Immigrants’ Life Satisfaction in Ethnically Mixed Marriages: A Family Life-Course Perspective

Sarah Carol , University College Dublin
Annegret Gawron , University of Rostock

Which role do ethnically mixed marriages (exogamous marriages) play for immigrants’ life satisfaction (as an indicator of well-being)? Only a few studies pay attention to this question although this marriage type is seen as valuable but also contentious indicator of immigrants’ integration. On the one hand, exogamous marriages are associated with upward mobility. On the other hand, exogamous marriages often have to face more conflicts compared to endogamous marriages (marriages among co-ethnics). Drawing on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2018), we estimate 3-level hybrid models to investigate immigrants’ life satisfaction. After controlling for socio-economic characteristics, we find a lower satisfaction in exogamous marriages especially after the birth of the first child. This suggests that the socialization of children might be a more contentious issue in exogamous marriages. Overall, these findings illustrate that marriage types and the life course should be considered in future studies about the life satisfaction and integration of immigrants.

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 Presented in Session 57. Family Dynamics, Work Conditions and Health