Predictors of Marital Dissolution During a Period of Rapid Social Change: Evidence From South Asia
Jennings, Elyse A. 2016. “Predictors of Marital Dissolution During a Period of Rapid Social Change: Evidence From South Asia.” Demography 53(5):1351-1375.
Few studies have examined the causes and consequences of marital dissolution in non-Western settings. This article explores the fundamental factors that may predict marital dissolution in a mainly agrarian setting in South Asia, where collectivism has historically been valued over individualism and where life is centered on the family. Using event history analyses with retrospective life history data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study conducted in rural Nepal, I explore the possible predictors of marital dissolution. Results suggest that couples in which wives married at older ages and chose their spouse in conjunction with their parents face lower risk of marital dissolution, while wives’ work increases the risk. Moreover, couples married for longer durations and couples who have more children face lower risks of marital dissolution. The influences of many of these factors have changed over the last few decades, pointing toward the important role of changing social context on marital trajectories.