Dissolution of premarital cohabitation in Canada

Abstract

The rapid increase in the number of unmarried cohabiting couples, indicated by recent evidence, is crucial to our understanding of changing marriage patterns. The levels and patterns of entry into cohabitation have been well documented over the last two decades. but little is known about the outcomes of nonmarital cohabitation. In this study we examine two competing outcomes of cohabitation relationships: union separation and legalization of the union through marriage. Our results show that the hazard rate of union dissolution is affected particularly by gender, fertility status, partner’s marital status, religion, age at start of cohabitation, year cohabitation commenced, and region.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from a University of Victoria faculty research grant and a research fellowship from the Center on Aging at the University of Victoria, awarded to the first author. Additional research support was provided by the Department of Sociology, the University of Victoria, and by the Department of Sociology, the University of Western Ontario. We also extend our thanks to Lynne Moffatt for research assistance, and to R. Alan Hedley, Frances K. Goldscheider and the anonymous reviewers for their many helpful comments. An early version of this paper was presented at the 1994 annual meetings of the Canadian Population Society in Calgary, Alberta, and at the 1995 annual meetings of the Population Association of America in San Francisco. Direct all correspondence to Zheng Wu, Department of Sociology, the University of Victoria, PO Box 3050 MS 7572, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P5 Canada.

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Wu, Z., Balakrishnan, T.R. Dissolution of premarital cohabitation in Canada. Demography 32, 521–532 (1995). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061672

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Keywords

  • Hazard Rate
  • Marital Disruption
  • Marital Stability
  • Union Dissolution
  • Premarital Cohabitation