Skip to main content


Pavalko, Eliza K. & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1990). World War II and Divorce: A Life-Course Perspective. American Journal of Sociology, 95(5), 1213-1234.


Since the mid-19th century, wars have delayed, accelerated, and undermined American marriages. These patterns have been attributed to "period effects" since they are similar in all population subgroups. Using longitudinal data on a sample of American men, this article investigates the effect of the World War II period on divorce by estimating the effects of three aspects of war mobilization-entry intro the armed forces, timing of this entry, and combat experience. The analysis shows that veterans were more likely to divorce than nonveterans but that marriages begun at other times. For veterans who were wed by time of entry, the risk of divorce was greater among those who entered relatively late in life and those who experienced combat.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology


Pavalko, Eliza K.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.