Veteran status, race-ethnicity, and marriage among fragile families

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2,679) to examine the impact of men's past military service on the likelihood that a couple will marry within 5 years of a nonmarital birth. Logistic regression analyses showed that men's past military service increased marriage odds by 54% for couples with Black fathers even after controlling for potential mediators. But veteran status had no effect on couples with White or Hispanic fathers. As a result, the large Black-White gap in postbirth marriage evident among couples with civilian fathers did not exist among couples with veteran fathers. Our findings bolster other evidence that military service exerts lasting and unique pro-marriage effects on Blacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-786
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing
  • Marriage
  • Military
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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