خطر ابتلا به طلاق به عنوان یک مانع ازدواج در میان والدین کودکان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37120||2008||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science Research, Volume 37, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 1188–1199
Abstract Using data from the Fragile Families Study, we examine how unmarried parents’ risk of divorce influences their decision to marry. Regression results show that unmarried parents with a high predicted probability of marital dissolution (based on estimates of marital dissolution for a sample of initially married mothers with similar characteristics) had significantly lower odds of marriage to the father of their child even after controlling for individual and relationship characteristics expected to influence marriage transitions. The dissolution propensity we examine also includes a measure of the local divorce climate. As such, our results provide support for the argument that high rates of divorce in the population have led to a fear of divorce among unmarried parents which reduces their probability of marriage.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
2. Discussion and conclusions Recent cohorts of adults grew up during a time when divorce was common in American society. Many young men and women have experienced the divorce of their own parents, and others have been exposed to divorce indirectly. Although divorce and marriage propensities are negatively correlated in aggregate U.S. time-series data, little prior research has investigated the connection between divorce and marital decisions holding constant other confounding determinants of marriage such as individual characteristics, those of the current partner, and the relationship quality. Results from Fragile Families data indicate that unmarried parents with a higher predicted probability of marital dissolution had significantly and substantially lower odds of marriage to the child’s father within three years of their child’s birth. The magnitude of the dissolution propensity diminished but remained significant even after other factors highly associated with marriage, such parents’ demographic, socioeconomic, and relationship characteristics were taken into account. Our results indicate that the risk of dissolution works independently of these factors. In particular, since our dissolution index is also a function of the percent divorced in the respondent’s city of residence, our results are consistent with the argument that the high prevalence of divorce has produced a fear of divorce, leading some unmarried parents of young children to delay or avoid marriage (Waller, 2002). Because the necessary information to calculate divorce propensities is not available in other data sets, our analysis of marriage is restricted to the sample of initially unmarried parents in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and we are not able to test whether our results apply to unmarried individuals, more generally. However, our data has the important advantage of allowing us to assess the role of divorce expectations, holding characteristics of the specific partner and relationship quality constant. In a broader analysis of marriage decision of parents and non-parents, many respondents would not currently be in a relationship, and the relevant controls would be characteristics of potential partners, which are very difficult to capture with any specificity. In addition, our sample of unmarried parents is a group that is of significant academic and policy interest. In light of a large body evidence on the negative consequences of divorce, particularly for children (e.g., McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994), an important goal of policies aimed at strengthening two-parent families has not only been to encourage marriage but also to prevent marital dissolution. For unmarried couples, this goal has often been advanced through marriage education and preparation programs that focus on building partners’ relationship skills and, to a lesser extent, assessing their compatibility before marriage (Dion, 2005). We suggest that new policies aimed at strengthening marriage should consider the long-term viability of the marriages that unmarried parents would enter into, since couples themselves seem to be selecting out of marriages that are most likely to end in divorce. In these high risk cases, supporting parents’ choice to heed the warning signs of marital instability may often be more consistent with the objective of preventing divorce than encouraging marriage (Huston and Melz, 2004). One limitation of our study is that we can only observe couples’ relationship transitions within three years of their child’s birth. Although it is likely that a large proportion of transitions have already occurred by this time (e.g., Bramlett and Mosher, 2002), we would expect more couples to marry later. Another limitation is that these survey data do not allow us to distinguish couples that legally divorced, making it difficult to tease out the effects of laws regulating divorce in the regression results. It is possible that if the legal process for divorce was less adversarial, couples may be less hesitant to risk marriage. Future research should further examine how the legal climate for divorce influences couples’ marital decisions. Although the stigma of divorce seems to have decreased, our findings suggest that unmarried parents’ caution about marriage is related to a strong fear of divorce. Future research should also examine how widely these beliefs are shared with other young, unmarried adults who do not have children as well as the emergence of these beliefs.