The Consequences of Parental Divorce on the Life Course Outcomes of Canadian Children

  • Valerie Martin Department of Sociology, McGill University, Montreal Quebec
  • Melinda Mills Department of Sociology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Céline Le Bourdais Department of Sociology, McGill University, Montreal Quebec


Applying the theory of the intergenerational transmission of divorce, this paper examines the consequences of parental divorce on three aspects of the life course of children: union formation, nonmarital fertility, and marital dissolution. The 1995 Canadian General Social Survey (GSS) is used to estimate various regression models (Cox proportional hazards). Results show that children of divorced parents have a significantly higher likelihood to have births outside of marriage, enter into cohabiting unions, and to experience higher levels of divorce. Throughout the paper, attention is placed on the markedly different behaviour observed in Quebec compared to elsewhere in Canada.