It’s about Planning: Understanding Young Millennials’ Intention toward Marriage Using the Theory of Planned Behavior

Minhao Dai, Kennesaw State University
Nicholas Chilson, SUNY Oswego


Millennials are arguably different than their previous generations and studying marriage intention among young millennials would provide insights into the changing views of the long-standing institution of marriage. This study explored the rational intention toward marriage and identify the salient determinants of marriage intention among young millennials, utilizing the theory of planned behavior (TPB). We conducted formative focus groups and a cross-sectional survey (n = 201). Getting married for love and family was positively associated with marriage intention; getting married would get in the way of one’s education and career was negatively associated with marriage intention. Moreover, the results revealed that women were motivated by happiness but were discouraged by the loss of independence when it comes to marriage; men were motivated by the possibility of starting a family but were discouraged by fear of divorces. We found parents were the only significant normative referents associated with men’s marriage intention; parents, siblings, and friends were associated with women’s marriage intention.