Impact of Wartime and Military Service on Family Formation in Vietnam

Puk Bussarawan Teerawichitchainan, University of Washington

Vietnam experienced four decades of wars from the 1940s to the 1970s. Although major fighting was over by the end of the 1970s, the mobilization of young men into the military carried on until the late 1980s. In this paper, I use the life course approach to document how wartime and military service affect family formation in the Red River Delta, Vietnam. While it is believed that war and military service have profound impact on the Vietnamese marriage and family patterns, their effects have not yet been measured directly and systematically in prior works. Based on the Vietnam Longitudinal Survey, my study examines the extent to which wartime and military service affect cohort trends in first marriage and first birth. I explore three aspects of military service: whether serving in the military, timing of induction, and duration of service. I attempt to investigate whether the timing and sequencing of military service have long-term adverse effects on marital stability.

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Presented in Session 28: Marriage Patterns in Developing Countries