The Marriage Paradox: Why Emerging Adults Love Marriage Yet Push it Aside

The Marriage Paradox: Why Emerging Adults Love Marriage Yet Push it Aside

by Brian J. Willoughby, Spencer L. James


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Marriage has been declared dead by many scholars and the media. Marriage rates are dropping, divorce rates remain high, and marriage no longer enjoys the prominence it once held. Especially among young adults, marriage may seem like a relic of a distant past. Yet young adults continue to report that marriage is important to them, and they may not be abandoning marriage, as many would assume.

The Marriage Paradox explores both national U.S. data and a smaller sample of emerging adults to find out how they really view marriage today. Interspersed with real stories and insight from emerging adults themselves, this book attempts to make sense of the increasingly paradoxical ways that young adults are thinking about marriage. The combination of national trends, statistical findings, and quotations from emerging adults makes for a deep exploration of why we see the marital trends of today, and why they may not actually represent emerging adults moving away from marriage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190296650
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/05/2017
Series: Emerging Adulthood Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brian J. Willoughby, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. Dr. Willoughby is considered an international expert in the field of couple and marital relationships, sexuality, and emerging adult development. His research generally focuses on how adolescents, young adults, and adults move toward and form long-term committed relationships.

Spencer L. James, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. As a family demographer, Dr. James is interested in the ways people form, maintain, and dissolve long-term romantic relationships, especially during emerging adulthood. He draws primarily on nationally representative longitudinal datasets and advanced statistical methods to answer questions about contemporary trends in marital and cohabiting relationships.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword

Introduction: The Marriage Paradox

Chapter 1: Modern Marriage and Emerging Adulthood in the United States
Chapter 2: Dating, Hooking-up, and Love: Relationships during Emerging Adulthood
Chapter 3: Why Marriage Still Matters: Understanding Marital Paradigms During Emerging Adulthood
Chapter 4: I Want to Get Married Just Not Right Now
Chapter 5: Marriage is Important Just Not That Important
Chapter 6: Finding the Right Person to Marry
Chapter 7: The Influence of Parents and Families
Chapter 8: Social Influences and Marriage
Chapter 9: Gender and Gender Role Expectations
Chapter 10: The Counter-Culture of Married Emerging Adults
Chapter 11: Looking Ahead: The Future of the Marriage Paradox

About the Authors

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