Marital dissolution among the 1958 British birth cohort: The role of cohabitation

Berrington, Ann and Diamond, Ian (1999) Marital dissolution among the 1958 British birth cohort: The role of cohabitation. Population Studies, 53, (1), 19-38. (doi:10.1080/00324720308066).


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This paper investigates the effect of previous cohabitation on marital stability among the 1958 British birth cohort. Prospective data from the National Child Development Study are used to investigate the way in which family background factors and early lifecourse experiences, including cohabitation, affect the risk of first marriage dissolution by age 33. Discrete time logistic regression hazards models are used to analyse the risk of separation in the first eight years of marriage.

Many socio-economic and family background factors are found to act through more intermediate determinants, such as age at marriage and the timing of childbearing, to affect the risk of separation. Previous cohabitation with another partner and premarital cohabitation are both associated with higher rates of marital breakdown. The effect of premarital cohabitation is attenuated but remains significant once the characteristics of cohabitors are controlled, and cannot be explained by the longer time spent in a partnership.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/00324720308066
ISSNs: 0032-4728 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 34139
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:01

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