• Article

The Effects of Children on Divorce and Re-marriage: A Multivariate Analysis of Life Table Probabilities


Koo, H., Suchindran, C. M., & Griffith, J. (1984). The Effects of Children on Divorce and Re-marriage: A Multivariate Analysis of Life Table Probabilities. Population Studies, 38(3), 451-471.


Using proportional hazards models and multiple decrement life tables to analyse data from the 1973 National Survey of Family Growth, this study tests the hypotheses that, net of the effects of such factors as age at separation or divorce, the probabilities of divorce after separation and of re-marriage after divorce would be lower for women with larger numbers of children or younger children, and that these transitions would take longer than for women with fewer or older children or women who were childless; and that there would be an interaction between number of children and age of youngest child. Results included: (1) the probability that mothers of two or more children would divorce after separation was significantly lower than for childless women, or those with only one child; (2) among whites, mothers of three or more children were at a significant disadvantage regarding their chances of re-marriage, whereas the probability that a black mother of three or more children would re-marry was no smaller than that of a woman with fewer or no children; (3) among whites, the presence of a youngest child aged between two and five years at separation decreased the probability of divorce after separation; (4) there was no interaction effect between number and age of children; and (5) in each category of family size and age of youngest child, the probability that a black woman would divorce after separation or re-marry after divorce was lower than for white women. The results have important implications for the study of divorce and re-marriage, and for understanding of problems of single-parent families