Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Is There the “Sweet Spot” for Age at Marriage and Positive Marital Outcomes?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-6-2017

Journal Title

Journal of Family Issues

Volume

39

Issue

4

First Page

1085

Last Page

1107

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X16686135

Abstract

Using three nationally representative data sets, researchers analyzed the trends in age at marriage, marital stability, and marital satisfaction across the 20th century. Although there is a well-established link between age at marriage and marital stability, less is understood about the link between age at marriage and marital satisfaction. Previous work in this area suggested that it is the absolute age at first marriage that makes a difference. This study examined this hypothesis as well as a second hypothesis that cultural expectations about the “right” age to marry make a difference. Neither hypothesis was completely supported. Trends in normed marital satisfaction scores varied by birth cohort, years married, and age at marriage in nonlinear ways. Implications for relationship educators and practitioners are discussed.

Keywords

Age, marriage, psychology, satisfaction, stability

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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