Marriage after dating less than a year
Because the NLSY79 contains a longitudinal marital history for each respondent, the survey permits the study of marriage and divorce over the life cycle.For a specific cohort, the NLSY79 can provide statistics on the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. Because the NLSY79 collects data on many aspects of respondents’ lives—including employment, fertility, and income—many researchers have used the NLSY79 to look at marriage in conjunction with a variety of outcomes.In their 2007 study, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers used data from the 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine marriage and divorce patterns up to age 45 for cohorts born in 1940–19–1955.A comparison of the two cohorts shows that the likelihood of marriage declined, the average age at first marriage increased by 1 year, and married couples were more likely to divorce in the latter cohort.
College graduates were 10 percentage points less likely to divorce.
Cultural norms changed in ways that decreased the aversion to being single and increased the probability of cohabitation.
Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)—a survey of people born during the 1957–1964 period—this study examines the marriage and divorce patterns for a cohort of young baby boomers up to age 46.
The trends of declining marriage rates and increasing divorce rates, shown by Stevenson and Wolfers, continue with the 1957–1964 NLSY79 cohort.
The longitudinal survey shows the same patterns regarding differences between racial/ethnic groups and education groups as did the SIPP—though the NLSY79 differences between college graduates and the other education groups are even starker.