Marriage transitioning from dating to marriage

11 Jan

Moreover, marriage during the teenage years is associated with an increased probability of divorce (Goldman, 1981; Singh and Samara, 1996; Tilson and Larsen, 2000), although studies have yet to establish whether it is early marriage per se or the characteristics of those who marry early that increases the risk of dissolution.Despite the fact that marriage or union formation is nearly universal, many aspects of this transition vary from place to place.In all regions of the world, most people over age 30 are either currently in a long-term coresidential sexual union, or they have been at one time in their lives.Even in populations of European origin, who have generally exhibited the smallest percentages of adults ever in unions, the fraction of the population who never married is on the order of 10 or 15 percent (with some exceptions, for example, 19th century Ireland—Watkins, 1986).

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It is important to stress, however, that although the transition into marriage is a key component of the transition to adulthood in most contexts, marriage, in and of itself, is not necessarily a marker of adulthood, particularly for the numerous young women who wed during their teenage years.

Third, we explore some of the global changes described in Chapter 2 and their possible implications for changes in the timing of marriage.

Fourth, we look at the terms and conditions of marriage, including the age difference between spouses, polygyny, the decision making process surrounding marriage, consanguinity, the nexus between marital behavior and household formation and structure, and financial transfers between families.

Age at first marriage is thus typically age at first cohabitation with a partner or husband (Kishor, 2003).

As for censuses, countries typically define marriage to reflect the forms of marriage and union that are generally recognized and accepted and obtain information accordingly; as a result, for the most part, data on marriage or union status is largely comparable between censuses and surveys.