Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 424–436 | Cite as

Beyond Employment and Income: The Association Between Young Adults’ Finances and Marital Timing

Original Paper


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.


Assets 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Family, Consumer, and Human DevelopmentUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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