Mothers’ early marriage may prompt kids to marry early too


Millennial kids born to mothers who married young and continue in the wedlock are more likely to marry in their late teenage or early 20s, finds a research.

On the other hand, millennial children — born between the 1980s to early 2000 — whose mothers married young but then divorced, still overwhelmingly hoped to marry but tend to move slowly for marriage, perhaps in the interest of avoiding the mistakes of their parents.

“After witnessing their parents’ divorce, the children may feel the need to take extra time and care in choosing a partner. Those who wait longer are more likely to have lasting unions if they do marry,” said Rachel Arocho, researcher at the Ohio State University in the US.

Those who divorce face higher risks to their mental and physical health and those who wait to get married tend to be more mature and bring better relationship skills to the table, said the paper published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Kids of mothers who moved in with a partner after divorce had lower expectations that they would ever marry.

“That may be because they have seen that marriage is not the only pathway for a committed romantic relationship,” added Claire Kamp Dush, Associate Professor at Ohio State University.

Further, mothers’ experiences was also found to play a role in kids’ cohabitation experiences. If mothers divorced, millennials were more likely to move in with a partner at a young age.

“Knowing what influences the romantic plans and goals of teens and young adults is important for those seeking to prepare young people for fulfilling relationships,” Arocho noted.

However, “it is important to note that delaying marriage past the early-to mid-20s is not necessarily a prescription for marital success,” the researchers said.

For the study, the team included 2,581 mothers and 3,914 of their children aged between 14 and 21 years, when they were first interviewed in 1979.