Marital History of U.S. Men from 1940-2012

Over time this figure shows the changes in marital history of men in different birth cohorts (a birth cohort is all the men born in a specific time period).  The men born in the years 1940-44 were ages 77-82 when this report was created.  The men born in the years 1975-79 were ages 32-37.  Keep this in mind when looking at these data.  The younger group (1975-79) is still likely to experience more changes in their marital history.

Nevertheless, you can still see some trends.  On average, about 2/3 of men are married at least once and this has remained constant over much of this period except this most recent period (those born 1975-79 who still have a chance of marriage).  A more difficult trend to determine in whether 2nd and 3rd time marriages are declining– the cohorts between 1950-1969 seem to suggest this trend.  The increase in the number of men never getting married is also apparent, but there is also a trend of marrying at older ages so some of the men born between 1970-1979 may still get married.  Marital History of Men By birth cohorts 2008-2012

Remarriage Rates by State – United States 2008-2012

The U.S. Census Bureau published a recent report on remarriage.  Here are a couple of graphs that illustrate some of the findings. In the graph below you can see which states have a higher than average remarriage rate ( Purple)  and which states have a lower rate (Green).  Interesting to speculate as to why the Midwest  and Northeast has a lower rate.  May be due to age of the population.  Note that about 25% of all adults (older than 15) are remarried.

Percentage of Ever-Married People by State 2008-2012

New US Census Report on Remarriage– 2015

The U.S. Census Bureau published a recent report on remarriage.  Here are a couple of graphs that illustrate some of the findings.

Percentage of Women Married 3 times US  2008-2012

New Stepfamily Research 2015

Coleman, M., Ganong, L., Russell, L. and Frye-Cox, N. (2015), Stepchildren’s Views About Former Step-Relationships Following Stepfamily Dissolution. Journal of Marriage and Family.

Favez, N., Widmer, E. D., Doan, M., & Tissot, H. (2015). Coparenting in stepfamilies: Maternal promotion of family cohesiveness with partner and with father. Journal of Child and Family Studies, doi:

Ganong, L., Coleman, M., Jamison, T., Feistman, R. 2015, March 2).  Divorced Mothers’ Coparental Boundary Maintenance After Parents Repartner. Journal of Family Psychology,

Pace, G. T., Shafer, K., Jensen, T. M., & Larson, J. H. (2015). Stepparenting issues and relationship quality: The role of clear communication. Journal of Social Work, 15(1), 24-44. doi:

Zito, R. C. (2015). Family structure history and teenage cohabitation: Instability, socioeconomic disadvantage, or transmission? Journal of Family Issues,36(3), 299-325. doi:

Stepfamily Research 2014

Doodson, L. J. (2014). Understanding the factors related to stepmother anxiety: A qualitative approach. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(8), 645-667. doi:

Doodson, L. J., & Davies, A. P. C. (2014). Different challenges, different well-being: A comparison of psychological well-being across stepmothers and biological mothers and across four categories of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 49-63. doi:

Finlay, A. K., Cookston, J. T., Saenz, D. S., Baham, M. E., Parke, R. D., Fabricius, W., & Braver, S. (2014). Attributions of fathering behaviors among adolescents: The role of gender, ethnicity, family structure, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Family Issues, 35(4), 501-525. doi:

Fox, W. E., & Shriner, M. (2014). Remarried couples in premarital education: Does the content match participant needs? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(4), 276-299. doi:

George, C. M., & Fernandez, M. S. (2014). A case study of a stepfamily’s relationship experiences before and after the death of a custodial biological parent. The Family Journal, 22(2), 258-264. doi:

Jensen, T. M., Shafer, K., & Larson, J. H. (2014). (Step)parenting attitudes and expectations: Implications for stepfamily functioning and clinical intervention. Families in Society, 95(3), 213-220. doi:

Jovic, S., Delpierre, C., Ehlinger, V., Sentenac, M., Young, H., Arnaud, C., & Godeau, E. (2014). Associations between life contexts and early sexual initiation among young women in France. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 46(1), 31-39. doi:

Kellas, J. K., Baxter, L., LeClair-Underberg, C., Thatcher, M., Routsong, T., Normand, E. L., & Braithwaite, D. O. (2014). Telling the story of stepfamily beginnings: The relationship between young-adult stepchildren’s stepfamily origin stories and their satisfaction with the stepfamily. Journal of Family Communication, 14(2), 149-166. doi:

Koren, C., & Lipman-Schiby, S. (2014). “not a replacement”: Emotional experiences and practical consequences of israeli second couplehood stepfamilies constructed in old age. Journal of Aging Studies, 31, 70-82. doi:

Lucier‐Greer, M., Adler‐Baeder, F., Harcourt, K. T., & Gregson, K. D. (2014). Relationship education for stepcouples reporting relationship instability—Evaluation of the Smart Steps: Embrace the Journey curriculum. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40(4), 454-469. doi:

Meggiolaro, S., & Ongaro, F. (2014). Family contexts and adolescents’ emotional status. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(10), 1306-1329. doi:

Niolon, R. (2014). The triumph of hope over experience: Stepfamily formation. Psyccritiques, 59(14) doi:

Nuru, A. K., & Wang, T. R. (2014). “She was stomping on everything that we used to think of as a family”: Communication and turning points in cohabiting (step)families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(2), 145-163. doi:

Oliva, A., Arranz, E., Parra, A., & Olabarrieta, F. (2014). Family structure and child adjustment in Spain. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(1), 10-19. doi:

Parent, J., Clifton, J., Forehand, R., Golub, A., Reid, M., & Pichler, E. R. (2014). Parental mindfulness and dyadic relationship quality in low-income cohabiting Black stepfamilies: Associations with parenting experienced by adolescents. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(2), 67-82. doi:

Pryor, J. (2014). Stepfamilies: A global perspective on research, policy, and practice. New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, New York, NY.

Ryan, R. M., Claessens, A., & Markowitz, A. J. (2014). Associations between family structure change and child behavior problems: The moderating effect of family income. Child Development, doi:

Shapiro, D. (2014). Stepparents and parenting stress: The roles of gender, marital quality, and views about gender roles. Family Process, 53(1), 97-108. doi:

Sherman, C. W., Webster, N. J., & Antonucci, T. C. (2014). “Dementia caregiving in the context of late-life remarriage: Support networks, relationship quality, and well-being.”: Erratum. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(1), 246.

Skogrand, L., Mendez, E., & Higginbotham, B. (2014). Latina women’s experiences in a stepfamily education course. The Family Journal, 22(1), 49-55. doi:

Thomson, E. (2014). Family complexity in Europe. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 654(1), 245-258. doi:

Vanassche, S., Sodermans, A. K., Matthijs, K., & Swicegood, G. (2014). The effects of family type, family relationships and parental role models on delinquency and alcohol use among Flemish adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(1), 128-143. doi:

New Research on Remarriage & Stepfamilies in 2013

The topic of stepfamilies and remarriage continues to receive much less attention in the scientific literature but this list of studies published in 2013 represent some important progress and attention to issues facing these families and to help us better understand these families.

National Council on Family Relations– 2012 Schedule with Divorce Sessions Highlighted

Divorce, Stepfamilies, Co-Parenting Sessions at NCFR 2012

NCFR is one of the professional organizations that focuses on divorce and stepfamilies.  At the upcoming professional meetings here are the sessions that include new science on divorce and stepfamilies.  Here is the complete schedule….

 Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012

3:30 – 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions 3 Continued

RT PA 134 Divorce, Co-parenting, and Repartnering

134-01 Divorced Mothers’ Co‐parental Boundary Maintenance After Parents Re‐partner, Richard Feistman, Lawrence Ganong, Marilyn Coleman, Tyler Jamison

134-02 Post‐divorce Co‐parenting: What is Working? Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong, Tyler Jamison, Richard Feistman

134-03 Implications for Children of Parenting by New Partners After Divorce, Jessica Dominguez, Edward Anderson, Shannon Greene

Thursday, November, 1, 2012

8:00 – 9:30 am 203 Poster Session 4 Continued

Divorce and Separation

203-21 FT Understanding Parenting Coordination for High‐conflict Post‐divorce Couples, Eric Johnson

203-22 RT Children’s Undermining of Their Mothers’ New Relationships After Divorce, Brooke Thoele, Edward Anderson, Shannon Greene

Remarriage, Blended Families

203-23 IN Youths’ Quality of Life in Biological and Stepfamilies in Colombia: The Contribution of Maternal and Paternal Figures, Milton Bermudez, Sonia Carrillo, Victoria Cabrera, Carolina Botero

203-24 RT Claiming of Former Stepkin, Luke Russell, Nicky Frye, Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong

203-25 RT A Comparison of Self‐identifying and Non‐self‐identifying Stepfamilies, Kristin Hadfield, Elizabeth Nixon

203-26 RT No Longer Newlyweds: Difficulties Experienced by Remarried Couples Over Time, Katie Reck, Brian Higginbotham

11:45 am – 1:00 pm

222 Poster Session 5

FP Poster Symposium: Social Support and Resources Influences on Familial Issues

222-11 IN Parent‐child and Sibling Relationships in Colombian Families: Comparing Nuclear and Step‐families, Sonia Carrillo, Karen Ripoll, Victoria Cabrera, Carolina Botero

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Focus Groups

EE 223 Co‐parenting and Divorce Education

Presiding: Denise Brandon and Lawrence Shelton, Focus Group Co‐chairs

Friday, November 2, 2102

8:00 – 9:30 am TCRM Workshop Session 4

305 Co-parenting and Computer-mediated Communication: Methodological Techniques

305 (TC4B-1) Measuring Co‐parenting With Time Diary Methodology, Letitia E. Kotila, Sarah J. Schoppe‐Sullivan, Claire M. Kamp Dush

3:15 – 4:45 pm Concurrent Sessions 10 Continued

FT/FF PA 335 Gender and Sexuality in Family Therapy Training

336-04 The Impact of IT Use on Co‐parenting and Father’s Child care Involvement in Japan and the U.S.A., Kuniko Kato, Mari Nakagawa

338-03 Examining the Personal Economic Consequences of Divorce: A Mixed Methods Study, David Schramm, Adam Galovan, Greg Brooks, Graham McCaulley, Tyler Jamison

6:30 – 9:30 pm 242 TCRM Workshop: Co-parenting Measurement , Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan  This research‐focused Special Session is open to all conference attendees.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

9:00 – 10:30 am 401 Poster Session 8 Continued

Financial and Work Stressors

401-28 RT Financial and Work Stressors and Divorce Probability, Karina Shreffler, Michael Morris

9:15 – 10:30 am Concurrent Sessions 11

FS PA 407 Parenting Issues

407-02 Defining Divorced Nonresidential Father Involvement: A Qualitative Study, Jessica Troilo, Marilyn Coleman

Remarriage Reality– What percentage of Americans have been married 3 times?

If you used celebrities as your guide to marriage and divorce, you would think that everyone is constantly marrying, divorcing and remarrying again.  So what is the reality.

In 2009, the Census Bureau reported that among all current marriages, here were the percentages of husbands and wives and their marital histories. [See Table 10, page 19 for more details.]

  • Husband, 1st marriage, Wife, 1st marriage       71.5%
  • Wife, 1st marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage       7.8%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage     7.5%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 1st marriage       6.3%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage      2.0%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage       1.7%
  • Wife 1st marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage        1.2%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage       1.2%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband 1st marriage         0.9%

The results show that most Americans who are married are in their first marriage for both husbands and wives.  Only 7% of all marriages include one spouse who has been married 3 times.

Balancing Adult and Child Concerns in Repartnering

Anderson and Greene in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology provide an interesting glimpse into mothers’ perspectives on repartnering.  See my HuffPost summary.)  They develop a new scale that assesses the degree to which mother’s have a more child- or adult-oriented view of repartnering.  In short, the degree to which mothers are more oriented towards their own needs for intimacy versus their child’s needs for their attention and affection.  There is more work needed in this area by both scientists and practitioners.

For scientists, is this a good theoretical construct?  Is this a bi-polar concept or in fact, two dimensions?  Is it possible to meet both of these needs?  How would this measure work across a wide range of couples with children– married, cohabitating, divorced, remarried, etc?

For practitioners, what programs and practice information is available to assist parents in decisions about dating, becoming engaged, cohabitating, and/or remarriage?