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The Timing of Divorce

Tim B. Heaton, Stan L. Albrecht and Thomas K. Martin
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Aug., 1985), pp. 631-639
DOI: 10.2307/352264
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352264
Page Count: 9
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The Timing of Divorce
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Abstract

Much analysis of the correlates of divorce fails to take into account the time dependency of this event with respect to marital duration. This paper focuses explicitly on the relationship between independent variables and the timing of divorce. Two competing models are proposed. The adjustment model posits a decline in the effects of covariates as marital duration increases. In contrast, the perpetual problem model states that covariates will continue to influence the likelihood of divorce throughout the duration of the marriage. The effects of wife's age at marriage, husband's age relative to the wife's, wife's religion, and religious homogamy do not appear to diminish over marital duration. Thus, the perpetual problem model better describes the relationship between these variables and the timing of divorce.

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