Bridal pregnancy and spouse pairing patterns in Japan

James M. Raymo, Miho Iwasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine two aspects of recent increases in marriage preceded by pregnancy (bridal pregnancy) in Japan. Using information on 28,973 respondents to the Japanese National Fertility Surveys, we first demonstrate that increases in bridal pregnancy between 1970 and 2002 were concentrated among women without postsecondary education. We then estimate multinomial logistic regression models to evaluate change over time in the association between bridal pregnancy and patterns of educational pairing. Results indicate that bridal pregnancy is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of nonnormative educational pairing and that this relationship has become more pronounced over time. We conclude by evaluating these results in comparative context and speculating about the implications for subsequent family change in Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-860
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Marriage
  • Mate selection
  • Pregnancy
  • Union formation


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