Changes in Expectations to Marry and to Divorce Across the Transition to Adulthood
Marriage and divorce expectations predict family life and personal outcomes. Understanding how expectations are associated with varying characteristics over emerging adulthood (ages 18–28 years) will inform understanding of emerging adult development. Panel Study of Income Dynamics Transition into Adulthood 2005–2015 data were used in hybrid-effects ordinal logistic regression to parse interindividual and intraindividual variation associated with relationship experiences, socioeconomic and contextual characteristics, and mental and emotional well-being. Partnerships were associated with optimistic expectations: Both dating and cohabiting predicted greater marriage expectations and lower divorce expectations within individuals. Between individuals, greater time in full-time employment predicted more positive marital expectations, greater responsibility was associated with lower marital expectations, stronger religious identity predicted higher marital expectations and lower divorce expectations, having been arrested predicted greater divorce expectations, greater well-being predicted greater marriage expectations, and older age predicted lower marriage expectations. Both between and within individuals, greater worry predicted lower marriage expectations.