Journal Article

Trennungsrisiko von Paaren mit Kindern: der Einfluss der Religion in West- und Ostdeutschland

Schnor, C.
Separation risks of couples with children: the influence of religion in Western and Eastern Germany
Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 24:Sonderheft 9, 229–256 (2012)


In Western Germany, 70% of the population belongs to a Christian denomination, while the share in Eastern Germany is only 24%. Previous studies showed a higher risk of union disruption for persons who are not affiliated to a church. How does the higher share of non-affiliated persons in Eastern Germany influence the stability of unions with children? Based on the German Family Panel (pairfam) and its supplementary sample for Eastern Germany (DemoDiff) the present study analyses the separation behavior of mothers. Compared to women belonging to the Catholic or Protestant Church, the results show that nonaffiliated women have a higher risk of separation. However, the union stability of Western and Eastern German mothers does not differ significantly. This can be attributed to the higher partnership stability of Eastern German church members as well as to the insignificant impact of church membership on these issues in Western Germany.
Keywords: Germany, family formation, family stability, religious affiliation, separation, unmarried mothers
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.