Number 35: Marriage breakdown in Australia: social correlates, gender and initiator status

This paper aims to obtain a better understanding of marriage breakdown in the Australian context, with a particular focus on gender differences in the social correlates of marriage breakdown.

The report analyses retrospective data from all persons who were currently or had been previously married at Wave 1 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey (2001).

The findings are grouped into three main themes:

  • Social characteristics are important for understanding marriage breakdown.
  • Women are more likely to initiate separation than men.
  • Gender differences in the decision to separate or remain married.

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