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Cohabitation with the Future Spouse: Its Influence upon Marital Satisfaction and Communication

Alfred DeMaris and Gerald R. Leslie
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 77-84
DOI: 10.2307/351866
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351866
Page Count: 8
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Cohabitation with the Future Spouse: Its Influence upon Marital Satisfaction and Communication
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Abstract

The relationship between cohabitation and subsequent marital quality was investigated with data from 309 recently married couples. Having cohabited premaritally was associated with significantly lower perceived quality of communication for wives and significantly lower marital satisfaction for both spouses. After controlling for sex-role traditionalism, church attendance, and other sociocultural differences between cohabitors and noncohabitors, having cohabited was still associated with slightly lower satisfaction for husbands and wives. The decrement in satisfaction associated with cohabitation is not accounted for either by differential commitment to marital permanence or by the greater amount of time in which cohabitors have been intimately involved.

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