Predictors of Marital Dissolution in a South Asian Setting

Elyse Jennings, University of Michigan

While studies of divorce in Western settings are extensive and well-established, there has been limited investigation of the causes and consequences of divorce among non-Western, agrarian populations. In South Asia—one such region—divorce is relatively uncommon, but there is evidence that its prevalence may be increasing. This study takes an important step toward understanding the causes of divorce in this region, testing whether the predictors of marital dissolution in the United States operate similarly in rural Nepal. Given the stark social, economic, and cultural differences between the two settings, there are reasons to expect that the causes in Nepal will differ from those in the United States. I use event history analyses with retrospective life history data to investigate potential influences on the likelihood that first marriages will dissolve. Results reveal that common influences on marital dissolution in the United States are also influential in this South Asian setting.

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Presented in Poster Session 1