Marriage: Sooner or Later
Poulsen, Franklin O.; Busby, Dean
The major purpose of this study is to explore whether there are concrete relationship factors, family factors or attitudes that explain why individuals put off getting married till later and later even though they generally view it as desirable. In order to test this we use two variables (Desire to be Married and Readiness for a Close Relationship) as indicators of marriage imminence and then utilize predictors to see if our conceptual framework accurately predicts these indicators. Our predictors follow an ecological approach (Larson & Holman, 1994) to dating and marriage that assumes a variety of contexts (family, dating, culture etc.) influence our dating attitudes and behaviors. We recognize from the outset that without longitudinal data that includes both dating and marriage, what we term imminence is not an accurate reflection of marital timing, though it does distinguish between people who want to be married “now” and those who do not.