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Premarital cohabitation has short-term benefits and longer-term costs for marital stability

New American study published on cohabitation experience and association with marital breakdown

A recently study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family (Wiley) has found that in the first year of marriages, couples who have cohabited before marriage have a lower marital dissolution rate than couples who did not cohabit before marriage. The research, carried out in the United States by Michael J Rosenfeld and Katharina Roesler, concluded that this may be due to the practical experience of cohabitation, as couples who have cohabited learned to adapt to each other.

The researchers found that there was heightened marital dissolution over the longer-term amongst such couples. Whilst this had been the conclusion of earlier research, scholars had come to believe that that would not be the experience of most recent marriage cohorts.  The new study has found that the association between marital dissolution and premarital cohabitation has not changed over time or across marriage cohorts.  It concludes that premarital cohabitation has short?term benefits and longer-term costs for marital stability.

For an abstract of the article, click here.