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Childlessness, sex composition of children and divorce risks in China
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013). (Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4131-3957
Center for Demographic Research, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013). Stockholm University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3442-9377
2019 (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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Max Planck Society , 2019. Vol. 41, p. 753-780, article id 26
Keywords [en]
childlessness, children, China, divorce risk, sex composition
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74746DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2019.41.26ISI: 000485979100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74746DiVA, id: diva2:1351317
Available from: 2019-09-14 Created: 2019-09-14 Last updated: 2019-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Ma, LiTurunen, Jani

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