The Role of the Extended Family in Union Formation and Dissolution in Korea

Yean-Ju Lee, University of Hawaii at Honolulu

The prevalence of multigenerational family households has decreased drastically in the past several decades in Korea, but ties among extended family members, especially those between adult children and their parents, continue to perform important functions for the family. This study examines the effects of parental characteristics on adult children’s first marriage and its dissolution (i.e., divorce or separation), and explores how intergenerational relations intersect with gender and class status in affecting family life outcomes in Korea. Primary data are from waves 1 through 10 of the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study, which is a longitudinal survey conducted annually from 1998 based on an original sample of 5000 households. Preliminary findings from the logit analysis based on person-wave data show that parents’ higher socioeconomic status increases the probabilities of both first marriage and its dissolution, but the effects differ by respondent’s gender. The social context and theoretical implications will be discussed.

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Presented in Session 101: Economics, Families, and Well-Being