Family ties and the discontinuity of divorce in black and white newlywed couples

Susan Goff Timmer, Joseph Veroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


This paper explores the relationship of family ties to the marital happiness of husbands and wives from intact and disrupted families of origin and to the likelihood that they will divorce by the 4th year of their marriage. Respondents were 199 Black and 173 White couples interviewed as part of the "Early Years of Marriage" study. Analyses showed differences in family connectedness according to whether the family of origin was disrupted, and some variations by race were also evident. Regression analyses revealed that among all spouses, but especially among wives from divorced families, increased closeness to their husbands' families predicted increased happiness in their marriages. Hazard models showed that when husbands' or wives' parents were divorced or separated, couples' closeness to the husbands' family reduced their risk of divorce. Findings are discussed in the context of family systems theory and gender roles related to the forging of links with kin networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Children of divorce
  • Divorce
  • Kin networks
  • Life course
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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