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“His” and “her” marriage expectations: Determinants and consequences
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2005
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 67, Issue 1, pages 53–67, February 2005
How to Cite
Waller, M. and McLanahan, S. (2005), “His” and “her” marriage expectations: Determinants and consequences. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67: 53–67. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2005.00005.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2005
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2005
- couple data;
- union transitions;
- unmarried parents
This article uses couple-level data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N= 2,263) to investigate factors associated with unmarried parents’ expectations about marriage and the association between their expectations and subsequent union transitions. In most couples, both partners expect to marry, and their shared expectations are the strongest predictor of marriage and separation following their child's birth. Although men's expectations are somewhat more consequential for union transitions, marriage and relationship stability are more likely when at least one parent expects to marry. Factors such as children from previous relationships, distrust, conflict, and shared activities are also associated with union transitions. Findings about how expectations and other factors relate to marriage and separation may inform new marriage promotion initiatives.