Berrington, Ann and Diamond, Ian
Marital dissolution among the 1958 British birth cohort: The role of cohabitation
Population Studies, 53, (1), . (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.
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