For those with few social advantages, college is a prime pathway to financial stability, but it also unexpectedly lowers their odds of ever marrying, according to an analysis by Cornell sociologist Kelly Musick in the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family (74:1).
- History - 10:00 What 19th- century women really did
- Arts - Mar 7 In Brief: Music in adverts influences perception of university life
- Civil Engineering - Mar 7 Mapping cities of the future
- Interdisciplinary - Mar 7 Book by Penn Sociologist Jerry A. Jacobs Explores Higher Ed Interdisciplinarity
- Astronomy - Mar 7 Scientists brave the ’vomit comet’ to improve astronauts’ heart health
- Business - Mar 7 Women less represented in faculty, staff leadership ranks
- Chemistry - Mar 7 Promising News for Solar Fuels from Berkeley Lab Researchers at JCAP
- Arts - Mar 7 Illuminating Cambridge worldwide
- Administration - Mar 7 GW4 Building Communities Fund launched
- Microtechnics - Mar 7 Perception of women in engineering needs to be changed from early age, says University professor
- Medicine - Mar 7 New approach to prostate cancer screening needed
- Mechanical Engineering - Mar 7 Work to start on £60 million advanced manufacturing research facility at Ansty Park
- Life Sciences - Mar 7 Do elephants call ''human!''?
- Life Sciences - Mar 7 Inherited Alzheimer’s damage greater decades before symptoms appear
- Astronomy - Mar 6 Galactic gas caused by colliding comets suggests mystery ’shepherd’ exoplanet
- Arts - Mar 6 Lost voices of the Holocaust: rediscovering music from a forgotten world
Among disadvantaged, college reduces odds for marriage
The findings suggest that social and cultural factors, not just income, are central to marriage decisions. Men and women from the least advantaged backgrounds who attend college appear to be caught between social worlds -- reluctant to "marry down" to partners with less education and unable to "marry up" to those from more privileged upbringings. Lower marriage chances appear to stem from men’s and women’s mismatched social origins and educational attainment -- a phenomenon Musick and co-authors refer to as "marriage market mismatch."
"College students are becoming more diverse in their social backgrounds, but they nonetheless remain a socio-economically select group -- particularly at elite universities like Cornell," said Musick, associate professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology. "It may be difficult for students from less privileged backgrounds to navigate social relationships on campus, and these difficulties may affect what students ultimately gain from the college experience."
Musick hoped the findings could raise awareness of potential social barriers faced by first-generation college students, which could be keeping them from participating fully in the academic and social opportunities colleges have to offer.
For the study, Musick and sociologists at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) estimated the propensity of men’s and women’s college attendance based on family income, parental education and other indicators of social background and early academic achievement. They then grouped their subjects into social strata based on these propensity scores and compared marriage chances of college- and non-college-goers within each stratum. Estimates were based on a sample of about 3,200 Americans from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, followed from adolescence into adulthood.
They found that college attendance negatively affected marriage chances for the least advantaged individuals -- lessening men’s and women’s odds by 38 percent and 22 percent, respectively. By comparison, among those in the highest social stratum, men who attend college increase their marrying chances by 31 percent and women by 8 percent.
Musick said that past studies have shown "college is the great equalizer" in the labor market, dampening social class differences. But the same can’t be said for the marriage market.
"This research demonstrates the importance of differentiating between social background and educational achievement," she said. "Educational achievement may go far in reducing income differences between men and women from different social backgrounds, but social and cultural distinctions may persist in social and family relationships."
The study made use of facilities and resources at the Cornell Population Center and the California Center for Population Research at UCLA.
Ted Boscia is assistant director of for the College of Human Ecology.
Last job offers
- Literature - 8.3
Dozent/in für Wirtschaftsenglisch (60-80%)
- Physics - 7.3
Scientific Group Leader (F/M)
- Microtechnics - 6.3
Professorin / Professor Elektrotechnik
- Administration - 5.3
- Pedagogy - 5.3
Wissensch. Mitarbeiter/in Fachstelle Digitales Lehren und Lernen in der Hochschule (90–100 %)
- Medicine - 5.3
Professeur-e assistant-e en recherche sur les pathologies gynécologiques et/ou obstétricales (avec prétitularisation...
- Business - 7.3
International Business and Entrepreneurship #top"> Part time Professor within the research group,...
- Business - 7.3
Innovation - SDU Innovation Research Cluster Alsion#top"> Associate professorship in Communication...
- Business - 6.3
Universitätsassistent/in post doc Non Tenure Track (Assistant Professor, non tenure track) oder Universitätsassistent/in...
- Business - 6.3
Universitätsassistent/in post doc Non Tenure Track (Assistant Professor, non tenure track) oder zwei...
- Media Sciences - 7.3
Professur für Politikwissenschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt "Politisches System der Bundesrepublik Deutschland"...
- Computer Science - 7.3
Universitätsprofessorin / Universitätsprofessor, Fakultät für Angewandte Informatik
- Business - 6.3
Chair in Marketing - 50252
- Psychology - 6.3
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) / Senior Lecturer or Reader (Associate Professor)
- Law - 8.3
Asst/Assoc/Full Professor - Forensic Science
- Medicine - 8.3
Asst / Assoc Professor, Clinical