Economics at your fingertips  

Transitions From Sexual Relationships Into Cohabitation and Beyond

Sharon Sassler (), Katherine Michelmore and Zhenchao Qian
Additional contact information
Sharon Sassler: Cornell University
Katherine Michelmore: Syracuse University
Zhenchao Qian: Brown University

Demography, 2018, vol. 55, issue 2, 511-534

Abstract: Abstract Much research on cohabitation has focused on transitions from cohabitation to marriage or dissolution, but less is known about how rapidly women progress into cohabitation, what factors are associated with the tempo to shared living, and whether the timing into cohabitation is associated with subsequent marital transitions. We use data from the 2006–2013 National Survey of Family Growth to answer these questions among women whose most recent sexual relationship began within 10 years of the interview. Life table results indicate that transitions into cohabitation are most common early in sexual relationships; nearly one-quarter of women had begun cohabiting within six months of becoming sexually involved. Multivariate analyses reveal important social class disparities in the timing to cohabitation. Not only are women from more-advantaged backgrounds significantly less likely to cohabit, but those who do cohabit enter shared living at significantly slower tempos than women whose mothers lacked a college degree. In addition, among sexual relationships that transitioned into cohabiting unions, college-educated women were significantly more likely to transition into marriage than less-educated women. Finally, although the tempo effect is only weakly significant, women who moved in within the first year of their sexual relationship demonstrated lower odds of marrying than did women who deferred cohabiting for over a year. Relationship processes are diverging by social class, contributing to inequality between more- and less-advantaged young adults.

Keywords: Cohabitation; Marriage; Tempo; Relationship progression; Young adults (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Demography is currently edited by John D. Iceland, Stephen A. Matthews and Jenny Van Hook

More articles in Demography from Springer, Population Association of America (PAA)
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2019-05-21
Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0649-8