Kin Connection: The Association between Parental Kin Involvement while Growing Up and Union Formation in Adulthood

Kelly Raley, University of Texas at Austin
Charles E. Stokes, University of Texas at Austin

Substantial research has explored race-ethnic variation in union formation focusing on the availability of marriageable men, earnings, and the stability of employment. Although the findings from this body of work clearly demonstrate the importance of these factors, they also suggest that other factors must contribute to this variation. Drawing on a diverse body of ethnographic and quantitative research we investigate a new, non-economic factor that might help to explain race-ethnic variation in the formation of stable unions: the kinship group. To explore this possible connection, we examine the influence of parental kin involvement experienced during childhood and adolescence on adult union formation using the first and third waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. We find that kin involvement in the family of origin is associated with marriage patterns later in the life course and that this association varies by race.

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Presented in Session 26: Union Formation