispanic, married more recently, and frequent Internet users with higher incomes. Trends suggest an increasing proportion of individuals are meeting using SNS, necessitating further research on factors that influence romantic relational development through SNS.

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The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce

April 8, 2014 Comments off

The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The purpose of this study was to examine how social networking site (SNS) use, specifically Twitter use, influences negative interpersonal relationship outcomes. This study specifically examined the mediational effect of Twitter-related conflict on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes, and how this mechanism may be contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. A total of 581 Twitter users aged 18 to 67 years (Mage=29, SDage=8.9) completed an online survey questionnaire. Moderation–mediation regression analyses using bootstrapping methods indicated that Twitter-related conflict mediated the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The length of the romantic relationship, however, did not moderate the indirect effect on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The results from this study suggest that active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce. This indirect effect is not contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. The current study adds to the growing body of literature investigating SNS use and romantic relationship outcomes.

When one spouse has an affair, who is more likely to leave?

March 26, 2014 Comments off

When one spouse has an affair, who is more likely to leave?
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
We examine whether having an affair around the time a marriage broke up is associated with being the person who wanted the divorce more or the person who was left. We also examine predictors of having an affair around the end of the marriage.

Methods:
We use the National Survey of Families and Households, using each ex-spouse’s reports of which spouse wanted the divorce more and whether either was having an affair around the end of the marriage. We combine latent class models with logistic regression, treating either spouse’s report as a fallible indicator of the reality of whether each had an affair and who wanted the divorce more.

Results:
We find that a spouse having an affair is more likely to be the one who wanted the divorce more. We find little gender difference in who has affairs preceding divorce.

Conclusions:
Results suggest that it is more common to leave because one is having an affair, or to have an affair because one has decided to leave, than it is to discover one’s spouse having an affair and initiate a divorce.

Gender Differences in Self-employment of Older Workers in the United States and New Zealand

March 20, 2014 Comments off

Gender Differences in Self-employment of Older Workers in the United States and New Zealand (PDF)
Source: Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This study examined differences in self-employment of workers age 50+ in the United States (N = 3,948) and New Zealand (N = 1,434). Separate logistic regression analyses were conducted by country and gender. For both U.S. men and women, lower income, higher wealth, and having an employed spouse increased the likelihood of self-employment. Older age, lower income, higher wealth, and household composition increased the odds of being self-employed for men in New Zealand. Women in New Zealand were more likely to be self-employed if they were in a blue-collar occupation, had higher household wealth, higher education, and did not receive pension income. Selfemployment can enable older adults to remain in the labor force longer, thereby fostering continued productivity and engagement.

Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Australia has remarkably detailed data on non-marital pregnancy dating from 1908. They both offer insight into long-term trends in childbearing resulting from non-marital sexual activity and reveal in historical context key features of the second demographic transition and its genesis.

Objective:
Trends are traced in rates of non-marital conception of children ultimately born both outside and within marriage. A range of related indices is also presented in examining how demographic behaviour surrounding non-marital pregnancy (i) helped generate the second demographic transition and (ii) unfolded as a component of it.

Methods:
Core indices are rates of non-marital conception partitioned into additive components associated with marital and non-marital confinement. Data on non-marital and early marital births (at marriage durations 0-7 months) are lagged back 38 weeks to a date of and age at conception basis to facilitate a common, unmarried, population at risk.

Results:
Post-war weakening of parental oversight of courtship was a fundamental trigger to the broader rejection of normative and institutional values that underpinned the second demographic transition. In tandem with denying the unmarried access to oral contraception it generated rampant youthful non-marital pregnancy, which undermined Judeo-Christian values, especially once abortion law reform occurred.

Conclusions:
Childbearing following non-marital conception transitioned rapidly after the 1960s from primarily the unintended product of youthful intercourse in non-coresidential relationships to mainly intended behaviour at normative reproductive ages in consensual unions. Family formation increasingly mixed non-marital births and premaritally and/or maritally conceived marital births.

The Divorce Revolution and Generalized Trust: Evidence from the United States 1973-2010

March 4, 2014 Comments off

The Divorce Revolution and Generalized Trust: Evidence from the United States 1973-2010 (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

This paper examines the effect of exposure to a culture of easier divorce as a minor on generalized trust using the General Social Survey from 1973-2010. The easier divorce culture is defined as the introduction of no-fault including unilateral divorce reforms across the US. According to the results, the divorce revolution seems to have had some effect on trust levels across the US. While there are no discernible effects for the whole sample of men, there are statistically significant effects for women with an additional year of exposure being associated with a 4 percentage point lower generalized trust in the states with easy divorce culture compared to states with fault based divorce culture. An analysis by sub-group of women indicates that married and divorced/separated women have significantly lower levels of trust associated with exposure to easy divorce culture as a child. The findings are in agreement with the predictions of previous literature regarding no-fault divorce reforms reducing the security offered by marriage, in particular for women.

Healthy Marriage Initiative Spending and U.S. Marriage & Divorce Rates, a State-level Analysis

February 18, 2014 Comments off

Healthy Marriage Initiative Spending and U.S. Marriage & Divorce Rates, a State-level Analysis (PDF)
Source: National Center for Family & Marriage Research

Since 2001, the federal government has spent more than $600 million on its Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI), designed to support the formation and maintenance of healthy marriages. This profile examines how HMI spending from 2000-2010 is related to trends in U.S. marriage and divorce. It also investigates the relationship between federally designated state-level HMI spending from 2000-2011 and state-level marriage and divorce rates in 2011.

Social Security and Divorce Decisions

February 7, 2014 Comments off

Social Security and Divorce Decisions
Source: Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

People who have divorced are entitled to Social Security spousal benefits if their marriages lasted at least ten years. This paper uses 1985–1995 Vital Statistics data and the 2008–2011 American Community Surveys to analyze how this rule affects divorce decisions. I find evidence that the ten-year rule results in a small increase in divorces for the general population; however, the effects vary greatly by age. Divorce decisions change very little for people under the age of 35. For people 55 and older, however, divorces increase by approximately 20 percent around the ten-year cutoff, which leads to an increase in the likelihood of being divorced of 11.7 percent at ten years of marriage. For people between the ages of 35 and 55, who account for over half of divorces, the likelihood of being divorced increases by almost 6 percent as marriages cross the ten-year mark. This heterogeneity across ages likely exists because older people are more focused on retirement and have less time to remarry. These results indicate many people delay divorcing because they need Social Security benefits.

Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding Regional Variation in Divorce Rates

February 6, 2014 Comments off

Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding Regional Variation in Divorce Rates (PDF)
Source: Population Association of America

Why are cohabiting unions less frequent in the red states, why are early marriages and early first births more common in the red states, and why is the transition to adulthood faster and maternal labor force participation lower in the red states? Are these characteristics exogenous to religious affiliation or at least partially endogenous with respect to religion? Why isn’t the cultural support for marriage and disapproval of divorce in conservative denominations enough to overcome these heightened risk factors for divorce? The answer may lie in the unique religious culture of Christian conservatives. This religious culture both praises the sanctity of marriage while simultaneously eliciting patterns of behavior that destabilize marriage. In particular, the emphasis placed on sexual restraint until marriage and abstinenceonly education, and the stigma attached to abortion and certain forms of birth control encourage early family formation and cessation of education among religious conservatives (Fitzgerald and Glass, 2008; Regnerus, 2007) This paper tests this theoretical claim by analyzing county level data on conservative religious concentration, demographic behavior (age at first marriage, age at first birth, mean educational attainment, marriage, cohabitation and maternal labor force participation rates, etc.) and divorce.

Modelling the constraints on consanguineous marriage when fertility declines

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Modelling the constraints on consanguineous marriage when fertility declines
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Consanguinity – or marriage between close blood relatives, in particular first cousins – is widely practised and even socially encouraged in many countries. However, in the face of fertility transition where the number of cousins eligible to marry declines, how might such constraints on consanguinity develop in the future?

Objective:
Numerous studies have stated that the practice cannot continue at present levels and in ist present form in the face of fertility transition. However, the future impact of fertility transition on availability of cousins to marry has not yet been quantified.

Methods:
We perform a simulation exercise using past and projected net reproduction rates (NRRs) derived from the UN. We calculate the average number of cousins of the opposite sex as a function of the average number of children, the average probability of an individual having at least one eligible paternal cousin of the opposite sex, and conclude with an examination of constraints on consanguineous marriage in selected countries under different fertility assumptions.

Results:
Current and projected fertility levels in Middle Eastern countries will create challenging constraints on the custom once today’s birth cohorts reach marriageable age.

Conclusions:
Either consanguinity prevalence will diminish significantly, or the institution will be forced to adapt by becoming more coercive in the face of reduced choice or at the expense of other social preferences (such as for an older groom wedding a younger bride). Fertility decline affects prospects for social change not only through its well-known consequences for mothers but also through shaping marriage conditions for the next generation.

Exploring parents’ perspectives on their interfaith marriage (Jewish and Christian) and the transmission of religious activities to their children

January 22, 2014 Comments off

Exploring parents’ perspectives on their interfaith marriage (Jewish and Christian) and the transmission of religious activities to their children
Source: California State University-Northridge

The purpose of this study was to examine the practices, traditions, and religious beliefs that Jewish and Christian spouses are passing onto their children. To further examine the strategies and approaches used in integrating religion into their children’s lives, a total of 16 interfaith spouses were recruited to take part in the study. Subjects responded to a series of audio-recorded questions covering areas related to religion and childrearing. In addition, participants were presented with a demographic questionnaire that assessed basic, measurable attributes such as ethnicity and gender.

Comparisons amongst responses indicate that a variety of religious approaches are utilized amongst couples. The religious strategies found in this study ranged from instilling one main religion, combining both religions, to incorporating very little religion at all into the religious upbringing of the child or children. The sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions. However, these findings do have implications for future research on the experiences of Jewish and Christian interfaith couples, particularly with regards to raising children together.

Promoting Marriage among Single Mothers: An Ineffective Weapon in the War on Poverty?

January 13, 2014 Comments off

Promoting Marriage among Single Mothers: An Ineffective Weapon in the War on Poverty?
Source: Council on Contemporary Families

The rapid rise in nonmarital fertility is arguably the most significant demographic trend of the past two decades. The proportion of births to unmarried women grew 46 percent over the past 20 years so that more than four in ten births now occur to unmarried women. Nonmarital fertility is quickly becoming a dominant pathway to family formation, especially among the disadvantaged. This is worrisome because decades of research show that children raised in single-parent homes fare worse on a wide range of outcomes (e.g. poverty, educational attainment, nonmarital and teen childbearing) than children raised by two biological parents. The poverty rates of single parent households are particularly striking. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 46 percent of children in single mother households were living in poverty in 2013 compared to 11 percent of children living with two married parents.

How can we improve the lives of the growing numbers of unmarried mothers and their children? So far, a dominant approach has been to encourage their mothers to marry. At first glance, the logic makes sense. If growing up in a two-parent home is best for children, then adding a second parent to a single-mother home should at least partially address the problem. The 1996 welfare reform legislation and its subsequent reauthorization institutionalized this focus on marriage by allowing states to spend welfare funds on a range of marriage promotion efforts.

The flaw in this argument is the assumption that all marriages are equally beneficial. In fact, however, the pool of potential marriage partners for single mothers in impoverished communities does not include many men with good prospects for becoming stable and helpful partners. Single mothers are especially likely to marry men who have children from other partnerships, who have few economic resources, who lack a high-school diploma, or who have been incarcerated or have substance abuse problems. The new unions that single mothers form tend to have low levels of relationship quality and high rates of instability. A nationally representative study of more than 7,000 women found that approximately 64 percent of the single mothers who married were divorced by the time they reached age 35-44. More importantly, single mothers who marry and later divorce are worse off economically than single mothers who never marry. Even marriages that endure appear to offer few health benefits to single mothers unless they are to the biological father of their first child.

Diversity in Old Age: The Elderly in Changing Economic and Family Contexts

November 8, 2013 Comments off

Diversity in Old Age: The Elderly in Changing Economic and Family Contexts
Source: Brown University

The longevity of today’s older adults offers greater opportunities for meaningful interactions with children and grandchildren. Yet, the strength of these ties has been tested by changes in the structure and composition of families caused by high rates of cohabitation, childbearing outside of marriage, and divorce. And the rates of disruption are higher for poorer families, so older parents with the fewest resources to share are most likely to be called on for help.

Marriage and divorce: patterns by gender, race, and educational attainment

October 29, 2013 Comments off

Marriage and divorce: patterns by gender, race, and educational attainment
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), this article examines marriages and divorces of young baby boomers born during the 1957–1964 period. The article presents data on marriages and divorces by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin, as well as by educational attainment.

Live Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Mother 1, 2012

October 16, 2013 Comments off

Live Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Mother 1, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • In 2012, nearly half (49%) of all live births were to mothers aged 30 and over.
  • In 2012, nearly two-thirds (65%) of fathers were aged 30 and over (excluding births registered solely by the mother).
  • In 2012, the standardised average age of mothers for all births was 29.8 years.
  • In 2012, for first births the standardised average age of mothers was 28.1 years.
  • In 2012, 84% of babies were registered by parents who were married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting.

All tied up: Tied staying and tied migration within the United States, 1997 to 2007

October 15, 2013 Comments off

All tied up: Tied staying and tied migration within the United States, 1997 to 2007
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
The family migration literature presumes that women are cast into the role of the tied migrant. However, clearly identifying tied migrants is a difficult empirical task since it requires the identification of a counterfactual: Who moved but did not want to?

Objective:
This research develops a unique methodology to directly identify both tied migrants and tied stayers in order to investigate their frequency and determinants.

Methods:
Using data from the 1997 through 2009 U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), propensity score matching is used to match married individuals with comparable single individuals to create counterfactual migration behaviors: who moved but would not have moved had they been single (tied migrants) and who did not move but would have moved had they been single (tied stayers).

Results:
Tied migration is relatively rare and not limited just to women: rates of tied migration are similar for men and women. However, tied staying is both more common than tied migration and equally experienced by men and women. Consistent with the body of empirical evidence, an analysis of the determinants of tied migration and tied staying demonstrates that family migration decisions are imbued with gender.

Conclusions:
Additional research is warranted to validate the unique methodology developed in this paper and to confirm its results. One line of future research should be to examine the effects of tied staying, along with tied migration, on well-being, union stability, employment, and earnings.

Cohabitation and the Uneven Retreat from Marriage in the U.S., 1950-2010

October 7, 2013 Comments off

Cohabitation and the Uneven Retreat from Marriage in the U.S., 1950-2010 (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Since 1950 the sources of the gains from marriage have changed radically. As the educational attainment of women overtook and surpassed that of men and the ratio of men’s to women’s wage rates fell, traditional patterns of gender specialization in work weakened. The primary source of the gains to marriage shifted from the production of household services and commodities to investment in children. For some, these changes meant that marriage was no longer worth the costs of limited independence and potential mismatch.

Cohabitation became an acceptable living arrangement for all groups, but cohabitation serves different functions among different groups. The poor and less educated are much more likely to rear children in cohabitating relationships. The college educated typically cohabit before marriage, but they marry before conceiving children and their marriages are relatively stable.

We argue that different patterns of child-rearing are the key to understanding class differences in marriage and parenthood, not an unintended by-product of it. Marriage is the commitment mechanism that supports high levels of investment in children and is hence more valuable for parents adopting a high-investment strategy for their children.

Examining the Impact of Selected New Media on Spousal Relationships in the Military

September 30, 2013 Comments off

Examining the Impact of Selected New Media on Spousal Relationships in the Military
Source: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Stewart)

The United States Armed Forces were once comprised primarily of single young men. The military began to diversify as servicemen married and started families. As women joined the service a growth in military partnerships and dual-parent military households became increasingly prevalent. With these changes, coupled with the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, challenges were realized about maintaining marital and family norms in balance with professional duties. The contemporary era of wars is hallmarked by longer tours and reoccurring deployments, further complicating the work-life balance for military personnel. This decade of wars parallels with innovation of new media and staggering societal adoption of online platforms for social networking and information-sharing. The trials and tribulations of deployment for military members and their loved ones require distinct efforts to communicate during extensive periods of time apart. With these modern outlets available to facilitate relational communication remotely, this study set forth to examine the impact of new media on spousal relationships in the military. Interviews with ten military spouses who experienced deployment indicated five themes regarding their use of new media: (1) mobility, (2) monitoring and surveillance, (3) community, (4) utility, and (5) uncertainty and urgency.

Examining the Impact of Selected New Media on Spousal Relationships in the Military

September 25, 2013 Comments off

Examining the Impact of Selected New Media on Spousal Relationships in the Military
Source: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Stewart)

The United States Armed Forces were once comprised primarily of single young men. The military began to diversify as servicemen married and started families. As women joined the service a growth in military partnerships and dual-parent military households became increasingly prevalent. With these changes, coupled with the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, challenges were realized about maintaining marital and family norms in balance with professional duties. The contemporary era of wars is hallmarked by longer tours and reoccurring deployments, further complicating the work-life balance for military personnel. This decade of wars parallels with innovation of new media and staggering societal adoption of online platforms for social networking and information-sharing. The trials and tribulations of deployment for military members and their loved ones require distinct efforts to communicate during extensive periods of time apart. With these modern outlets available to facilitate relational communication remotely, this study set forth to examine the impact of new media on spousal relationships in the military. Interviews with ten military spouses who experienced deployment indicated five themes regarding their use of new media: (1) mobility, (2) monitoring and surveillance, (3) community, (4) utility, and (5) uncertainty and urgency.

Spousal Health Effects – the Role of Selection

September 24, 2013 Comments off

Spousal Health Effects – the Role of Selection
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research (via SSRN)

In this paper, we investigate the issue of partner selection in the health of individuals who are at least fifty years old in England and the United States. We find a strong and positive association in family background variables including education of partners and their parents. Adult health behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and exercise are more positively associated in England compared to the United States. Childhood health indicators are also positively associated across partners. We also investigated pre and post partnership smoking behavior of couples. There exists strong positive assortative mating in smoking in that smokers are much more likely to partner with smokers and non-smokers with non-smokers. This relationship is far stronger in England compared to the United States. In the United States, we find evidence of asymmetric partner influence in smoking in that men’s pre marriage smoking behavior influences his female partner’s post marriage smoking behavior but there does not appear to be a parallel influence of women’s pre-marriage smoking on their male partner’s post-marital smoking. These relationships are much more parallel across genders in England.

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