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Pamela Smock photo

The Meaning of Cohabiting Unions in the U.S.

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigator:   Pamela Smock

This project collects and analyzes qualitative data from focus groups and in-depth interviews with young Latino, African American, and non-Latino white men and women, and with both partners in dating, cohabiting, and married couples, to address three questions: (1) Why and how do cohabiting unions begin? (2) What partner and parenting roles are assumed in cohabiting unions? (3) Why and how do cohabiting unions end? Our objectives for collecting qualitative data on cohabitation include: to improve understanding of an important new living arrangement affecting increasing numbers of adults and children; to develop more accurate and richer theories of union formation and union stability; to create better conceptualizations and measurements of cohabitation; and to facilitate more precise interpretations of findings from quantitative analyses of survey or Census data. This project is part of the research team's larger and continuing endeavor to understand the implications of marriage, divorce, childbearing, and unmarried cohabitation among diverse populations in the contemporary United States.

Funding Period: 06/01/2003 to 05/31/2008

Country of Focus: USA

Related Publication:

Smock, Pamela, Penelope M. Huang, Wendy Manning, and Cara A. Bergstrom. 2006. "Heterosexual Cohabitation in the United States: Motives for Living Together among Young Men and Women." PSC Research Report No. 06-606. August 2006.

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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