She left, he left: How employment and satisfaction affect women's and men's decisions to leave marriages

Liana C. Sayer, Paula England, Paul D. Allison, Nicole Kangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies examining determinants of divorce have largely ignored differences between factors that elevate wives' and husbands' initiation of divorce. The authors use longitudinal data and a latent class model embedded in a competing-risks event history model to assess distinct predictors of wives and husbands leaving marriages. They find that when men are not employed, either spouse is more likely to leave. When wives report better-than-average marital satisfaction, their employment affects neither spouse's exit. However, when wives report below-average marital satisfaction, their employment makes it more likely they will leave. The authors' findings suggest that theories of divorce require "gendering" to reflect asymmetric gender change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1982-2018
Number of pages37
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume116
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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