Age and the desire to marry

Jenna Mahay, Alisa C. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding attitudes toward marriage at older ages is increasingly important as young adults delay marriage and large numbers of people return to the marriage market after divorce. This study examines age differences in the desire to marry among singles age 18 to 69 years, taking into account selection into marriage. Using data drawn from the General Social Survey (GSS), multinomial regressions show that single men and women age 55 to 69 years have less desire to marry than younger single men and women. This age difference in single people's desire to marry is not fully explained by differences in factors that are likely to affect the real or perceived gains from marriage, such as personal resources, children, experience of divorce, or religiosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-723
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Age differences
  • GSS
  • Marital attitudes
  • Marital status
  • Single

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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