Institutional Participation and the Delay in Entry Into Marriage: Generational Differences Between Late Baby Boomer and Early Millennials

Paul Hemez

Concurrent patterns of the retreat from marriage and institutional participation among young adults brings into question whether shifts in the rates of educational enrollment, the military enlistment, and incarceration have contributed to shifting patterns of entry into marriage. Using the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 and 1997, this study examines changes in the effects enrollment in three institutions (school enrollment, active duty military service, incarceration) on the odds of entry into a first marriage for two cohorts of men born 20 years apart (1960-1964 and 1980-1984). Additionally, decomposition techniques are employed to estimate the amount of the difference in the odds of marriage during young adulthood (18-29) that is due to changes in participation into these institutions. Results from this study have implications for our understanding of the influence that participation in various institutions has on prolonging the transition to adulthood among contemporary men.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions