Тенденции прекращения первых брачно-партнерских союзов в России
The article scrutinizes one of the most acute problems in Russian society – the continued high level of separations among first unions.
According to the official statistics data, Russia has consistently held a leading position in terms of divorce rates among European countries.
Recent estimates of period total divorce rates suggest that 30–40% of marriages contracted in the 1970-1980s and 50–60% of marriages contracted in the last two decades have a chance of being dissolved.
The authors use materials from the panel part of the sample survey «Parents and children, men and women in the family and society» to examine the stability of first unions formed in 1945–2010 – either direct marriage, marriage after cohabitation or cohabitation in partnership cohorts. The results suggest an increase in the proportion of dissolved marriages from 14% in the marital cohorts of 1945–1954 to 30% in marital cohorts of 1980–1989. In these cohorts, «direct» marriages were more stable than marriages, which followed cohabitations. However, it is not so obvious for marriages preceded by cohabitations in the 1990s.
Authors conclude that the average duration of a dissolved marriage and the average age of women at the time of the dissolution of the marriage has decreased. Cohabitation remains the least stable form of union with an average duration of 4–5 years. Childless unions break up 2 times more often both among marriages and cohabitations. There has been also a decrease in the average number of children in all types of broken unions with children.
Based on results formulated at the final part of the article the authors suggest that the «direct» marriage without prior cohabitation become a less attractive form of union that might positively affect the stability of Russian marriages by reducing the probability of divorce due to such grounds of divorce as incompatibility in characters, views and beliefs, especially in the initial years of joint life.