Abstract

The relationship between the presence of children and divorce and separation is examined using data from the first four years of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience in Women Aged 30 to 44. The data show that children were a deterrent to separation and divorce only when they were in the preschool ages. Once all the children in a family were in school, they did not seem to influence the probability of separation and divorce. It is suggested that the high costs of child care for preschool children, in terms of time, money, and effort, act as a deterrent to marital dissolution. The associations between several other social demographic variables and marital dissolution also are investigated.

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