Influences of values and partnership quality on separation

Erzsebet Foldhazi, Hungarian Central Statistical Office
Zsolt Spéder, HCSO Demographic Research Institute

Massive changes in partnership formation and development took place in Hungary in the last two decades. Cohabitation outweighed marriage clearly among first union, cohabitation as an alternative to marry also seems to increase, the incentive to marry declined, however, at the same time the incentive to divorce didn’t changed, in fact increased. All these developments express the growing instability of partnerships. In our study we would like to analyze which factors contribute to the dissolution of first cohabitation. It is known that economic uncertainty (fluctuation on the labor market) and the insecurity of social positions support the proliferations of cohabitation, and may contribute to instability of cohabitation. Less is known about the influence of subjective factors, although often is assumed, that values of individuality, supports the cohabitation as alternative of marriage, and may increase the growing rate of separation as well. We will devote special attention to the factors of latter kind, we will take into consideration overall values orientation and attitudes towards family life, and stress the importance of partnership quality. The latter is operationalized by satisfaction with partnership, intensity of quarrels, intention to separate. We assume, that partnership quality and value orientation will play a significant role in explaining separation among first cohabitants. In our analysis we will use the two waves of the Hungarian Generation and Gender Survey, the “Turning points of the life course”. Attitudes and partnership quality will be measured at the first wave, separation, the dependent event, will be measured in the 3 years time window after the first wave. We will use event history analysis in our investigation.

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Presented in Session 42: The Determinants and Consequences of Union Dissolution