Approximately 42 percent of marriages that took place between ages 15 and 46 ended in divorce by age 46.
In the NLSY79, women in this cohort were more likely to marry and to remarry than were men.
In particular, the study focuses on differences in marriage and divorce patterns by educational attainment and by age at marriage.
This work is descriptive and does not attempt to explain causation or why marriage patterns differ across groups.
The NLSY79 collects detailed information on fertility, marital transitions, and employment in a format that allows one to determine the dating of the specific events.
Cultural norms changed in ways that decreased the aversion to being single and increased the probability of cohabitation.
Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)—a survey of people born during the 1957–1964 period—this study examines the marriage and divorce patterns for a cohort of young baby boomers up to age 46.
Because the NLSY79 contains a longitudinal marital history for each respondent, the survey permits the study of marriage and divorce over the life cycle.
For a specific cohort, the NLSY79 can provide statistics on the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. Because the NLSY79 collects data on many aspects of respondents’ lives—including employment, fertility, and income—many researchers have used the NLSY79 to look at marriage in conjunction with a variety of outcomes.