The Influence of Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs*

Arland Thornton, William G. Axinn and Yu Xie

in Marriage and Cohabitation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226798660
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226798684 | DOI:
The Influence of Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs*

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Attitudes, values, and beliefs are central factors in theoretical models of family formation behavior and key elements in understanding changing patterns of family formation. This chapter examines the influence of a broad range of attitudes on young people's experiences with premarital cohabitation and marriage. It looks at attitudes toward dimensions of family formation, such as cohabitation, premarital sex, marriage, and childbearing, as well as attitudes toward non-family activities that may compete with family formation, such as education, careers, and consumer spending. The chapter also discusses the role of parental attitudes in shaping children's attitudes and behavior. It argues that values, beliefs, and attitudes expressed in the family of origin are important aspects of the families themselves and have significant effects on adult children's family formation behavior. Thus, the chapter adds an examination of the role of mothers' attitudes in shaping their children's attitudes and behavior.

Keywords: attitudes; values; beliefs; family formation; cohabitation; marriage; premarital sex; childbearing; young people; consumer spending

Chapter.  14826 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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