Financial Prospects and Union Dissolution in Young Adulthood

Lindsey Cooper , Bowling Green State University
Wendy D. Manning, Bowling Green State University
Monica A. Longmore, Bowling Green State University
Peggy C. Giordano, Bowling Green State University

Socioeconomic resources have been identified as a major source of stress for romantic partners and have important implications for relational processes. However, despite decades of family research linking financial hardship to union dissolution, there is limited work focused on young adults. Additionally, although there is some support for the use of subjective indicators, this prior work has relied primarily on objective measures to reflect socioeconomic resources. Using data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS), we found that subjective socioeconomic measures were associated with union dissolution whereas objective socioeconomic indicators were not. More specifically, we showed that the financial prospects of young adults’ partners were negatively associated with dissolution, net of key sociodemographic and relationship correlates. Our study pointed to the importance of considering various types of socioeconomic measures in family and demographic research, especially among populations that have prolonged pathways to financial independence.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity