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The Intergenerational Transmission of Cohabitation in the U.S.: The Role of Parental Union Histories

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionSmock, Pamela, Wendy Manning, and Cassandra Dorius. 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Cohabitation in the U.S.: The Role of Parental Union Histories." PSC Research Report No. 13-791. May 2013.

Significant changes have occurred in family patterns in the United States over the past several decades, with noteworthy transformation in the prevalence of living together unmarried. We examine the family structures and transitions that recent cohorts of young adults experienced while growing up and explore the linkages between these patterns and adult first union formation. Our focus is on the connection between experiencing parental cohabitation and whether this is linked to young adults' entry into marriage versus cohabitation. We draw on data from a large, nationally representative U.S. survey of mothers, adolescents and young adults.

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