Incarceration and the formation and stability of marital unions

Leonard M. Lopoo, Bruce Western

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

216 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rising imprisonment rates and declining marriage rates among low-education African Americans motivate an analysis of the effects of incarceration on marriage. An event history analysis of 2,041 unmarried men from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth suggests that men are unlikely to marry in the years they serve in prison. A separate analysis of 2,762 married men shows that incarceration during marriage significantly increases the risk of divorce or separation. We simulate aggregate marriage rates using estimates from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and find that the prevalence of marriage would change little if incarceration rates were reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-734
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

Keywords

  • Incarceration
  • Marital dissolution
  • Marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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