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Cohabitation in the United States: An Appraisal of Research Themes, Findings, and Implications

Publication Abstract

Smock, Pamela. 2000. "Cohabitation in the United States: An Appraisal of Research Themes, Findings, and Implications." Annual Review of Sociology, 26: 1-20.

Cohabitation has risen dramatically in the United States in a very short time. So, too, has the amount of sociological research devoted to the topic. In the span of little more than a decade, family sociologists and demographers have produced a large and rich body of research, ranging from documentation of cohabitation to assessment of its various consequences and implications. I first review basic descriptive findings about cohabitation as well as common explanations for its striking increase over recent decades. I next identify the central questions motivating most of the extant research and provide an assessment of past research as a whole. Finally, I speculate about themes that will be central to future research on cohabitation and consider the implications of cohabitation for gender equality in the United States and social science research on families.

University of Michigan network users may download a pdf file of this paper from the Annual Reviews web site at: http://soc.annualreviews.org/cgi/reprint/26/1/1.pdf

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