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Repartnering: the relevance of parenthood and gender to cohabitation and remarriage among the formerly married

By Richard Lampard and Kay Peggs

Abstract

This paper is an exploratory analysis of the impact of current and anticipated parenthood on cohabitation and remarriage among those formerly living in marriage-type relationships. The focus on children is embedded within a broader analysis of repartnering which takes account of other factors, including gender. Quantitative and qualitative analyses are used, with a multivariate analysis of repartnering patterns, using data from the General Household Survey, being complementedby in-depth interview data examining the attitudes of the formerly married to future relationships. The paper demonstrates that parenthood has a statistically significant effect on the likelihood of formerly married women repartnering, with a higher number of children being associated with a lower probability of repartnering. The presence of children can work against repartnering in a variety of ways. Children place demands on their parents and can deter or object to potential partners. Parents may see their parental role as more important than, and a barrier to, new relationships. However, mothers are typically looking for partners for themselves rather than fathers for their children. Among formerly married people without children, the desire to become a parent encourages repartnering. The paper concludes that parenthood should be a key consideration in analyses of repartnering

Topics: HQ
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1281

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