We investigated the long-term effects of parental divorce in childhood on demographic outcomes in young adulthood, using a British longitudinal national survey of children. Our analyses control for predisruption characteristics of the child and the family, including emotional problems, cognitive’ achievement, and socioeconomic status. The results show that by age 23, those whose parents divorced were more likely to leave home because of friction, to cohabit, and to have a child outside marriage than were those whose parents did not divorce. Young adults whose parents divorced, however, were no more or less likely to marry or to have a child in a marriage. Moreover, even in the divorced group, the great majority did not leave home because of friction or have a child outside marriage.
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This study was supported primarily by NICHD Grant HD25936. We also wish to acknowledge the support provided to Kiernan by the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom, Grant ROOO 23 2161, and NICHD Population Center Grant HD06268 to Johns Hopkins University. In addition, we wish to thank Michele Trieb for programming assistance.
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Cherlin, A.J., Kiernan, K.E. & Chase-Lansdale, P.L. Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood. Demography 32, 299–318 (1995). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061682
- Emotional Problem
- Cohort Member
- Parental Divorce
- Marital Dissolution
- Marital Disruption