Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 84–99 | Cite as

Financial Integration and Relationship Transitions of Young Adult Cohabiters

Original Paper


Despite increasing rates of pre-marital cohabitation, the majority of research on household financial practices in the United States has focused on married couples. This study explored ways young adult cohabiters (N = 691) financially combined their lives and the associations with subsequent relationship outcomes. Results indicated cohabiters were intertwining credit histories and bank accounts, and acquiring assets such as purchasing homes together. Sharing a mortgage was associated with an increased likelihood of marriage, whereas joint credit card accounts increased the odds of dissolution. Cohabiters with an intent to marry were much more likely to start integrating their finances prior to marriage. This study sheds light on the heterogeneous ways that a recent cohort of young adult couples manages their finances and navigates relationships.


Cohabitation Debt Investment Marital intent Pooling Young adult 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Consumer Science, School of Human EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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