Parents’ Emotional Bond and Children’s Marriage Timing

William G. Axinn, University of Michigan
Sarah R. Brauner-Otto, Mississippi State University
Dirgha J. Ghimire, University of Michigan

We present new research investigating the relationship between parents’ emotional bond and their children’s marriage timing. We use longitudinal survey measures created by extensive ethnographic research, focus groups, and pilot studies to devise a general population measure of the emotional bond between husbands and wives for Nepal. We then test hypotheses predicting that positive emotional bonds between parents will slow children’s marriage through both more attractive parental home environments and the emotional nucleation of families. Our analyses use multi-level discrete time hazard models to estimate the effect of parents’ emotional bond on the timing of their children’s marriage. We find that children whose parents report a strong emotional bond to their spouse marry earlier than children whose parents do not report as strong a bond. These results hold for both sons and daughters, with no statistically significant differences by the gender of the child.

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Presented in Session 22: International Perspectives on Intergenerational Relationships