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Title:Fertility and Marital Dissolution Among Young American Women (Hazards, Family)
Author(s):Woodrow, Karen Ann
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Demography
Abstract:The focus of this research is on the impact of childbearing upon the likelihood of marital dissolution during the first ten years of marriage. The birth of the first child causes numerous shifts in spousal roles, the household division of labor, time for leisure activities, and economic demands. Children also constitute a unique type of marital-specific capital, capital of greater value in the marriage than if the marriage were to dissolve.
This research has two major directions: first, to discern the relationship between marital dissolution and the tempo of marital childbearing, the pace at which women experience the first, second and third marital births; and, second, to discern whether women's involvement in non-familial activities influences marital dissolution. The sample utilizes event-history data on first marriages for ever-married women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women's Labor Market Experiences, 1968-1978. A methodology particularly appropriate with longitudinal, event-history data is discrete-time proportional hazards modelling of the hazard of divorce. The independent variables are the woman's characteristics at the beginning of each marital year, including not only her characteristics at the time of entry into first marriage, but also, more importantly, the time-variant characteristics related to childbearing and non-familial roles. The dependent variable is simply the probability that a divorce occurs prior to the end of each marital year.
The findings confirm that the occurrence of the first and second marital births decreases the hazard of divorce for black and white women during the first ten years of their first marriages. Rapid family formation, i.e., occurrence of first, second, and third marital births during the first six years of marriage, is associated with an increased hazard of divorce. Young women's involvement in the labor force increases the hazard of divorce. The timing and occurrence of the first marital birth is important in decreasing the likelihood of divorce during the early years of marriage, especially for women who entered into marriage at young ages. Future research should address the causal linkages between the presence of children and women's involvement in labor force activities.
Issue Date:1984
Description:377 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409852
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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