The average couple dated only six months before marrying, Coontz told Live Science. New research finds that premarital cohabitation isn't linked with divorce at all. She compared the relationships using the date of first moving in together. At the same time, however, most participants still valued marriage and wanted to avoid the high costs and consequences of divorce. In the Netherlands, this theme was so pervasive that Hiekel and Keizer argued that cohabitation was a strategic response to high marital instability. This is because they have been comparing couples by their age at marriage rather than by their age when they moved in together. Quantitative data To assess the relationship between the rise in divorce and cohabitation with quantitative data, we evaluate official statistics, survey data, and changes in divorce legislation. Diffusion theory posits that changes in behavior occur through behavioral innovation, ideational change, and social dynamics.
Now, marriage is individual and requires negotiation unique to each couple. Population and Development Review published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The researchers transcribed the results in the native language of their countries, coded the results according to a standard procedure, and produced a country report in English that covered general topics. Quantitative data To assess the relationship between the rise in divorce and cohabitation with quantitative data, we evaluate official statistics, survey data, and changes in divorce legislation. The Appendix provides an overview of the dates of important divorce reforms in selected European countries. Using data from the , and versions of the survey, she gathered information on more than 7, people who had been married at least once, including when they moved in together and when and if they divorced. While these theories are crucial for understanding the underlying factors leading to the behaviors, they have not specifically examined whether or how the increase in divorce may have been fundamental to the development of cohabitation. Both behaviors have received substantial attention, with some commentators referring to them as indicative of a breakdown in the family. Sassler's findings are interesting, said Stephanie Coontz, a historian at The Evergreen State University in Washington and director of public education at the Council on Contemporary Families. Two of the indicators measure the increase in divorce, while one represents the general level of cohabitation in each country. To explain the link at the macro level, we draw on diffusion theory, which has frequently been used to explain how the spread of new attitudes and behaviors led to the decline in fertility Casterline The magnitude of the costs seemed to depend on the legal setting. These data were used to look at the relationship between cohabitation and divorce of first marriages. These women generally had other characteristics that make them at risk for marital instability. Hence, rates of union dissolution may have increased even without divorce reform. For both men and women, regardless of cohabitation, about 20 percent were divorced in the seven years following marriage. In Italy, for example, participants in several focus groups mentioned the economic fear of divorce as well as the extensive court trials and long waiting periods. Previous studies compared the divorced rates of couples who cohabited with those who didn't by using the age of marriage. The surveys that comprise the Harmonized Histories have been frequently used in other studies and are generally considered high quality. To evaluate the evidence in support of a link between divorce and cohabitation, we search for trends and mechanisms at different hierarchical levels: Undoubtedly, the two behaviors have fundamentally altered the institution of marriage. She compared the relationships using the date of first moving in together. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. The turning point in age for picking a life partner seems to be about 23, Kuperberg said. Harmonized Histories; Divorce Atlas. We also include information on legal reform, as changes in the legal availability of divorce helped to facilitate its increase. Moving in with someone before both people are set in their career paths and schooling may increase the risk that one decides to take a job in New York while the other wants to go to graduate school in California.
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