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Marital history homogamy between the divorced and the never married among non-Hispanic whites

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Ono, Hiromi. 2005. "Marital history homogamy between the divorced and the never married among non-Hispanic whites." Social Science Research, 34(2): 333-356.

Whether and why the never married and the divorced marry partners of like marital history is not well known. The homogamous tendency on marital history may simply be a by-product of couples' homogamous tendencies on age, socioeconomic status, and parenthood status, in addition to the group size imbalance between the never married and the divorced. Alternatively, marital history homogamy may reflect spousal preferences for similarity in marital history that arises, in part, from continued ties of the divorced to their former marriage. To test hypotheses implied by these two perspectives, regression models are applied to unmarried non-Hispanic white men and women from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, 1985-1997. Results are contrary to the hypothesis based on the by-product perspective. Specifically, in both the male and female subsamples, the tendency toward marital history homogamy is not removed by controlling for individuals' spousal choice on age, education, and parenthood status. However, results are consistent with the hypothesis based on the marital ties perspective. For example, in the subsample of women, the measure of ties to former marriage accounts for about a quarter of the tendency toward marital history homogamy. Results have implications for resource distribution within and across American families.

DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2004.04.002 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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