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Living Together Unmarried in the United States: Demographic Perspectives and Implications for Family Policy

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionSmock, Pamela, and Wendy Manning. 2004. "Living Together Unmarried in the United States: Demographic Perspectives and Implications for Family Policy." PSC Research Report No. 04-555. 3 2004.

This paper synthesizes research on the demographic correlates and consequences of unmarried, heterosexual cohabitation in the United States. First, we place cohabitation in the context of recent demographic trends in union formation and dissolution. Second, we consider the implications of cohabitation for child wellbeing. Third, we review population subgroup variation in the role of cohabitation in family patterns, focusing on social class and race and ethnicity. Finally, we discuss how and why unmarried cohabitation is implicated in recent dialogues about family policy.

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