Title

Longitudinal Patterns of Women's Marital Quality: The Case of Divorce, Cohabitation, and Race-Ethnicity

Keywords

cohabitation, divorce, ethnicity, marriage, stability of relationships

Abstract

Previous work on marital quality has compared average levels of marital quality by demographic characteristics, such as cohabitation, divorce, or race-ethnicity. Less work has examined whether such differences persist over time. To begin to answer this question, this article uses multigroup latent growth curves to examine changes in marital quality over time, in addition to measuring differences in levels of reported marital quality among cohabitors versus noncohabitors, divorced versus stably married women, and members of different racial-ethnic groups. Although many differences are small and statistically insignificant, the results show that non-normative and traditionally disadvantaged groups experience not only lower levels of marital quality but that these differences also persist throughout the life course. This article also shows that using marital instead of relationship duration for cohabitors has substantive implications when interpreting the results.

Original Publication Citation

Spencer L. James. 2014. “Longitudinal Patterns of Marital Quality: The Case of Divorce, Cohabitation, and Race-Ethnicity.” Marriage and Family Review 50(8): 738-763.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014-11-07

Publisher

Marriage and Family Review

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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