Who’s happy in marriage? (Not just rich, White, religious men, but kind of)

I previously said there was a “bonafide trend back toward happiness” within marriage, for the years 2006 to 2012. This was based on the General Social Survey trend going back 1973, with married people responding to the question, “Taking all things together, how would you describe your marriage?”

Since then, the bonafide trend has lost its pop. Here’s my updated figure:

hapmar16

I repeated this analysis controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and education, and year specified in quadratic form. This shows happiness falling to a trough at 2004 and then starting to trend back. But given the last two points, confidence in that rebound is weak. Still a solid majority are happy with their marriages.

Who’s happy?

But who are those happy in marriage people? Combining the last three surveys, 2012, 2014, and 2016, this is what we get (effect of age and non-effect of education not shown). Note the y-axis starts at 50%.

hapmar16c

So to be happy in marriage, my expert opinion is you should become male and White, see yourself as upper class, go to church all the time, and have extreme political views. And if you’re not all those things, don’t let the marriage promoters tell you what your marriage is going to be like.

Note: I previously analyzed the political views thing before, so this is an update to that. On trends and determinants of social class identification, see this post.)


Here’s my Stata code, written to run on the full GSS through 2016 data. Play along at home!

set maxvar 10000
use "GSS7216_R1a.dta", clear
gen since73 = year-1973
gen rwgt = round(wtssall)
keep if year >1972
gen verhap=0
replace verhap=1 if hapmar==1
logit verhap i.sex c.age##c.age i.degree i.race c.since73##c.since73 [weight=rwgt]
margins, at(since73=(0(1)43))
recode attend (1/3=1) (4/6=2) (7/8=3), gen(attendcat)
logit verhap i.sex c.age##c.age i.degree i.race i.class i.attendcat i.polviews if year>2010 [weight=rwgt]
margins sex race class attendcat polviews if year>2010

 

6 Comments

Filed under Research reports

6 responses to “Who’s happy in marriage? (Not just rich, White, religious men, but kind of)

  1. What app do you use to post code? I’ve discovered that my Stata code posts get repeatedly garbled by WP stripping out the new line characters. What I ought to do I guess is post a text file to a Google doc or something and link to it. But it is really annoying. Anyway, is this just made using the preformatted option or did you do something else?

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  2. Marriage is a Roller coaster. Myself are at the Top

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  3. That probably explains why I’m happy in marriage. I definitely have the traditionally male role of breadwinner, and it’s a pretty sweet deal as far as my home life goes.

    Now, taking a step back, there’s definite tradeoffs in the way of workplace frustrations such that I think my overall life satisfaction is probably equal to my husband’s. But for him, his “workplace” and home life feelings are probably blended under the “marriage” umbrella, whereas for me there are two discrete areas.

    I wonder – would that create a measurement issue or would that be the type of thing we’re trying to capture here?

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