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Strizak powerpointsummer2012 Strizak powerpointsummer2012 Presentation Transcript

  • COHABITATION IN TODAY’SSOCIETYBy Lori Strizak
  • Overview What is cohabitation? Current trends Types of cohabitation Who cohabits? Pros and cons to cohabiting Does it lead to better marriages? What effects does it have on children?
  • Cohabitation… what is it? Cohabitation occurs when two unrelated people, who are also not married, are in a sexual relationship and living together, (Benokraitis, 2011). The U.S. Census Bureau calls these individuals, POSSLQs, (person’s of the opposite sex sharing living quarters), but this can also pertain to individuals in same sex relationships who live together.
  • Growth and attitudes Cohabitation is continually rising. Reasons for why the numbers still might be too low: common-law marriages, couples don’t disclose the information, the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t tabulate unmarried couples in one home, and etc. Increased acceptance among people Reasons people disapprove: religious views, morals, belief it had a negative impact on children, and etc.
  • Types of Cohabitation Dating cohabitation: Couple who spends a lot of time together, decides to move in together. Premarital cohabitation: Couples testing the relationship before they jump into getting married; can be engaged. Trial marriage: Less sure about relationship than a couple participating in premarital cohabitation. Substitute marriage: Two people who don’t plan to marry, but make the long term commitment to move in together.
  • Who cohabits? 20% are 24 years old or younger, (Benokraitis, 2011) 56% between 25-44 years old, (Benokraitis, 2011) Women are more likely to cohabit if their mothers did Also, women are less likely to cohabit if their mother’s have a college degree. Highest cohabitation rates are among American Indians/Native Alaskans and African Americans, (Benokraitis, 2011). Religion and social class also affect who cohabits.
  • Pros Emotional security Independence Can get out of relationship easier, without legal issues By holding off on marriage, the older in age one is, the less likely of a divorce. Age is a predictor of a stable marriage, (Benokraitis, 2011). Some children of low economic statuses benefit more Don’t deal with the stress of the other’s family (in-laws) Learn to deal with partner’s faults
  • Cons Feel trapped or isolated from friends Weaker commitment to the relationship Not as happy or satisfied in relationship Less likely to be faithful Show more negative and controlling behaviors after marriage No U.S. laws about the responsibilities of cohabitants
  • Does it lead to bettermarriages? Surprisingly, NO Higher divorce rates if cohabitation occurred before marriage, (Benokraitis, 2011). Three effects that could explain the reason: selection effect, cohabitation effect, and the inertia effect.
  • The Selection Effect People who cohabit, (usually before marriage), have different characteristics than those who don’t cohabit before marriage. Due to individual problems of the people in the relationship, people are less likely to work on the relationship, communicate efficiently, or compromise during arguments.
  • The Cohabitation effect Cohabitants get used to independence Not as willing to compromise, due to being used to getting there own way. Leads to instability, and the likelihood of divorce
  • Applying the concept In a 2009 article published in the Journal of Family Psychology, 1,050 men and women were given a random telephone survey asking about cohabitation practices and certain qualities about their marriages. Only those aged 18-34, that have been married for 10 years or less were used. All different races and ethnicities were used. “We found evidence that cohabiting before engagement, even only with one’s future spouse, is associated with lower marital quality and higher divorce potential,” (Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009).
  • The Inertia Effect When a couple moves in together, occasionally they make certain decisions that would make it harder to leave the relationship I.e. Getting a pet, sharing finances, having children, etc. After making these decisions, they decide that they should just go ahead and get married.
  • What Does This Do ToChildren? Children often endure the cohabitant’s breakup, or deal with the parent’s “serial cohabitation”, (living with multiple partners throughout their childhood). They are more likely to be poor, due to cohabitant’s breaking up, hence suffering from more emotional, behavioral and academies issues,
  • Did you know? In some states, such as North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, and Virginia, cohabitation is prohibited!
  • Summary Cohabitation is when two people, that are unrelated and not married live together, and currently are in a sexual relationship. Cohabitation is continuing to grow and is becoming a more accepted practice. There are four different types of cohabitation: dating, premarital, trial marriage and substitute marriage. Most of cohabitants are under the age of 44 Women are more likely to cohabit if their mother’s did Social class and religion also affect cohabitation rates.
  • Summary Cont. There are pros and cons to cohabitation Cohabitation before marriage DOES NOT mean that marriages will be better, and generally these cohabitants have higher divorce rates. Selection Effect, Cohabitation Effect, and Inertia Effect are possible theories for why it doesn’t lead to a better marriage. Sometimes, cohabitations creates an unstable environment to raise a child in, and the child is more at risk of emotional, behavioral, or academic issues if he or she witnesses serial cohabitation or the breaking up of cohabitants.
  • References Benokraitis, N.V. (2011). Marriages & families: Changes, choices, and constraints. (7th ed.) Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, Inc. Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2009). The pre- engagement cohabitation effect: A replication and extension of previous findings. Journal of Family Psychology, 23 (1), 107-11.