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Cohabitation and Marriage: Trends, Interactions & Implications.

17737. Cohabitation and Marriage: Trends, Interactions & Implications.

This paper explores the trends in nonmarital cohabitation and marriage among American heterosexual couples and considers the implications for the marital transition, marital stability, and family structure. Following a review of the demography of cohabitation and marriage, the analysis considers the process of entering into nonmarital cohabitation, the relationship between cohabitation and the transition to marriage, and the impact of cohabitation on marital stability and happiness. Despite significant racial and socioeconomic differences, rising cohabitation and declining marriage rates are found across all groups and are likely to continue, although marriage remains a highly valued institution. Research suggests that a combination of union duration and the Aexperience hypothesis@ provide the best explanation for the association between cohabitation and marital disruption. KEYWORDS: living together premarital cohabitation marriage. Strict APA Style throughout. 13 pages, 46 footnotes, 18 bibliographic sources. 4,459 words.

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