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November 5, 2018

Recent family-related news included scholarly research on the relationship between co-habitation and divorce, data correlating the incidence of delayed marriage to a lower divorce rate, a long ago marriage proposal involving two retired Supreme Court Justices, data on the high incidence of “power couples” staying in the city after getting married and having children, and findings detailing the profound traumatic impact on children when their mothers are incarcerated.

Cohabitation Experience and Cohabitation’s Association With Marital Dissolution Michael J. Rosenfeld Katharina Roesler, Wiley Online Library, 24 September 2018 Recent research has found that in the first year of marriages, couples who cohabited before marriage have a lower marital dissolution rate than couples who did not cohabit before marriage, a difference that may be due to the practical experience of cohabitation, as couples who have cohabited learned to adapt to each other. We find that the association between marital dissolution and premarital cohabitation has not changed over time or across marriage cohorts. However, the benefits of cohabitation experience in the first year of marriage has misled scholars into thinking that the most recent marriage cohorts will not experience heightened marital dissolution due to premarital cohabitation.

Millennials, Generation X Credited With Falling Divorce Rate Alexa Lardieri, U.S. News & World Report, September 25, 2018 People getting married today are waiting until they are financially stable and established in their careers… demographers are crediting millennials and Generation Xers with the decline… According to an analysis by Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, the divorce rate in America dropped by 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. That’s in part because Americans are getting married at older ages, and people married at older ages are less likely to get divorced.

O’Connor, Rehnquist and a Supreme Marriage Proposal Nina Totenberg, NPR, October 31, 2018 Just about the time that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was going out on her 40th date in 40 days, with her then boyfriend John Jay O’Connor, Sandra Day got a letter from William Rehnquist telling her he wanted to see her to talk about “important things.” And in a letter, he popped the question. “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?”

The Rise of the Urban Power Couple Richard Florida, City Lab/The Atlantic, November 1, 2018 In the popular imagination, cities are for young, educated single people, who flock there after college seeking fun, other singles, and more abundant job opportunities, sometimes called “youthification.” Once the singles are married and kids enter the picture it was thought that many of these same folks head out to the suburbs… But in fact research is finding that “power couples” are a big factor in the back-to-the-city movement.

Other Family-Separation Crises Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, November 5, 2018 For the children of incarcerated parents, the toll can be profound. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has shown that these children have an increased risk of mental-health conditions, including anxiety and depression. In adulthood, they have higher rates of asthma, migraines, high cholesterol, and H.I.V./aids, and are more likely to use illicit or prescription drugs.

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