Cross-border marriages, sometimes referred to as international marriages, between younger women from less developed countries and older men from more developed countries have increased rapidly in the last two decades. Women from Mainland China have joined the trend and married out to places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Being one of the most popular destinations for marriage migrants from China, this type of marriages have now constituted nearly 35% of newly registered marriages in Hong Kong in 2011. The marital quality of cross-border marriages have started to attract scholarly attention because age and cultural differences between the marital partners seem to be built into their union formation (the difference thesis). Furthermore, the mechanism of self-selection often means that men from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to have a foreign wife because their economic disadvantage inhibits them to find a partner locally. Marrying a husband with a disadvantaged background also means that foreign wives may experience more financial stress compared with other women (the disadvantage thesis). Using couple data collected in Hong Kong, this paper compared the negative marital outcomes, measured by martial conflict and psychological aggression, of local and cross-border couples and tests the difference and disadvantage theses. Our analysis showed that foreign wives’ financial stress, husband’s traditional gender role attitude, and a 6-9 year old age gap between husband and wife significantly increased the risk of marital conflict and psychological aggression in cross-border marriages, thus providing some preliminary support to both the disadvantage and and difference theses. We, however, did not find significant differences between local and cross-border couples in terms of factors that shaped their marital outcomes, hence providing some evidence that a large age difference and socioeconomic disadvantages may affect the marital outcomes of local and cross-border marriages in similar ways. Copyright © 2014 XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology.
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2014|
|Event||XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology - Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan|
Duration: 13 Jul 2014 → 19 Jul 2014
|Conference||XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology|
|Period||13/07/14 → 19/07/14|
CitationChoi, S. Y. P. & Cheung, A. K. L. (2014, July). Age differences or socioeconomic disadvantages? Factors shaping negative marital outcomes in cross-border marriages. Paper presented at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology, Yokohama, Japan.
- Alt. title: Dissimilar or disadvantaged? Large age gap and socioeconomic disadvantages on marital conflict of cross-border marriages