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Determinants of Divorce over the Marital Life Course

Scott J. South and Glenna Spitze
American Sociological Review
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Aug., 1986), pp. 583-590
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095590
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.
Determinants of Divorce over the Marital Life Course
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Abstract

Using data from the young and mature women samples of the National Longitudinal Survey, this paper examines how the determinants of divorce (and separation) vary by the duration of marriage. In general, we find little evidence that the strength of previously identified predictors of divorce varies by marital duration. Variables such as race, wife's labor force participation, husband's employment, and urban residence seem to influence the probability of divorce, irrespective of the stage in the marital life course. The principal exception to this finding is the effect of wife's education, which appears to decrease the probability of divorce at early marital durations but to increase it at later durations. There is also suggestive evidence that the effects of home ownership and age at marriage may vary by marital duration.

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