More Evidence for Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Completed Cohort Approach Using Data From the General Social Survey
- 896 Downloads
Many studies have demonstrated that the children of divorce are disproportionately likely to end their own marriages. In previous work, I showed that the transmission of divorce between generations weakened substantially for General Social Survey (GSS) respondents interviewed between 1973 and 1996 (Wolfinger 1999); Li and Wu (2006, 2008) contended that my finding is a methodological artifact of the GSS’s lack of marriage duration data. This article presents a completed-cohort approach to studying divorce using the GSS. The results confirm a decline in the probability of divorce transmission that cannot be explained by the right-censoring bias alleged by Li and Wu. This finding contributes to an ongoing debate about trends in the negative consequences of parental divorce, as well as demonstrating a useful approach to right-censored phenomena when event history data are not available.
KeywordsDivorce Divorce transmission Divorce cycle
I thank Paul Amato, Jaap Dronkers, Lori Kowaleski-Jones, William Mason, Matthew McKeever, Hiromi Ono, and Ken Smith for useful suggestions.
- Allison, P. D. (1984). Event history analysis: Regression for longitudinal data (Sage University Papers on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, Series No. 07–046). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Allison, P. D. (1995). Survival analysis using the SAS System: A practical guide. Cary, NC: SAS Institute, Inc.Google Scholar
- Davis, J. A., & Smith, T. W. (2007). General Social Surveys, 1972–2006 [machine-readable data file]; Principal Investigator, James A. Davis; Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Tom W. Smith; Co-Principal Investigator, Peter V. Marsden; Sponsored by National Science Foundation. –NORC ed.– Chicago: National Opinion Research Center [producer]; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor].Google Scholar
- Diekmann, A., & Mitter, P. (1984). A comparison of the “sickle function” with alternative stochastic models of divorce rates. In A. Diekmann & P. Mitter (Eds.), Stochastic modeling of social processes (pp. 123–153). Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
- Engelhardt, H., Trappe, H., & Dronkers, J. (2002). Differences in family policy and the intergenerational transmission of divorce: A comparison between the former East and West Germanies. Demographic Research, 6, article 11, 296–324. doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2002.6.11
- Li, J.-C.A., & Wu, L. L. (2006). No trend in the intergenerational transmission of divorce (National Survey of Families and Households Working Paper # 94). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin–Madison.Google Scholar
- Mason, W. M., & Wolfinger, N. H. (2001). Cohort Analysis. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (pp. 2189–2194). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
- McLanahan, S. S., & Sandefur, G. (1994). Growing up with a single parent: What hurts, what helps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Nock, S. L., Sanchez, L. A., & Wright, J. D. (2008). Covenant marriage: The movement to reclaim tradition in America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Waite, L. J., & Gallagher, M. (2000). The case for marriage: Why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar