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Cohabitation and Divorce in Canada: Testing the Selectivity Hypothesis

David R. Hall and John Z. Zhao
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 57, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 421-427
DOI: 10.2307/353695
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353695
Page Count: 7
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Cohabitation and Divorce in Canada: Testing the Selectivity Hypothesis
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Abstract

Findings from various countries indicate that premarital cohabitation is linked to a higher risk of first marriage dissolution. A number of recent studies have argued that this "cohabitation effect" reflects the fact that cohabitors are a select group in ways that predispose them to divorce. This hypothesis was investigated using data on 8,177 ever-married individuals collected from a major Canadian survey. We found that premarital cohabitation was associated with a greater risk of divorce even after the effects of four sociodemographic factors that differentiate cohabitors—the presence of stepchildren, marital status of first spouse, parental divorce, and age heterogamy—were specified in a model of marital dissolution.

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