This research demonstrates that, when a child experiences parental divorce, there are significant losses that must be acknowledged. Even five years after the divorce, mothers who remain single have only risen to 94 percent of their pre-divorce income, while continuously married couples have increased their income. In , the median income of single-mother households was 47 percent that of married-couple households American Academy of Pediatrics Approximately In contrast, only The fraction of children living in single-parent households is the strongest negative correlate of upward income mobility according to one study Chetty et al.
The percentage of married families in a community also contributes to future upward economic mobility of all children in the community Chetty et al. The child may lose emotional security Amato and Afifi Divorced mothers are less able to provide emotional support Miller and Davis A study in found that fewer than half of children living with a divorced mother had seen their fathers at all in more than one year, and only one in six saw their fathers once a week Popenoe , as quoted in Fagan and Churchill , 6.
Divorced fathers are rated as less caring by their adolescents Dunlop, Burns, and Bermingham Emergency room usage is higher for children in all other family types over that experienced by children in nuclear families Family Structure and Children's Health in the United States Parents who divorce also experience adverse effects on their physical, emotional, and financial well-being, which may also in turn affect their children.
In the Framingham Offspring Study, married men had a 46 percent lower rate of dying from cardiovascular disease than unmarried men Goodwin et al. Married women are more likely to be physically safer than divorced or separated women. One study demonstrated that those who were unhappy in their marriage when first surveyed, but remained married, were likely to have an improved relationship and be happier five years later than those who divorced Wallerstein and Blakeslee , There are clearly negative long-term consequences of divorce—children, parents, and society all suffer.
Given these tremendous costs borne by all individuals affected by divorce, as well as the costs to society, it is the responsibility of physicians—especially pediatricians, who care for children in the context of their families—to advocate for public health policies that promote marriage and decrease the likelihood of divorce. The American College of Pediatricians is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.
Formed in , the College is committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based on the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of child rearing.
Membership is open to qualifying healthcare professionals who share the College's Mission, Vision and Values. Jane Anderson is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, where she practiced for 33 years until her retirement in November, She continues there as a volunteer faculty member. She has authored numerous articles on general pediatric topics, has presented lectures on adolescent brain development and parenting in both the US and China, and has received teaching awards from medical students and pediatric residents, including the Volunteer Faculty Teaching Award from the pediatric residents at the University of California, San Francisco.
She has been married to her husband, Karl, for 39 years, and has four children. She participates annually in short-term medical missions trips with Medical Servants International, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Physician Center. She has been a member of the American College of Pediatricians since and currently serves on its Board. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
Journal List Linacre Q v. Linacre Q. November, ; 81 4 : — Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Nearly three decades of research evaluating the impact of family structure on the health and well-being of children demonstrates that children living with their married, biological parents consistently have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being.
Keywords: Divorce, Children, Emotional well being, Society. Epidemiology The demographics of families are changing, and with that, the philosophical underpinnings of relationships are also changing. Evaluating the Literature When evaluating the scientific research on the effects of divorce on children and parents, it is important to consider all of the factors affecting the outcome, including family dynamics, children's temperaments and ages at the time of divorce, and family socioeconomic status, as well as any behavioral or academic concerns present prior to divorce.
Effects of Divorce on Children Each child and each family are obviously unique, with different strengths and weaknesses, different personalities and temperaments, and varying degrees of social, emotional, and economic resources, as well as differing family situations prior to divorce. The child may lose time with each parent 1.
Parents must adjust to their own losses as well as to their new role as a divorced parent. Thus, parents may not have as much emotional strength and time to invest in parenting, i. Although laws are gradually changing, most children spend more time with one custodial parent and obviously have less time with each parent overall. For most children, this means much less time spent with their fathers.
The child may also spend less time with their mother as she may need to work longer hours to support the family. The child may lose economic security 1. Custodial mothers experience the loss of 25—50 percent of their pre-divorce income. Only 50 percent of custodial mothers have child support agreements, and 25 percent of mothers who have been granted support receive no payments.
Custodial fathers also experience financial loss; although they tend to recover financially more quickly and rarely receive child support. Loss of income may lead to increased work time for parents, as well as a change in residence. Children living with single mothers are much more likely to live in poverty than children living with both married parents Edwards Unmarried women are more likely to remain in poverty compared with married individuals and unmarried men Edwards Children living with single parents are less likely to experience upward financial mobility.
The child may lose emotional security Amato and Afifi 1. Divorced fathers spend less time with their children. The child may have a weakened relationship with grandparents or relatives—especially the parents of the noncustodial parent Kruk and Hall The child may lose family traditions, celebrations, and daily routines. Even adult children whose adult parents divorced later in life experienced the loss of family traditions and disruption of celebrations Pett, Lang, and Gander The change in residence may lead to loss of friends, school environment, and other support systems.
The child may have decreased social and psychological maturation 1. College students whose parents were divorced were more likely to experience verbal aggression and violence from their partner during conflict resolution Billingham and Notebaert Children of divorced parents may have lower scores on self-concept and social relations Amato Anxiety and depression seem to worsen after the divorce event Strohschein The child may change his or her outlook on sexual behavior 1.
There is increased approval by children of divorced parents of premarital sex, cohabitation, and divorce Jeynes Girls whose fathers left the home before they were five years old were eight times more likely to become pregnant as adolescents than girls from intact families Ellis et al. Boys similarly have earlier sexual debut and higher rates of sexually transmitted disease when they have experienced divorce in their family.
As adults, the female children of divorced parents experience less trust and satisfaction in romantic relationships Jacquet and Surra The children of divorced parents are less likely to view marriage as permanent and less likely to view it as a lifelong commitment Weigel The children of divorced parents are two to three times more likely to cohabit and to do so at younger ages Amato and Booth , , as quoted in Fagan and Churchill , Following a divorce, children are more likely to abandon their faith Feigelman, Gorman, and Varacalli As adults, those raised in step-families are less likely to be religious than those raised by both biologic parents Myers Since religious practice has benefits in areas such as sexual restraint, the child of divorce may lose this protection Rostosky, Regnerus, and Wright The child may lose cognitive and academic stimulation 1.
Children in divorced homes have less language stimulation. Children of divorced parents are more likely to have lower grade point averages GPAs and be asked to repeat a year of school Jeynes A study of eleven industrialized countries showed that children living in two-parent families had higher math and science scores Jeynes Children of married parents attained higher income levels as adults. The child may be less physically healthy 1.
Children living with married parents are less likely to be abused or neglected. In one study, the relative risk that children from a single-parent family would be physically abused or neglected more than doubled Family Structure and Children's Health in the United States The child may have a higher risk of emotional distress 1.
A study of almost one million children in Sweden demonstrated that children growing up with single parents were more than twice as likely to experience a serious psychiatric disorder, commit or attempt suicide, or develop an alcohol addiction Brown et al. Children of single parents are twice as likely to have emotional and behavioral problems—8 percent versus 4 percent for children from two parent households Kelleher et al.
The CDC reported on adverse family experiences among children in nonparental care. Effects of Divorce on Parents Parents who divorce also experience adverse effects on their physical, emotional, and financial well-being, which may also in turn affect their children. Married people smoke and drink less ChildStats. Married men are less likely to commit suicide than men who are divorced or separated Schoenborn Married individuals have the lowest incidence of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease Kposowa Married men are more likely to live longer after a diagnosis of cancer, especially prostate cancer Pienta Married men live longer than men who never married.
Individuals who are married have greater wealth. The longer they stay married, the greater the wealth accumulation Marriage and Men's Health Men especially benefit, as married men earn 22 percent more than single men Waite and Gallagher , 97— Women who experience divorce face a 27 percent decrease in their standard of living Stratton Married women are more likely to be physically safer than divorced or separated women 1.
Married and widowed women experienced less intimate partner violence than divorced or separated women. Married people have more civic responsibility, are more likely to volunteer in service projects, and are more likely to be involved in schools and churches National Crime Victimization Survey Divorce may have adverse long-term emotional effects for parents 1.
In Wallerstein's long-term study, half of the women and one-third of the men were still very angry with their former spouses Keyes One-third of the women and one-fourth of the men felt that life was unfair and disappointing Wallerstein and Blakeslee In only 10 percent of divorces did both partners feel they achieved happier lives Wallerstein and Blakeslee , One-fourth of the older divorced men remained isolated and lonely Wallerstein and Blakeslee , Effects of Divorce on Society Divorce adversely affects society by 1.
Diminishing the child's future competence. Weakening the family structure. Contributing to early sexual experimentation leading to increased costs for society. Adversely affecting religious practice—divorce diminishes the frequency of religious worship. Diminishing a child's learning capacity and educational attainment.
Reducing the household income. Increasing crime rates and substance use, with associated societal and governmental costs Waite and Gallagher Increasing emotional and mental health risks, including suicide. Conclusion There are clearly negative long-term consequences of divorce—children, parents, and society all suffer. Acknowledgements The American College of Pediatricians is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.
Endnote 1 Stroup and Pollock and Peterson References Amato P. Children of divorce in the s. An update of the Amato and Keith meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology 15 : — A generation at risk: Growing up in an era of family upheaval. Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin : 26— Feeling caught between parents: Adult children's relations with parents and subjective well-being.
Journal of Marriage and Family 68 1 : Family pediatrics: Report of the task force on the family. However, some researchers have found that the number of children and divorce risk has a U-shaped nonlinear relationship and that either too many or too few children are not favorable to the stability of a marriage Thornton As the number of children increases, the burden of raising children becomes increasingly heavy and the negative impact from children also increases.
Therefore, the nonlinear relationship may be more realistic. The second hypothesis thus tests whether a nonlinear relationship exists between the number of children and divorce risk. Hypothesis 2: The higher the number of children, the lower the risk of divorce; however, once the number increases more than the marginal quantity, it increases the risk of divorce.
Studies have found that younger children can lower the divorce risk. Some studies have even found that children over the age of 13 may adversely affect the stability of a marriage Waite and Lillard Possible interpretations are that taking care of young children requires a great deal of time and effort Cherlin When children are younger, the husband and wife can maximize their benefit through the division of labor. Once divorced, the entire burden falls on the shoulders of one person, and this is not what the couple wants Waite and Lillard Parents may believe that divorce poses greater harm to young children, so in order to allow children to grow up in a healthy way, parents are more reluctant to get divorced when children are young Heaton Based on this, the third hypothesis of this study is to verify whether the protective effect of children on marriage is stronger when children are younger.
Hypothesis 3: Younger children have a stronger protective effect on marriage. Finally, studies have found that boys are more favorable to the stability of marriage Morgan et al. Fathers play a more important role in raising sons, and thus are more involved in family issues. In this case, the wife feels more satisfied with the husband, and thus, the stability of the marriage is higher Morgan et al. Similar findings also appear in the study of divorce tendency.
Katzev et al. Compared to Western society, Chinese society has unique characteristics. To some extent, divorce was prohibited since ancient times in China because of its potential harm to marriage stability and violation of the dominant Confucian laws. In traditional Chinese culture, the intent of marriage was not the love and happiness of the husband and wife but to produce children, especially sons, to keep the family name alive Zeng Therefore, childbearing and childrearing are inherent purposes of Chinese marriage.
This is essentially different from Western society, where marriage is a private, matter and getting a divorce is perceived as an act of freedom Zeng If children stabilize marriages and parents need to make sacrifices in order to raise children, this kind of stabilizing effect and sacrifice should be more evident in Chinese society. In urban areas, this change may be more significant, while in relatively isolated rural areas, the traditional concept of marriage may still play a role.
Therefore, the protective effect of children on marriage should be stronger in rural areas. In view of this, we propose a fifth hypothesis:. Hypothesis 5: The protective effect of children on marriage is stronger in rural areas than in urban areas. Moreover, the uniqueness of Chinese society is also reflected in the strong son preference.
For cultural purposes such as carrying on the family line and practical purposes such as raising children for future old-age care, Chinese couples prefer boys. This gender preference may result in couples raising children in different ways.
Once again, this gender preference is stronger in rural areas. Our sixth hypothesis states. The data used in this study was drawn from the first wave of the CFPS in In the first wave of CFPS, each family was asked to complete a family-member questionnaire regarding the relationship of family members living together, as well as basic demographic and socioeconomic information regarding themselves, their parents, their spouses, and their children.
Each of the surveyed households then answered a household questionnaire to gather further information on household income, expenditures, housing, living conditions, and other family issues. Finally, each family member in the household answered a personal questionnaire. The personal questionnaire included questions on education, work, marriage, health, time use, and so on. In the first wave of data collection in , CFPS received a total of 14, valid family-member questionnaires, 14, household questionnaires, 33, adult questionnaires, and 8, child questionnaires.
This study is mainly based on the adult sample, but unmarried respondents were removed from the analysis. After deleting unreasonable values b and removing missing values, 16, pairs of first marriages entered into the analysis. Based on this information, we can analyze in detail how timing of births and number, age, and gender of children affect the divorce rate during the family life cycle. These three variables are time-varying variables.
Time-varying variables can capture the changes that occur over time; due to the introduction of time, the value of independent variables always precedes that of the dependent variables, and causation is clearer. Even so, the analysis is still not completely unaffected by the possibility of reverse causation.
Couples may feel divorce is a future risk and intentionally suppress current fertility Figure 3 ,d. In terms of operationalization, the existence of premarital birth is a dichotomous variable. The number of children refers to the absolute number of children that couples have at a specific time point, and is thus a time-varying variable.
The total of the four variables is the total number of children couples have at a particular point of time. To test the applicability of these findings in China, this study divided children into the four groups shown above. The variable reflecting the gender structure of child is a dichotomous variable. If the couple gave birth to boy s before a particular point of time, the value is 1, otherwise 0.
Since these variables are relevant to both independent and dependent variables, they must be controlled in the model. Studies have found that divorce risk shows an inverted U-shaped curve in the duration of the marriage Vignoli and Ferro ; Lyngstad ; number of children, gender, and age structure also changes with the duration of the marriage. Therefore, duration of marriage has to be controlled. Applying the Cox proportional hazards model to this study intrinsically controls for the duration of marriage and so avoids this problem.
In order to avoid interference, this study divides the entire time span into five periods: the first period is prior to when the Cultural Revolution began; the second period spans from the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in to the promulgation of the new Marriage Law in ; the third period is the early years of reform and opening up from to ; the fourth period is from to when the economic reform in China accelerated; and the fifth period begins in when China entered the new century.
Figure 1 shows that this period has witnessed a significantly rapid rise in the divorce rate. Historical period is also a time-varying variable because over the duration of a marriage, the couple may experience a number of historical periods. Due to differences in the level of social development, cultural traditions, and fertility policies among different provinces and between urban and rural areas, fertility rates also have significant regional differences.
Specifically, CFPS investigated a total of 25 provinces; in the analysis, they are treated as fixed effects. Rural-urban division is based on whether respondents have a village committee or residential committee. This is not only an important control variable, but in its interaction with children, it is also an important factor studied by this work. This study used the residential area to distinguish rural from urban for two main reasons. First, migrants from rural to urban areas have a certain particularity, and because of their urban experiences, their concept of marriage and childbearing may change.
Thus, merging them with those left behind in rural areas may not be appropriate. For couples living in two separate places, especially people who have been divorced, we only have the information of the individual answering the questionnaire, which makes it difficult to operationalize. In order to test sensitivity, we also repeated the analysis by using household registration status to distinguish rural from urban and found that the results are consistent.
Years of education indicate the openness of the concept of marriage; thus, the higher the level of education the more likely they are to divorce. Studies on age at first marriage show that marrying too young is not beneficial to the stability of a marriage Waite and Lillard ; Heaton Table 1 describes the basic descriptive statistics of all 16, couples at the beginning of the marriage.
The sample consists of Two-thirds of the sampled couples lived in rural areas, and one-third lived in urban areas. The average age of wives at first marriage was The percentage of sampled couples who had children before getting married was 4. Table 2 describes the change in number of children, age, and gender structure in the duration of the marriage.
As seen, over the duration of marriage, the number of children increases, the number of older children increases, and the number of young children decreases. With the increase in the number of children, the proportion of having boys also increases. Note that in Table 2 , the size of the sample dwindles with the duration of marriage for two reasons. First, some divorced or widowed couples ended their first marriage before These couples do not appear in subsequent years after divorce or losing a spouse.
Second, some married couples only had a very short marriage history when they were surveyed. For example, couples that married in cannot be part of the sample of marriages of 10 or 20 years when they were surveyed in This problem of data censoring also appears in Table 3.
Table 3 describes the marital status of all 16, couples in their first marriage when surveyed in As can be seen, most couples are still in their marriages, but this does not indicate that they will not divorce in the future. For this data-censoring problem, survival analysis is currently the best statistical model. The statistical model used in this study is the Cox proportional hazards model.
This model has advantages over other survival models Allison First, it is a semiparametric model, which means it does not require presetting the function form of the divorce hazard. Second, though its assumptions are weaker than parametric models, model estimates still have good statistical properties, and the efficiency of statistical tests does not suffer greatly.
Third, with respect to parameter models, the Cox proportional hazards model can easily deal with time-varying independent variables, such as the number, age, and gender of children. Therefore, this model is ideal for our research purposes. To include time-varying variables in the analysis, this study converts the data into person-year format. When the model is set, all first marriages are under risk of divorce from the beginning of the marriage.
Couples who were still married in are constantly in the risk set. Divorced and widowed couples exit the risk set after the occurrence of the event. The variable that indicates the occurrence of divorce is assigned the value of 1 for divorced couples only in the year when the divorce occurred; the value assigned to married and widowed couples during the risk set is always 0.
Figure 4 shows the Kaplan-Meier survival function for couples with and without premarital births, which shows that couples with premarital birth have a much higher divorce risk than those with no premarital births. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates for couples with and without premarital births.
Figure 5 describes the Kaplan-Meier survival function of divorce by number of children. As is seen in the graph, the height of the four survival curves is arranged in strict order of the number of children. The survival curve corresponding to childless couples lies in the lowest position, and the survival curve for couples with three or more children lies in the highest position.
This shows that the greater the number of children, the smaller the possibility of divorce. Further investigation reveals that the gap between couples with no children and with one child is wide, the gap between couples with one child and two children is relatively narrower, and the gap between couples with two and three or more children is the narrowest.
Therefore, intuitively, the marginal effect of the number of children on marital stability diminishes with the increase in the number. Figure 6 depicts the divorce risk between those who have boys and those who do not among couples who have at least one child. As is seen, the survival curve for couples with boy s is significantly higher than those who do not have boy s ; that is, couples with sons have higher marital stability. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates for couples with and without boy s.
As can be seen in Figures 4 , 5 , 6 , survival curves are parallel and there are no intersects, indicating that the independent variables involved in the figures meet the proportional hazard assumptions underlying the Cox proportional hazards model. In addition to these variables, we also tested the proportional hazard for each of the control variables one by one, using the graphic method prior to applying the Cox model.
This showed that all variables meet this assumption. Take historical periods as an example. As is shown in Figure 7 , the survival curves are roughly parallel to each other and have no intersections. Consistent with the literature review, the divorce rate is the lowest in the period to , which is associated with a particular political environment.
After this particular historical period, the divorce rate rises continuously with time, which is also consistent with the previous findings. In this paper, we used the Cox proportional hazards model. To test the robustness of the results, we also tried other modeling methods.
Figure 7 shows that the survival function for each historical periods does not display any intersection; however, considering that the survival function in different periods may have different shapes, we also applied a stratified Cox model. We treated different historical periods as different layers and found that this was entirely consistent with the results obtained by the Cox model. In addition, when one takes into account that the measurement for the time of divorce is in years, this may not satisfy the assumption of a continuous-time risk model of the Cox model.
We also tried a discrete-time hazard model and found that the results from this model were consistent with the Cox model. Due to space limitations, we only report the estimation results of the Cox model. Table 4 shows the results of the Cox proportional hazards model. Because of space limitations, the regression coefficients for each province are not reported in the table. According to the regression coefficients of the four historical periods, the divorce risk during to was lower than before , and the divorce risk during to was higher than before However, both the statistical tests are not significant.
In contrast, the divorce risk of the two historical periods after is significantly higher, with the highest after Divorce risk is higher for urban couples than rural couples. This is consistent with previous findings. Model 1 included whether couples had a premarital birth and the number of children. Even after controlling for other variables, the divorce risk for couples with premarital birth is still higher and statistically significant.
From Model 1 to Model 6, the regression coefficients and the results of statistical tests are very consistent, which fully demonstrates that premarital birth is not favorable to the stability of marriage. Therefore, Hypothesis 1 is supported by the model. Model l also shows that after controlling for other variables, the divorce risk significantly decreases as the number of children increases.
But different from Model 1 that assumes a linear relationship between number of children and divorce risk, Model 2 assumed a U-shaped quadratic relationship. The statistical test for the quadratic term of the number of children is very significant, suggesting the existence of a nonlinear relationship between the number of children and divorce risk. Based on simple calculation, when the number of children is equal to 4.
Since the majority of the couples in the sample have fewer than five children, it can generally be assumed that the divorce risk decreases as the number of children increases, but due to the presence of the quadratic term, the rate of decline is not linear. The decline is largest when the number of children increases from 0 to 1 and is smaller when the number increases from 1 to 2, and so on.
Further analysis found that if the number of children is included in the model as a categorical variable, couples with four children and couples with five or more children have roughly the same divorce risk results are not presented in the table. That is, when the number of children increases to four, further increase does not reduce the divorce risk. This finding fully demonstrates that the number of children has diminishing marginal effects on marriage stability, which confirms Hypothesis 2.
Model 3 divided children into four age groups. In the different age groups, an increase in the number of children has a protective effect on marriage. The impact is the largest for children aged 0, then those aged 1 to 5, followed by those aged 6 to 12; children aged 13 years old and over have the minimum impact. This demonstrates that the regression coefficients of the four variables are not equal, that is, children of different ages have different effects on divorce risk.
From the coefficients, we can conclude that the younger the children, the greater the protective effect. Therefore, Hypothesis 3 is supported as well. Model 4 added a variable indicating whether a couple has a boy on the basis of Model 3. As is shown in the table, after controlling for other variables, the divorce risk is significantly lower for couples with boys. Therefore, Hypothesis 4 is also supported. The effects of the number of children aged 0 have no significant differences between urban and rural areas, but the effects for those aged 1 to 5, those aged 3 to 12, and children aged 13 and older are all significantly different.
The regression coefficients of the three interaction terms are positive, which indicates that the protective effect on marriage of children in urban areas is weaker than in rural areas. Therefore, Hypothesis 5 is supported. The estimate of the interaction is significantly positive, which indicates that the effect of boys is weaker in urban areas than in rural areas. Therefore, Hypothesis 6 is also supported. Based on the first wave of the CFPS in , this study explores this issue for the first time.
We found that all the above variables have significant impacts on divorce risk in China. Specifically, couples with no premarital births have lower divorce risk, and the greater the number of children, the more stable is the marriage. These findings are all consistent with the results of previous studies in Western societies, which demonstrates that, as a link between the couple, children are extremely important for maintaining a stable marital relationship and resolving family conflicts.
In addition, this study found that the impact of children on divorce risk is significantly different between urban and rural areas. The protective effect of children is stronger in rural areas than in urban areas, and the protective effect of boys is stronger in rural areas as well. These differences may reflect the huge gap in terms of the level of socioeconomic development and cultural traditions between urban and rural areas.
In traditional Chinese culture, the intent of marriage was not the love and happiness of the couple, but for childbearing and rearing, the whole family. Therefore, it is essentially different from that in Western society Zeng However, since the introduction of the reform and the opening-up policy, China has undergone substantial changes in terms of economic growth and cultural values.
This study found that, compared with the relatively isolated rural areas, the effect of children on marriage stability is significantly weaker than in the relatively more developed urban areas. To some degree, this confirms the impact of the change in the concept of marriage and public opinions on divorce.
In addition, premarital birth is not favorable to the stability of marriage, which also confirms that an open attitude toward marriage leads to higher divorce risks. In addition to the changes in the concept of marriage, the impact of the declining fertility rate on the stability of marriage should not be neglected. At the same time, it also means that the chance of having a boy is reduced, and the duration of having a young child in the family is shortened, thereby greatly increasing the instability of marriage and the family.
Although this study does not directly discuss the relationship between the fertility rate and divorce rate, the findings imply an association between the two. Therefore, one can assume that the decline in the fertility rate may be an important cause for the increase in the divorce rate. It varies with the mortality rate. For the current mortality rate in China, scholars usually use the replacement level of 2. The numbers of the two kinds of unreasonable values are six and three, respectively; thus, deleting them does not significantly affect the entire sample.
As time goes on, historical periods change. For example, a couple that married in and were still married in when the survey was conducted would have experienced five different historical periods. In the analysis, the time-varying variable representing the period can capture this change. Allison, Paul D. Survival analysis using the SAS system: a practical guide. Google Scholar. Andersson, G. The impact of children on divorce risks of Swedish women.
European Journal of Population 13 2 — Article Google Scholar. Andersson, Gunnar, and Gebremariam Woldemicael. Sex composition of children as a determinant of marriage disruption and marriage formation: evidence from Swedish Register Data. Journal of Population Research 18, no. Becker, Gary S. A theory of the allocation of time.
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Demographic Research 18 4 —
As the first 13 colonies were established, many facets of English law were adopted. Early colony law actually prevented the collection of child support from an outside party unless there was a prearranged contract with the father. The Elizabethan Poor Law of , however, did allow for local towns to recover certain costs associated with caring for single mothers and their children if the mother was living in total poverty.
This ideology slowly evolved as legal precedent. By , the U. In the late 19th century, financial dependency became clearly established because newly divorced American mothers and their children were nearly always living in poverty. Cases before the Civil War —65 , however, required only Caucasian fathers to provide support because slavery laws prohibited black men from being considered heads of household. After the war, child support eventually became universal. The first formal U.
In , a formal enforcement program was mandated by the Social Security Act. In , legislation created a federal Office of Support Enforcement. In , federal legislation led to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which included paternity enforcement, federal and state registries, and interstate enforcement.
The Family Support Act of required states to create and use a single income-based formula or guideline for setting child support order amounts. Although states were free to adopt a model of their choice, a federal advisory panel provided recommendations for state guidelines, including but not limited to the following:. States responded by adopting one of three basic models as the framework for their guidelines: the income shares model, the percentage of obligor income model, and the Melson formula model.
Despite differences in both philosophy and calculation methods, most state models have selfsupport reserves designed to protect subsistence needs of parents, are based on parental income, take into consideration the healthcare needs of children, and have additions or adjustments for factors such as childcare costs, shared or split custody, child age, and subsequent families.
The income shares model is one of two models recommended by the federal advisory panel and is currently used by the majority of states. This model is based on the premise that a child should receive the same percentage of total parental support as he or she would have received had the family been intact.
The ways in which these schedules are set varies across states. The primary strength of the income shares model, particularly compared to percentage of income models, is its perceived fairness. Even though the support amount calculated for an obligee is never paid directly, it serves as a reminder to both parties of the expected level of direct expenditure on the child.
A distinguishing feature of this model is an underlying assumption that as income increases, the proportion of income spent on child support decreases. The primary criticisms of the income shares model are that the method of setting the award is technically complicated, particularly in the way that expenditure amounts are estimated, and that the process lacks transparency.
Other critics have noted the imperfections in the Consumer Expenditure Survey the data set that underlies all expenditure estimates currently in use. The percentage of income model was first developed by, and is still to a large extent associated with, the state of Wisconsin. Today, almost a dozen states use percentage of income formulas in their guidelines. Critics of this model attack its reliance on flat percentages. In order to make allowances for high or low obligor incomes, states must either increase complexity by creating adjustments to the formula or invite the courts to grant more deviations from guidelines.
The formula developed by Judge Elwood F. Melson of the Delaware Family Court is the most complex of any child support formula currently being used in the United States, but at the same time it accounts directly for more cost factors involved in child rearing than does any other method.
The formula, like income shares, takes into account the incomes of both parents. First, a self-support allowance is established for each parent and subtracted from actual incomes. The remaining income is summed between parents, applied to a table of cost estimates for basic child needs to get a basic support amount, which is then prorated between parents according to income shares. To this, childcare and extraordinary medical expenses are added.
This is a flat percentage based on number of children of the parental income remaining after the self-support reserve is subtracted. The final support amount owed by the obligee is his or her fraction of the basic needs amount plus childcare and medical expenses plus the standard-of-living allowance. The strength of this model is its ability to account directly for most of the important factors within the guideline model itself and without necessitating deviations.
It also tends to produce the most consistent and predictable awards. The weakness of the model, and presumably the reason it has not been used more widely, is that it is significantly more complicated in its basic form compared to basic income shares and percentage of income models. It is also the least transparent, and thus it is used in only a few states. Although the models differ in several respects, each state complies with federal requirements by following three basic mandates.
First, the income of the obligor must be taken into account. That is, higher-earning obligors will have higher support orders than do lower-income obligors, all other things being equal. This supports the principle that the child should continue the same standard of living that he or she would have enjoyed if the parents were living together.
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