Moms early marriage may prompt kids to tie knot soon too

Washington: Daughters and sons of women who get married young are more likely to want to tie the knot soon too but only if their mother stayed married, a new study has found.

Millennials whose moms divorced tend to want to move more slowly, perhaps in the interest of avoiding the mistakes of their parents, researchers from Ohio State University in the US said.

Potential brides and grooms appear to be heavily influenced by their mothers’ marriages, divorces and choices to live with a partner, according to the study that included 2,581 moms and 3,914 of their children.

Children whose moms wed young and stayed married were eager to marry in their late teens or early 20s themselves, researchers found. For sons and daughters whose moms married young but then divorced, the children still overwhelmingly hoped to marry, but wanted to do it later.

After witnessing their parents’ divorce, the children of divorce may feel the need to take extra time and care in choosing a partner, researchers said. Those who wait longer are more likely to have lasting unions when and if they do marry.

For those parents who divorced it is kind of nice to think that your offspring may avoid the same problems by taking longer to find a partner, said Rachel Arocho from Ohio State University.

Children of moms 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, said Claire Kamp Dush, also from Ohio State.

Researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a national survey of people who were between 14 and 21 years old when they were first interviewed in 1979, and from follow-up surveys with their children. About 88 per cent of the offsprings interviewed in the mid-1990s when they were between 13 and 24 years old said they thought they would marry.

Their average desired age of marriage was 25, researchers said. Almost 40 per cent of their mothers had divorced after an average marital age of 20, they said. Researchers found that moms’ experiences also played a role in kids’ cohabitation experiences. If mothers divorced, millennials were more likely to move in with a partner at a young age.

Between 2006 and 2010, most men (82 per cent) and women (74 per cent) had experienced cohabitation as their first union, researchers said. The findings were published in the Journal of Family Psychology.