Impact of Conjugal Living Arrangement on Marital Satisfaction in China's Rural Labor Flows

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Liang LI , Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
In the context of rural people floating out for jobs, one of challenges is marital stability of rural couples who are separated. In a traditional society, women stay at home and their husbands go outside for work. And this model of conjugal living arrangement maintains the harmony in the family for thousands years. However, now more and more women have migration experience.

Using the data from the survey “Population Mobility and Reproductive Health / Family planning Service”, which was carried out in Juchao of Anhui province of China in 2010 by the Institute for Population Studies of Soochow University, this paper analyzes the impact of conjugal living arrangement on marital satisfaction.

The results show that, more than 60% of rural people have the experience of going out for jobs. More than 30% of rural couples live separately. When men interviewed are working at hometown, only a few of their wives float out at present. There are no signs to show that migration experiences, living arrangement or family values have significant correlation with marital satisfaction.

There are almost half of women interviewed whose husbands live apart from them being migrant workers. For rural women without migration experience, living apart has insignificant influence on marital satisfaction. However, for rural women with migration experience, living apart could lead to lower marital satisfaction than living together. On the other hand, family values are significantly helpful to marital stability.