, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 66–81 | Cite as

The influence of parents’ marital dissolutions on children’s attitudes toward family formation

  • William G. AxinnEmail author
  • Arland Thornton
Family and household


We investigate the influence of parents’ marital dissolutions on their children’s attitudes toward several dimensions of family formation. Hypotheses focus on the role of parents’ attitudes as a mechanism linking parents’ behavior to their children’s attitudes. We test these hypotheses using intergenerational panel data that include measures of parents’ attitudes taken directly from parents and measures of children’s attitudes taken directly from children. Results demonstrate strong effects of parental divorce, remarriage, and widowhood on children’s attitudes toward premarital sex, cohabitation, marriage. childbearing, and divorce. The results also show that parents’ own attitudes link their behavior to their children’s attitudes, although substantial effects of parental behavior remain after controlling for parents’ attitudes.


Family Formation Parental Divorce Marital Dissolution Courtship Process Marital Disruption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Population Research InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park
  2. 2.Institute for Social Research and Department of SociologyUniversity of MichiganUSA

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