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Childlessness, sex composition of children, and divorce risks in China
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Karlstad University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3442-9377
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 41, p. 753-780, article id 26Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND Studies on children and divorce in China find a negative association between the number of children and divorce and a protective effect of having a son. Nonetheless, we have little knowledge of how these associations have developed over time. OBJECTIVE This study explored the association of the number and sex composition of children with divorce risks in China over the period 1980-2012. METHODS We conducted an event history analysis of longitudinal data from the China Family Panel Studies. RESULTS Childless couples had an increasingly higher divorce risk than couples with children over our observation period. In the 2000s, the divorce risk of childless couples in both urban and rural areas was approximately five times that of one-child parents. The role of the child's gender differs for urban and rural one-child parents, with no significant effect on the divorce risk of urban parents and different effects over time for rural parents. CONCLUSIONS Our findings show that ending a marriage when having no children has become an increasingly pronounced trend. Furthermore, partially due to the rapid socioeconomic and demographic progress and the rise of girls' empowerment, the child's gender has lost importance for the divorce risk of urban parents. CONTRIBUTION This study enriches our knowledge about the association between children and divorce risks in a rapidly developing society Indirectly, the study also informs us about the evolution of son preference in China. CONTRIBUTION This study enriches our knowledge about the association between children and divorce risks in a rapidly developing society Indirectly, the study also informs us about the evolution of son preference in China.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 41, p. 753-780, article id 26
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-174844DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2019.41.26ISI: 000485979100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-174844DiVA, id: diva2:1361257
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-15 Last updated: 2020-01-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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