Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Cohabitation versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality

Susan L. Brown and Alan Booth
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 3 (Aug., 1996), pp. 668-678
DOI: 10.2307/353727
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353727
Page Count: 11
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Cohabitation versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality
Preview not available

Abstract

Using data from the 1987-1988 National Survey of Families and Households, we evaluate the extent to which cohabitation is similar to marriage. The quality of recently formed cohabiting and marital relationships among Black and White Americans ages 19 to 48 is investigated in an effort to advance our understanding of the meaning of cohabitation relative to marriage. Controlling for relationship duration and demographic characteristics of the respondent, we find that cohabitors in general report poorer relationship quality than their married counterparts. However, cohabitors' marriage plans largely explain the difference in relationship quality of cohabitors and marrieds. The majority of cohabitors report plans to marry their partner, and these cohabitors are involved in unions that are not significantly different from marriages. In fact, cohabitors report more frequent interaction with their partners than do marrieds. The relationship quality of marrieds and cohabitors with plans to marry is affected in the same way by the presence of potential sources of stress such as biological children, children from past unions, and prior union experience.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
668
    668
  • Thumbnail: Page 
669
    669
  • Thumbnail: Page 
670
    670
  • Thumbnail: Page 
671
    671
  • Thumbnail: Page 
672
    672
  • Thumbnail: Page 
673
    673
  • Thumbnail: Page 
674
    674
  • Thumbnail: Page 
675
    675
  • Thumbnail: Page 
676
    676
  • Thumbnail: Page 
677
    677
  • Thumbnail: Page 
678
    678