Adulthood Marriage Attitude

Being single has become very common among young adulthood and they have been placing a higher emphasis on achieving life goal, achieve financial stability, independent and so on before getting married (Kroeger). According to Carroll, Badger, Willoughby, Nelson, Madsen and Barry (2009), emerging adults primarily view marriage as a process of developing interpersonal competencies, making life-long commitments, and developing capacities to care for others.

Marriage involves adopting social norms of adult behavior and reaching financial milestones such as complete education, being employed and become financially independent from parents. However, there are only minority adults reported that sexual experience and marriage education enable them to be better prepared for future married life. Therefore, postponing of marriage is no longer a new phenomena but a very common trend among young adulthood. Blagojevic (1989) notes that a person marriage attitudes is shaped by many factor, ranging from the characteristic of society the person involved, prevailing attitudes toward marriage, to concrete condition the person socialize and experience within one’s own family. Besides, positive attitudes toward marriage normally include an idealistic “model” marriage.

In the study of Kefalas, Furstenberg, Carr and Napolitano (2011) to determine the meaning of marriage for adult, there are two types of people who get married: marriage naturalists and marriage planners. Marriage naturalists perceived marriage as the next step of a relationship and it happens naturally and it normally happens quickly without wise planning and consideration. In contrast, marriage planner are more interested in enjoying their youth, achieving goals and single lifestyle before enter into marriage. There are only 18% of adults who involved in this study being categories as marriage naturalist. It shows that majority of adults are marriage planner.

Even though marriage attitude is affected by many other factor that cause delay in marriage, low stability of marriage, and cohabitation but adulthood still hold positive attitudes toward marriage and continued support for marriage. According to the research of Manning, Longmore and Giordano(2004), which involved of 1293 sample who responses to question regarding expectation to marry and cohabitation, “When you think of your future, do you expect to marry? ” 38.9% of respondent respond definitely and 37% respond probably. From the result, we can see that they are still holding positive attitudes toward marriage and wish to marry in the future. Furthermore, Willoughby, Carroll, Vitas and Hill (2011) research which involve of 335 (244 female, 91 male) never married, undergraduate and graduate students and their married parents to investigated the intergenerational transmission of marital attitudes from parents to child. All participants and their parents placed a high priority on marriage, reporting strong agreement on average that marriage was an important goal. However, only moderate direct impact will affects young adults’ marital attitudes, it shows that adult are actually having positive attitudes toward marriage regardless much on their parents influence.

In Toit research, 99% of respondents believe that they will be happy if they marry, 83% believe that they will find a suitable partner in life, and 91% of respondents believe that it is better to marry instead of being single. Besides, the study of Rontos (2010) also support the adult overall attitudes toward marriage is still positive because according to his survey, 84.3% of respondents disagree with the view of marriage as an out-dated institution and majority of the adult presents positive attitudes toward marriage.

For the conclusion, even though there are many factors such as shift of attitude towards marriage, delay in marriage, cohabitation affect adult’s view towards marriage. However, most of the research indicated that majority and most of the adult still present positive attitudes towards marriage and perceived marriage as a very important event that should be complete in life.

Gender and Marriage Attitudes

The roles of women have changed across time in many aspects. Traditionally, women work at home with the stereotype description such as women are caring, nurturing, affectionate and good at child rearing (Worden & Worden, 1998 as cited in Faulkner, 2002).Therefore, women are economically dependent on men because men are perceived as supposed to work in the labor market with the characteristic of dominant, independent, rational (Inoue & Ehara, 1995as cited in Ono, 2003). However, women’s involvement in workforce increases dramatically over the 1980s and 1990s (Evans & Kelley, 2007). In this current century, women education level rises over time and thus increases their economic ability. According to Ono (2003), women’s higher economic standing will decrease their chance of marriage and delay of age in marriage. Besides, the rising rate of women’s involvement in work field causes decrease in the desirability of marriage which contribute to the factor of decline in marriage and cause the attitude of marriage shift (Oppenheimer, 1997). Furthermore, women’s increasing economic independence and ability provides greater options for living independently outside of marriage (Hewitt & Baxter, 2011). However, according to Braaten and Rosen (1998), it found that women have more favorable attitude towards marriage when compared with male.

In the research of Rowald(2000) which involved of 102 participants with the purpose of investigate the attitudes of people from intact and divorced family, no significant result support the hypothesis of people from divorced family would have more negative attitudes toward marriage. However, in that research, it showed that there are gender differences in attitudes toward marriage because female reported a more favorable and positive attitude than male did.

Corsini (2011) consist of 25 participants age range between 18 to 26 in the study of Attitudes of Young Adults Toward Marriage and Relationships noted that female respondents report more serious and positive attitude toward marriage when compare with male because 73% of female respondents said, “Marriage is definitely something I want,” regardless of whether they came from an intact or divorced family

As a conclusion, even though there are changes in the role of women, increases education level in women, financial stability which might influence their decision of getting marry in both delay in marriage or avoid to marry, but most of the researches support that female holds a more positive attitudes to marriage than male. Lastly, there are gender differences in marriage attitudes.

Age and Marriage Attitudes

The mean age of first marriage for both men and women had increase over the past decades (Schoen & Canudas-Romo, 2005). According to Balestrino & Ciardi (2008), women first marriage mean age has risen from 23.1 to 28.9 years and 25.6 to 31.2 years for men. In Peninsular Malaysia, average age among women at marriage has risen dramatically from 18.5 years in 1947 to 22.3 in 1970 (Elm, 1979). The process of becoming an adult in the post-industrial economy has changed. Therefore, the meaning and timing of marriage has been altered and hence there might be marriage planners for adult that might cause delay for the entry into marriage (Arnett, 2000; Shanahan, 2000 as cited in Kefalas, Furstenberg, Carr & Napolitano, 2011).

As stated in Hewitt & Baxter (2011) couples might also delay marriage in order to become more financially secure. The financial expectation affects male and female delay in marriage instead of forgoing marriage (Goldstein and Kenney, 2001 as cited in Hewitt & Baxter, 2011). Financial secure and higher level of financial ability has become necessary to contribute for the decision of marry. Therefore, both men and women with higher socioeconomic positions are more likely to marry than couples with lower socioeconomic positions. In the research of Caucutt, Guner and Knowles (2003), it stated that more productive and successful women in their career will plan to get marry and have children later in life than their less productive colleagues or friends. On the other hand, according to Sassler and Goldscheider (2004), men usually marry later than women, largely because of the effects from the traditional men’s role that they are responsible to provide the economic basis for the household but in contrast, single women in their late twenties may lower their reservation offers in selecting mate and the intention to marry in a younger age is stronger because the short biological clock for women in order to give birth to baby might also affect their marriage decision and marriage timing (Lehrer, 2006).

In the research of Developmental Idealism and Changing Models of Marriage by Jong, Ghimire, Thornton, and Pearce (2006), this research that conduct in Nepal because young age at marriage, arranged marriage and polygamy have been very common for centuries in Nepal where divorce is virtually non-existent. 75% of the respondents disagree with marriage before menstruation and 75% of the respondents also prefer marriage at age around 24 instead of 16. The respondents reported that their ideal age for marriage is 24. These distributions demonstrate that the ideal age of marriage previously has been increase but it is still lower for women than for men. Besides, there are growing number of adults believe that they will be more ready for marriage through an extended period of single adulthood and this can be supported by the reason for emerging adult to complete their education in college and established in professional careers (Carroll, Badger, Willoughby, Nelson, Madsen, & Barry, 2009). Besides, on average, 25 is the ideal age for adult to enter into marriage (Park, 2012).

For the conclusion, the preferences age for adult nowadays has been increase and they prefer to get marry later in life which most of the research shows that the preference mean age for marriage is 25 and above but below 30 because at that stage, their financial status is more stable and the reproductive system is still in a good condition to give birth.

Social Influence and Marriage Attitudes

Adult who always exposed to high levels of marital dissolution may delay or avoid marriage due to the fear of divorce and insufficient confidence toward marriage. According to Waller & Peters (2008), individuals may use others’ divorce experiences to predict their own possibility to divorce. They may assess the risks of divorce based on factors that lead to marital dissolution from other people who encounter similar problem. In Kapinus (2004), it suggests that individuals whose parents divorce are more likely than individuals whose parents are remained married to divorce or avoid marriage because past family life experience will influence their expectations towards marriage. Besides, parents are expected to influence their children family formation behavior through parental modeling, socialization, and socioeconomic circumstance (Manning, Longmore, & Giordano, 2004).

For the conclusion, social influence may affect the individual’s confidence towards marriage and thus affects their decision and timing on marriage which causes increased marriage age in the society and choose the alternative choice instead of get marry.

Cohabitation and Marriage Attitudes

Cohabitation, unmarried couples living together increase tremendously. Smock, Casper and Wyse (2008) mentioned that non-marital cohabitation is very popular among adults because majority recently married young adults cohabited before they marry due to the growing of acceptance toward cohabitation. The number of cohabiting couples grew from 440,000 in 1960 to 7.5 million in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau 2011). Besides, through the early 1980s, increased cohabitation causes the decline in marriage rate and this pattern is shared by many countries. Smock, Huang, Manning and Bergstrom (2006) even suggested that cohabitation as a substitution to marriage. In previous research, Bumpass, Sweet, & Cherlin(1991), adult viewed cohabitation as a precursor to marriage. But in later research, Manning and Smock (2005) found that cohabitating couples nowadays deciding between remaining single and cohabitating but not between cohabitating and marrying. Axinn and Thornton (1992) stated that young adult with less favorable attitudes about marriage and less commitment to marriage are more likely to cohabitate than adults with positive attitudes about marriage. Other than that, adult thoughts about cohabitation as an alternative to marriage may stay cohabitating or move from one cohabitating relationship to another instead of marry (Bo, Zhenchao, Cunningham, & Li, 2012).

For the conclusion, cohabitation is a very common trend nowadays and cohabitation is the main factor that results in decreases of marriage. Adults who hold less confidence towards marriage may choose to cohabitate instead of marriage because the condition in cohabitation is more flexible than in marriage.