Beyond Employment and Income: The Association Between Young Adults’ Finances and Marital Timing
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This study tested an extension of the theory of marital timing (Oppenheimer, Am J Sociol 94:563–591, 1988) by assessing whether visible and less visible financial assets and debt mediated the relationship between employment and the likelihood of marriage. We conducted these prospective, longitudinal analyses using a sample of 1,522 never-married young adults from the National Survey of Families and Households. For participants who were not cohabiting at Wave 1, financial issues such as car values predicted marriage but did not mediate the relationship between work hours, occupational prestige, and the likelihood of marriage. For cohabiting participants, employment factors were the strongest predictor of marriage.
KeywordsAssets Cohabitation Consumer debt Employment Marriage
A grant from the Social Trends Institute supported the first author’s efforts in this research. Part of this manuscript was presented as a poster at the national conference of the Population Association of America in 2007.
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