Repartnering in the United Kingdom and Australia*

By Skew, Alexandra; Evans, Ann et al. | Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview

Repartnering in the United Kingdom and Australia*


Skew, Alexandra, Evans, Ann, Gray, Edith, Journal of Comparative Family Studies


INTRODUCTION

Repartnering has become increasingly important in recent years as a result of relatively high divorce rates and increases in the percentage of cohabiting relationships that break-up rather than convert to marriage (de Vaus 2004; ONS 2004). This paper seeks to address the issue of repartnering in comparative perspective. Using a longitudinal approach we conduct parallel analyses to compare the United Kingdom and Australia, two countries with similar legislative frameworks coupled with similar patterns of cohabitation, marriage and divorce.

Relationship indicators from the two countries are comparable. Nine per cent of both populations are cohabiting and close to 50 per cent of the adult population are married in both countries (OECD 2008). The median age at marriage for the United Kingdom is 3 1 . 1 for women and 33.7 for men (ONS 2009a). For Australia the median age is slightly younger at 29.3 for women and 31.6 for men (ABS 2008a). The majority of marriages in both countries are currently preceded by cohabitation: 80 per cent in the United Kingdom (ONS 2009a); and 77 per cent in Australia (ABS 2008a). Divorce rates are also remarkably similar in the two countries, remaining relatively stable at between 12 to 14 divorces per 1,000 married persons in the United Kingdom since the mid-1980s (ONS 2009b), while in Australia they have fluctuated between 12 to 13.5 divorces per 1,000 married persons (2008b).

The United Kingdom and Australia also have a number of other similarities; Australia was a colony of the United Kingdom and there has been considerable migration from the United Kingdom to Australia (in 2001 about six per cent of the Australian population was born in the United Kingdom, (DIMIA 2003)). It is also argued that the United Kingdom and Australia fit the same model of welfare state regime particularly in terms of family policies, that of a "liberal regime". The liberal regime is characterized by welfare support for people with greater needs and a market-based approach for service provision (Gauthier 2002).

Repartnering is an event that occurs throughout the life course and individual experiences will vary depending on their stage of the life course. A life course approach is extremely useful for understanding family change, such as repartnering, and for making comparative assessments. Life course theory (Elder, 1 974; 1 983; Harevan, 1982) emphasizes the importance of understanding individual and historical time in measuring life course events. Individual time refers to the cumulative experiences, or 'histories', that have occurred to an individual over their lifetime: it stresses the importance of understanding individual trajectories. Historical time refers to the time and place in which individuals are situated.

The individual histories mat are important in understanding repartnering relate to a person's past relationship formation and childbearing. The first of these histories considers past relationships. Although a large body of literature exists on the study of repartnering following the breakdown of a marriage, relatively little attention has been paid to repartnering after the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship (Wu and Schimmele, 2005). Furthermore, much previous research focuses on remarriage, with far less research that has investigated repartnering in the form of a cohabiting union. With a decline in first marriage rates and rising rates of cohabitation for the never-married and for those who have been previously married, it has become important to account for the type of union that was dissolved when analysing partnership formation after the breakdown of a union.

Relationship histories are related to childbearing histories. Childbearing and child residency vary across individuals and represent different life course stages. Children add a further dimension to repartnering decisions and both residency and age of children are important factors (Goldscheider and Sassier 2006). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Repartnering in the United Kingdom and Australia*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.