Marriage Divide and Children’s Living Arrangement: The Case of South Korea

Yean-Ju Lee, University of Hawaii at Honolulu

In the United States, men and women of higher incomes and education are increasingly more likely to marry and less likely to exit the marriage than those with lower status, which sociologists call “marriage divide”. In South Korea, which witnessed a dramatic increase in the divorce rate recently, such marriage divide is conspicuous. This study examines the living arrangements of children of mothers in various marital statuses, and highlights differences by mother’s socioeconomic status. In Korea, surveys are shy of asking about the “troubled” life history and do not probe the whereabouts of children from previous marriages. That is especially the case if the mother is remarried. To complement such data shortage, this study compares women’s birth history data with the current household structure to determine who are not living with the mother. Data are from three national surveys conducted in 2006-2007: Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Family, Fertility and Family Survey, and Divorce Registration Data.

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Presented in Poster Session 6