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Marital Change Over the Life Course

The "Marital Change Over the Life Course" study began with a national sample of married people who were first interviewed in 1980. The objective of the study was to explore the factors that would help us understand why marriages dissolve and why marital quality declines or gets better. Respondents were again interviewed in 1983, 1987,1992, 1997, and 2000. In 1992 and 1997 we interviewed offspring who had reached the age of 19 who had been living in the household in 1980. Offspring were interviewed to increase knowledge about the influence of family of origin factors (e.g., divorce) on adult offspring well-being and marital quality. In 2000 we selected and interviewed a new cross section of married persons so that changes in marital quality over a 20 year period could be examined. Many aspects of family life have been explored including wife's employment, financial stress, and household division of labor. The principle investigator is Alan Booth. Paul Amato, David Johnson, Stacy Rogers, and Lynn White are co-investigators. More than 69 articles and a book (Amato and Booth, 1997, A Generation At Risk: Growing up in an Era of Family Upheaval, Harvard University Press) have been published from the study data.

For more information, please see the Marital Instability over the Life Course project home page.



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