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Hitting Without a License: Testing Explanations for Differences in Partner Abuse between Young Adult Daters and Cohabitors

Lynn Magdol, Terrie E. Moffitt, Avshalom Caspi and Phil A. Silva
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 41-55
DOI: 10.2307/353440
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353440
Page Count: 15
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Abstract

We compared partner abuse by cohabitors and daters among 21-year-olds. Cohabitors were significantly more likely than daters to perform abusive behaviors. We identified factors that differentiate cohabitors from daters and tested whether these factors explained the difference in partner abuse. As controls in regression models predicting abuse, none of these factors individually explained the difference in partner abuse between cohabitors and daters. With all factors added to the model simultaneously, the effect of cohabitation remained significant, but was substantially reduced. These findings have intervention implications because premarital cohabitation is a risk factor for abuse after marriage.

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