Contemporary Marriage in Cambodia. By: Heuveline, Patrick and Nakphong, Michelle Kao. 2024. Journal of Family Issues. Vol. 45 Issue 5, p1166-1194.

Previous work has suggested that the drastic Khmer-Rouge-era changes to the family institution have not endured. Potentially more influential in the long term were the rapid socio-economic changes Cambodia underwent starting in the 1990s. We use four waves of the Cambodian Demographic and Health Surveys from 2000 to 2014 to document contemporary trends in marriage formation and dissolution. We find little change in the centrality of marriage, as both cohabitation and sex between unmarried partners remain
quite rare. Marriage also continues to be nearly universal and early for women, but we find that the transition to self-arranged “love” marriages occurred earlier and faster than previously documented. A sign that parental endorsement may still matter though, marriage dissolution continues to be associated with spousal characteristics deemed undesirable by past generations. While higher among recent marriage cohorts, especially in the first year after marriage, levels of marriage dissolution remain comparatively low overall.