Marital Quality in Second Marriages across the Life Course

Kathryn Coursolle, University of California, Los Angeles

Although a plethora of research examines marital quality across the life course, many of these studies are limited in their abilities to examine how the broader context of marriage changes with age. Because first marriages tend to occur predominantly in the earlier stage of adult life it is difficult to distinguish sources of life course variability in marriage from marital duration or selective attrition. Remarriage has the potential to offer unique leverage as it occurs throughout adulthood. This study will utilize data from three waves of data of the NSFH to examine how perceived marital quality across a variety of domains differs for individuals in recently-formed second marriages formed in mid to later life (40+) versus earlier in life (<40). Potential variation in the quality of second marriages by gender, prior cohabitation experiences, the presence of children, and dissolution status of first marriage (divorce versus widowhood) will be examined.

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Presented in Poster Session 5