ERIC Number: EJ985781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Reassessing the Link between Women's Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Quality
James, Spencer L.; Beattie, Brett A.
Social Forces, v91 n2 p635-662 Dec 2012
Using data from 2,898 women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979, we employ a novel method to examine two perspectives, social selection and the experience of cohabitation, commonly used to explain the negative relationship outcomes cohabiting women report. Results reveal cohabitation is negatively related to marital happiness and communication and positively related to conflict. As in previous research, selection mechanisms appear to increase the odds of cohabitation while decreasing marital happiness. A closer examination of the problem also reveals a negative effect of the experience of cohabitation. This paper's primary contributions are the ability to model selection and experience in the same model and evidence of a robust effect of cohabitation on marital quality. These results underscore the complex pathways between union formation, family structure and marital outcomes.
Descriptors: Females, Interpersonal Relationship, Marital Satisfaction, Conflict, Family Structure, Marriage
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth