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Historical Time and U.S. Marital Dissolution

Hiromi Ono
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 3 (Mar., 1999), pp. 969-999
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005968
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005968
Page Count: 31
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Historical Time and U.S. Marital Dissolution
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Abstract

The leading perspective on historical variations in marital dissolution is that they are explained by period rather than marriage cohort effects. However, some theories of marriage formation suggest that marriage cohort membership also influences the historical patterns. Using direct measures to capture some of the marriage cohort effects, this article examines whether a marriage cohort effect is present net of period effects. The results from the June Current Population Surveys indicate that there is a cohort basis to the historical variations. In particular, even when controlling for period effects, an increase in women's education at first marriage is linked to a higher level of cohort marital dissolution. Thus, an explanatory framework that excludes marriage cohort effects overlooks a major influence on the historical patterns of marital dissolution.

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