Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cohabitation not necessarily a divorce risk

USA Today reports:
Teachman's analysis of federal data on 6,577 women whose first marriages occurred between 1970 and 1995 found that a woman who has lived only with her future spouse has no greater risk of divorce. But for women who lived with someone else in addition to the eventual husband, there is a greater risk of divorce, found the study, published in 2003.

Those aren't the only studies reflecting changes — researchers across the country, including at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University and others, are studying cohabiting couples. Among other recent findings:

• The odds of divorce among women who married their only cohabiting partner were 28% lower than among women who never cohabited before marriage, according to sociologist Daniel Lichter of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

• Divorce rates for those who cohabit more than once are more than twice as high as for women who cohabited only with their eventual husbands, says Lichter's study, to be published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in December.
I have heard Michael Medved and others say that cohabitation before marriage increases the risk of divorce. Apparently there are big differences among female cohabitators.

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