W. Bradford Wilcox, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Department of Sociology, University of Virginia
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Marriage

The Happiest Wives Project

Summarizes Professor Wilcox's key findings on women's marital happiness and offers resources to women and men interested in learning more about successful marriages.

   What's Love Got to do with It? Equality, Equity, Commitment and Women's Marital Quality

  Abstract:  The companionate theory of marriage suggests that egalitarianism in practice and belief leads to higher marital quality for wives and higher levels of positive emotion work on the part of husbands. Our analysis of women's marital quality and men's marital emotion work provides little evidence in support of this theory. Rather, in examining women's marital quality and men's emotional investments in marriage, we find that dyadic commitment to institutional ideals about marriage and women's contentment with the division of household tasks are more critical. We also show that men's marital emotion work is a very important determinant of women's marital quality. We conclude by noting that her marriage is happiest when it combines elements of the new and old: that is, gender equity and normative commitment to the institution of marriage.  

Separator

   Why Marriage Matters

  Abstract:  Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition: 26 Conclusions from the Socialrs, chaired by W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia and includes psychologist John Gottman, best selling author of books about marriage and relationships, Linda Waite, coauthor of The Case for Marriage, Norval Glenn and Steven Nock, two of the top family social scientists in the country, William Galston, a Clinton Administration domestic policy advisor, and Judith Wallerstein, author of the national bestseller The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.  Since 1960, the proportion of children who do not live with their own two parents has risen sharply�from 19.4% to 42.3% in the Nineties. This change has been caused, first, by large increases in divorce, and more recently, by a big jump in single mothers and cohabiting couples who have children but don't marry. For several decades the impact of this dramatic change in family structure has been the subject of vigorous debate among scholars. No longer. These 26 findings are now widely agreed upon.  

Separator

   Bringing up Baby: Adoption, Marriage, and the  Best Interest of the Child