Identifying causes of separation in a longitudinal perspective

Erzsebet Foldhazi, Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO)
Zsolt Spéder, Demografic Research Institute Budapest

Partnership formation and development changed substantially in Hungary in the last two decades. Cohabitation outweighed marriage clearly among first union, cohabitation as an alternative to marry also seems to increase, the incentive to marry declined, however, at the same time the incentive to divorce didn’t changed, in fact increased. All these developments express the growing instability of partnerships. In our study we would like to analyze which factors contribute to the dissolution of marriage versus cohabitation. It is known that economic uncertainty (fluctuation on the labor market) and the insecurity of social positions support the proliferations of cohabitation, and may contribute to instability of unions. We also investigate how the educational and economic activity status-inconsistency between the partners affect on partnership stability. Less is known about the influence of subjective factors, although often is assumed, that values of individuality, supports the cohabitation as alternative of marriage, and may increase the growing rate of separation as well. In our earlier analysis we devoted special attention to the factors of latter kind, and we found evidence significant effect of overall value orientation, attitudes towards family life and partnership quality in explaining separation. In our analysis we will use three waves of the Hungarian Generation and Gender Survey, the “Turning Points of the Life Course”. Data from these three waves make possible to analyze the role of different factors (socio-economic, demographic, values and attitudes) in separation from marriage and cohabitation in a longitudinal perspective. The dependent event, separation, will be measured in the 7 years time window after the first wave. We will use event history analysis in our investigation.

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Presented in Poster Session 1