Journal of Marriage and Family

The Journal of Marriage and Family is a quarterly journal published by the National Council on Family Relations in Minneapolis, Minn. Its subjects are marriage and family and its audience is comprised of researchers, scholars, academics, practitioners of psychology and other professionals working in this field.

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 4, November

A Peek Inside the Black Box: What Marriage Means for Poor Unmarried Parents
Key Words: cohabitation, disadvantage, family formation, marriage, meaning, norms.Marriage is down, cohabitation is up, and the divorce rate remains high in the United States. Further, in 1950, only 1 in 20 births was to an unmarried woman, whereas today,...
A Psychological Perspective: Marriage and the Social Provisions of Relationships
Key Words: childrearing, cohabitation, marital therapy, marriage.The drive to establish connection and intimacy with another person is powerful. This is true among heterosexual and nonheterosexual people, among members of all ethnic and racial groups,...
Are Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples Really Different from Heterosexual Married Couples?
Both partners from gay and lesbian cohabiting couples without children were compared longitudinally with both partners from heterosexual married couples with children (N at first assessment = 80, 53, and 80 couples, respectively) on variables from 5...
A Symposium on Marriage and Its Future
Marriage is a social institution but it is also a contested domain. In the United States, politicians at the federal and state levels strive to craft policy that presents marriage as a solution to such large-scale concerns as poverty and children at...
Changes in Conjugal Life in Canada: Is Cohabitation Progressively Replacing Marriage?
This article aims first to contrast the trends of marriage and cohabitation across different regions in Canada, and second, to assess whether cohabitation constitutes a new stage in the progression to marriage, or an alternative to marriage altogether....
Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding
Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding. Cele C. Otnes & Elizabeth H. Pleck. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 384 pp. ISBN 0-520-24008-1. $19.95 (paper).Dreams, fairy tales, and other illusions. Cele Otnes, associate professor...
Cohabitation in the United States and Britain: Demography, Kinship, and the Future
Cohabitation is a rapidly changing aspect of family life in the United States and Britain. This article describes the demography of cohabitation, considers the place of cohabitation in the kinship system, and speculates on the future of cohabitation....
Cute Butts and Housework: A Gynocentric Theory of Assortative Mating
In the 1992 screenplay for Sleepless in Seattle Tom Hanks's character, Sam, a recently widowed single father, is facing the dating pool after 14 years. "I want to know what it's like over there," he asks his friend Jay. The answer comes back, "... Pecs...
Does Marriage Have a Future?
Key Words: culture, family, identity, marriage, same-sex marriage.Who would have guessed that the institution of marriage was in so much trouble? In the midst of the battle over same-sex marriage, which seems to be all about declaring marriage something...
Family, Religion, and Work among Arab American Women
Using data from a national survey of 501 Arab American women, this study examines the extent to which family behavior mediates the influence of religion on women's labor force activity. Prior research on families has largely overlooked the role of religion...
Marriages of the Mind
Key Words: history, ideology, household, marriage, private, public.As Andrew Cherlin (2004) has observed, marriage as an institution may be in trouble, but its symbolic standing has never been higher. Marriage is on the rocks, beset by divorce and challenged...
Mate Selection across Cultures
Mate Selection Across Cultures. Raeann R. Hamon & Bron B. Ingoldsby (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003. 296 pp. ISBN 0-7619-2592-9. $34.95 (cloth).In the introduction to Mate Selection Across Cultures, editors Raeann Hamon and Bron...
More Mercenary Mate Selection? Comment on Sweeney and Cancian (2004) and Press (2004)
How much do women and men emphasize earning power in selecting a spouse? Has this changed in the last 30 years as the gender and class systems have changed? These questions are raised by Sweeney and Canaan's (2004) article and Press's (2004) comment...
Placing Patterns of Economic Assortative Mating in Context: A Reply to Press (2004) and England (2004)
Decisions about work and marriage are as complex as they are interesting, and much remains to be learned as we consider the changing nature of assortative mating from different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. The goal of our original article...
Redrawing the Boundaries of Marriage
Key Words: cohabitation, cross-national comparisons, cross-national policies, marriage.The golden age of marriage that was prominent across many Western nations from the 1950s to the early part of the 1970s is well and truly over. In that era, youthful...
Tension between Institutional and Individual Views of Marriage
Key Words: divorce, family policy, marriage, social institutions.In 1972, feminist scholar Jessie Bernard authored a classic book, The Future of Marriage. In 2003, the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) conference in Vancouver revisited this...
The Case for (Promoting) Marriage: The Devil Is in the Details
This article considers the quality of the evidence that marriage confers unique benefits, and that, as such, social policies should be enacted to encourage couples, particularly those with few economic resources, to get married and stay together. Public...
The Changing Importance of White Women's Economic Prospects for Assortative Mating
Given recent changes in the labor force participation and economic standing of women, we ask whether a woman's position in the labor market has become a more important determinant of her position in the marriage market. Unlike much prior research on...
The Deinstitutionalization of American Marriage
This article argues that marriage has undergone a process of deinstitutionalization-a weakening of the social norms that define partners' behavior-over the past few decades. Examples are presented involving the increasing number and complexity of cohabiting...
The Desire to Date and Remarry among Older Widows and Widowers
This study explores gender differences in older widowed persons' interest in dating and remarriage, and the implications of these desires for psychological adjustment to loss. Analyses are based on the Changing Lives of Older Couples study (N = 210)....
The Future of Marriage and Hispanics
At least two important demographic changes will occur in the United States in the future: the growth of the Hispanic population and the growth of the second and third generations among Hispanics. We argue that the expansion of the Hispanic population...
The Wax and Wane of Marriage: Prospects for Marriage in the 21st Century
Key Words: cohabitation, family change, marriage.I thank the Editor, Alexis Walker, for publishing this symposium. I am especially grateful for her invitation to participate in this dialogue about family changes and what these changes might portend for...
The World Historical Transformation of Marriage
Key Words: arranged marriage, family change, history of marriage, love.For the past several years, I have had the disconcerting but exhilarating privilege of ranging back and forth over a time span of 5,000 years in my readings on marriage and family...
Understanding and Altering the Longitudinal Course of Marriage
Weak and counterintuitive findings linking couples' interactional processes to marital outcomes have prompted new lines of research on how marriages change. Recent findings reviewed here highlight the value of (a) expanding conceptions of marital interaction...