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The Consequences of Parenthood for the Marital Stability of Young Adults

Linda J. Waite, Gus W. Haggstrom and David E. Kanouse
American Sociological Review
Vol. 50, No. 6 (Dec., 1985), pp. 850-857
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095508
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Consequences of Parenthood for the Marital Stability of Young Adults
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Abstract

This paper examines how the birth of the first child affects the stability of marriages over the short run: it uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. Our results show strong, positive effects of the first birth on the marital stability of young adults. We estimate that by the time the first child reaches his second birth more than 20 percent of the parents would have been divorced or separated if the child had not been born, compared to actual disruption rates of 5-8 percent.

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