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Life Course Analysis and Multistate Demography: An Application to Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Thomas J. Espenshade and Rachel Eisenberg Braun
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 44, No. 4, Methodology: The Other Side of Caring (Nov., 1982), pp. 1025-1036
DOI: 10.2307/351461
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351461
Page Count: 12
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Abstract

Transitions made by individuals are fundamental to our understanding of changes in the ways households and families form and function. Life course analysis is a useful framework in which to study these transitions because individuals spend time in different discrete statuses over their lifetimes. Nevertheless, individuals' experiences of these statuses do not follow a linear pattern. Not all individuals experience the same statuses, and the order in which they occur may differ. Moreover, some individuals may return to statuses previously occupied. The techniques of multistate demography provide a methodology for analyzing transitions in a life course context. An application of multistate demography to marriage, divorce and remarriage behavior is described and results of current research on marital histories are presented.

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