Publication


Brons, Anne and Liefbroer, Aart C. and Ganzeboom, Harry B.G.
Parental Socioeconomic Status and the Timing of First Marriage: What Is the Role of Unmarried Cohabitation? Results from a Cross-National Comparison
Demographic Research, 2021
DOI, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
Background: Previous research has shown that individuals from high-status families enter marriage later than those from low-status families. However, in many Western societies, it has become common to cohabit prior to marriage. Does this change the link between parental socioeconomic status (SES) and marriage timing? Objective: This study examines to what extent the impact of parental SES on the timing of first marriage weakens after young adults start a cohabiting union. It also examines cross-national variation in the link between parental SES and marriage timing before and after young adults cohabit and whether this variation depends on countries' position in the cohabitation transition. Methods: We apply discrete-time hazard models and meta-analytical tools using data from 20 Western countries. To examine whether the cohabitation stage of countries explains country differences, we construct a four-stage cohabitation typology. Results: In most countries, higher parental SES results in later entry into marriage. The impact of parental SES on marriage timing weakens considerably after young adults entered a cohabiting union. Substantial cross-national variation is found in the strength of the link between parental SES and marriage timing. However, this variation cannot be explained by the cohabitation stage countries are in. Contribution: First, this study provides fresh evidence of the influence of parental SES on family formation in Western countries. Second, it shows the importance of a life-course perspective, as parental SES matters less after young adults start a cohabiting union. Third, it presents a theory-based and empirically-tested typology of stages in the cohabitation transition.

Reference


@article{bronsParentalSocioeconomicStatus2021,
  author = {Brons, Anne and Liefbroer, Aart C. and Ganzeboom, Harry B.G.},
  title = {Parental Socioeconomic Status and the Timing of First Marriage: What Is the Role of Unmarried Cohabitation? Results from a Cross-National Comparison},
  year = {2021},
  journal = {Demographic Research},
  volume = {45},
  number = {15},
  pages = {469-516},
  month = {Aug},
  doi = {10.4054/DemRes.2021.45.15},
  timestamp = {10.01.2022},
  issn = {1435-9871},
  abstract = {Background: Previous research has shown that individuals from high-status families enter marriage later than those from low-status families. However, in many Western societies, it has become common to cohabit prior to marriage. Does this change the link between parental socioeconomic status (SES) and marriage timing? Objective: This study examines to what extent the impact of parental SES on the timing of first marriage weakens after young adults start a cohabiting union. It also examines cross-national variation in the link between parental SES and marriage timing before and after young adults cohabit and whether this variation depends on countries' position in the cohabitation transition. Methods: We apply discrete-time hazard models and meta-analytical tools using data from 20 Western countries. To examine whether the cohabitation stage of countries explains country differences, we construct a four-stage cohabitation typology. Results: In most countries, higher parental SES results in later entry into marriage. The impact of parental SES on marriage timing weakens considerably after young adults entered a cohabiting union. Substantial cross-national variation is found in the strength of the link between parental SES and marriage timing. However, this variation cannot be explained by the cohabitation stage countries are in. Contribution: First, this study provides fresh evidence of the influence of parental SES on family formation in Western countries. Second, it shows the importance of a life-course perspective, as parental SES matters less after young adults start a cohabiting union. Third, it presents a theory-based and empirically-tested typology of stages in the cohabitation transition.}
}
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