Are Prior Relationships an Asset or Liability in the Formation of New Relationships under the Second Demographic Transition? Evidence of Complex Contingencies in a Multi-Country Sample

Giulia Ferrari, Università Bocconi
Ross Macmillan, Università Bocconi

Arguments about the emergence of the Second Demographic Transition highlight increases in the number of intimate relationships, as well as the emergence of new relationship forms. Although such work suggests the emergence of unique patterns of relationship transitions, relatively little work examines such issues, particularly with attention to factors that condition the effects of prior relationships on subsequent ones, examination of the broader array of relationship types that characterize the contemporary world, and by considering variation across countries and cultures. Examining data from the European Gender and Generations Surveys, multinomial regression results indicate that prior relationships appear to be a liability for subsequent relationship formation and that this is particularly the case when such relationships produced children and with respect to traditional, marital relations. At the same time, there is considerably more heterogeneity for prior relationships without children, including types of relationships formed. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 8