, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 581–592 | Cite as

More Evidence for Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Completed Cohort Approach Using Data From the General Social Survey

  • Nicholas H. Wolfinger


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.


Divorce 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.

Supplementary material

13524_2011_25_MOESM1_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Esm 1 Alternate Analytic Specifications (DOC 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family and Consumer StudiesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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