Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Science in Sociology


The present study uses data from the 2004 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) to evaluate how twelfth grader's educational aspirations and religiosity influenced their desire to marry. Previous research indicates that education attained and increased religiosity increases the probability of marriage (Bumpass, Sweet, and Cherlin 1991; Goldstein and Kenney 2001; Sweeney 2002; Thornton, Axinn, and Teachman 1995). Exchange theory explains that higher levels of education increase one's odds in the marriage market, and the actual act of marriage is perceived as a "reward" to highly religious individuals (Becker 1973; Blau 1964; Edwards 1969; Friedman and Hechter 1988; Homans 1974). Results from this research indicate that as the level of educational aspirations increase so does the odds of desiring marriage. In addition, increased religiosity significantly increases the odds or desiring marriage. Furthermore, religiosity does not moderate the relationship between educational aspirations and the desire to marry.



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