Volume 47 - Article 24 | Pages 727–776
By Jolene Tan
Background: While there has been extensive research on trends in marriage and singlehood, few studies have examined heterogeneity among never-married individuals in a low-fertility context. As a country that has experienced a steady decline in marriage and an accompanying rise in singlehood, Singapore presents a compelling context in which to study the singlehood phenomenon.
Objective: This study aims to understand variations in the never-married population based on their family-related attitudes. It seeks to classify the never married into subgroups and examine how these groups relate in terms of their sociodemographic traits and marriage desires.
Methods: Using data from the Perceptions of Singles on Marriage and Having Children study (N = 1,980), latent class analysis was performed to develop a typology of the never married. Latent class analysis applies a person-centered approach to identify heterogeneity between and homogeneity within subgroups based on associations among a set of observed indicators.
Results: Four never-married subgroups were identified: family conservatives (37%), conflicted conservatives (24%), family progressives (22%), and family skeptics (17%). There were distinct characteristics among subgroups in terms of age, sex, and relationship status. A strong gradient in marriage desires was found across the never-married subgroups, implying that variations between subgroups are an important determinant of the desire to marry.
Conclusions: The paper highlights the importance of recognizing diversity among the never-married population as a first step to understanding the flight from marriage.
Contribution: These findings have implications for societies with declining marriage and fertility rates, especially in contexts where marriage is closely linked to childbearing.
Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research
Cited References: 121
Download to Citation Manager