Literature Review


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  • The weaknesses outweigh the strengths when it comes to cohabitation. Even though cohabitation is preferred over marriage in many young adults women who are in cohabitating relationships are not looking to be promiscuous, but are looking for support, usually financial. Back in the seventy’s the law had a lot to do with whether people got married or just cohabitated, because of this women who chose to cohabitate left themselves and their children open to vulnerability, for example child abuse, and other violences toward both the women and their children.
  • Many people who cohabitate do want to get married eventually so they use their cohabitation as a screening tool for marriage. They want to find out if it would work for them to get married. Unfortunately people who cohabitate before marriage and who are in their early twenties and thirties have a lower level of satisfaction than their married counter parts. Even though cohabitation is widely spread many of the marriages that cohabitated first end up in divorce.
  • Before people cohabitate they should discuss the possibility of getting married in the somewhat near future. Cohabitation before marriage can and will lead to low marital status and high levels of instability in the marriage.
  • People decide to cohabitate because they feel that they are ready to commit themselves to making personal sacrifices for their partner and cohabitations helps and shows the cohabiter’s how to work together as a team. On the flip side of this many people cohabitate because commitment scares them but they want to live their lives together with their chosen partner. Financial instability or problems are a big reason why people cohabitate in today’s society as well.
  • There are not many studies conducted as of yet on whether the economic status of men impacts their fatherhood so researchers have to rely on entities like cohabitation, marital, and non-residential status’. Saying this then leads to men who are stable and feel stable in their employment are more likely to marry where as men who are unstable and feel unstable are more likely to cohabitate.
  • As for women, those who are in a stable and lasting marriage have less psychological distress than those who are cohabitating therefore making being married better than cohabitating. Women who cohabitate tend to have their psychological and physical well-being rapidly deteriorate. This mean they have more psychological problems like depression and more physical illnesses like colds, or strokes.
  • Even though cohabitation among families increase every year and young people would rather cohabitate than get married family support exchanges tend to be more favorable to those who are married.
  • Where an individual resides has no bearing on whether they cohabitate, even though women who reside in non-metro areas lean towards marriage. The reason for this is that cohabitation is so widely spread over almost all areas.
  • In some countries, like Scandinavia, marriage and cohabitation are the same. The reason’s why cohabitation is so abundant in society today is because during the second half of the twentieth century the rates of divorce rose and sexual gender revolutions began. As for the children, they are five times more likely to be disturbed by their parents break-up when born to cohabiter’s where as their counter parts who are born into a marriage are less likely to be so disturbed. Because of the high dissolution rates among cohabiter’s children goes through much turmoil.
  • Interethnic couples, which there are many of in today’s society, also tend to cohabitate rather than get married. Those who are in an interethnic relationships proves that the boundaries between the two given groups are strong. Even so, the low rates of interethnic marriages show the boundaries or bonds between the two groups are weak.
  • Literature Review

    1. 1. LITERATURE REVIEW<br />Erica L. Nicholson<br />Argosy University Online<br />Argosy University Online<br />
    2. 2. Living in sin<br />A. Strengths<br />1. Most cohabiting couples preferred to be married rather than just cohabiting (Bacon, 2008).<br />2. Women who were in a cohabiting relationship were not adventuresome or romantic (Bacon, 2008).<br />B. Weaknesses <br />1. A woman and her children were left vulnerable through cohabitation (Bacon, 2008).<br />2. The law had a lot to do with whether people got married or not (Bacon, 2008).<br />
    3. 3. Grandma was right<br />A. Strengths<br />1. People use the cohabitation as a pre-marital screening test (Wydick, 2007).<br />2. People who marry in their early twenties and early thirties have a higher rate of satisfaction when compared to those of the same age who cohabitate (Wydick, 2007).<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. Couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to end in divorce (Wydick, 2007).<br />2. Cohabitation has widely increased across the nation in recent decades (Wydick, 2007).<br />
    4. 4. The pre-engagement – cohabitation effect<br />A. Strengths<br />1. The premarital cohabitation effect should be at its strongest before cohabitations that start before both parties commit themselves to marriage (Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009).<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. More than half American couples in today’s society cohabitate (Rhoades, et al, 2009). <br />2. Cohabitation before marriage can lead to high marital instability and low marital status (Rhoades, et al, 2009)<br />
    5. 5. The pre-engagement – asymmetry marital commitment<br />A. Strengths<br />1. Cohabitation helps couples begin to work as a team to prepare them for a long-term commitment together (Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2008) <br />2. People cohabitate together because they are ready to give the relationship high priority, as well as being ready to make personal sacrifices for their partner (Rhoades, et al, 2008)<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. People cohabitate because they are afraid of commitment but want to spend their lives together (Rhoades, et al, 2008).<br />2. People are cohabitating today because of constraints like the cost of living (Rhoades, et al, 2008).<br />
    6. 6. Becoming a dad<br />A. Strengths<br />1. Researchers rely on the differences between cohabitation status, non-residential status and the marriage status to see if fatherhood impacts the economic status (Percheski & Wildeman, 2008).<br />2. Men who are stably employed and who have promising employment resort to being married (Percheski & Wildeman, 2008). <br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. There is little research on how becoming a father affects the man’s economic status (Percheski & Wildeman, 2008).<br />2. Men who are not stably employed resort to cohabitation.<br />
    7. 7. For single mothers<br />A. Strengths<br />1. A Marriage that lasts for mothers who were single will lower the psychological distress of that mother (Williams, Sassler, & Nicholson, 2008).<br />2. Because the health and well-being of mother’s who are married tend to outweigh those of a mother who cohabitates it is believed that marriage is better than non-marriage (Williams, et al, 2008).<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. The psychological and physical health of a single mother who chooses to cohabitate can rapidly deteriorate depending on the stress levels (Williams, et al, 2008).<br />2. There are few studies that look at cohabitation for single mother’s which is a common type of union for single mothers have the same benefits for childless women and single mothers (Williams, et al, 2008).<br />
    8. 8. Exchanges of support<br />A. Strengths<br />1. Married children are more likely to receive and give support to their parents (Eggebeen, 2005).<br />2. Married adult children are more likely to turn to their parents in emergencies (Eggebeen, 2005).<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. Cohabitation among families have been increasing each year (Eggebeen, 2005).<br />2. In today’s society young adults are choosing to opt out of marriage and into cohabitation (Eggebeen, 2005).<br />
    9. 9. Residential differences<br />A. Strengths<br />1. Non-metro women are more likely to hold high values towards marriage (Brown, & Snyder, 2006).<br />2. Non-metro women were more likely to get married rather than cohabitate (Brown, & Snyder, 2006).<br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. Women who lived in metropolitan areas were more likely to cohabit (Brown, & Snyder, 2008)<br />2. Women in the metropolitan areas were more likely to have children out of wed-lock (Brown, & Snyder, 2008)<br />
    10. 10. Cohabitation, marriage, and child wellbeing<br />A. Strengths<br />1. In some countries (i.e. Scandinavia) cohabitation and marriage are indistinguishable (Popenoe, 2009).<br />2. The rise of divorce in the second half of the twentieth century, and the sexual gender revolutions are the reason for modern day society to be experiencing the cohabitation effect (Popenoe, 2009).<br />B. Weaknesses <br />1. Cohabiter’s have higher dissolution rates than their married counter-parts thus putting the child through turmoil (Popenoe, 2009).<br />2. Children born into cohabitation have five time likelihood of experiencing their parents’ divorce/separation (Popenoe, 2009).<br />
    11. 11. Relationship quality<br />A. Strengths<br />1. There a number of couples in todays’ society that are interethnic (Hohmann-Marriott, & Amato, 2008).<br />2. Marriage among interethnic couples is increasing in todays’ society (Hohman-Marriot, et al, 2008).<br />3. High rates of interethnic marriages according to sociologists suggest that the boundaries between the two groups is strong (Hohman-Marriot, et al, 2008). <br />B. Weaknesses<br />1. Low rates of interethnic marriages show that the bonds or boundaries between two given groups are weak (Hohman-Marriot, et al, 2008).<br />2. The concept of the relationship quality is multi-dimensional, and includes commitment, satisfaction, conflict, positive interaction and perceived problems (Hohman-Marriot, et al, 2008).<br />
    12. 12. References<br />Bacon, D. (2008). Living in sin: cohabiting as husband and wife in nineteenth century England. Victorian Studies, 52(3), 497-498. <br />Brown, S. & Snyder, A. (2006). Residential differences in cohabiters’ union transitions. Rural Sociology, 71(2), 311-334. <br />Eggebeen, D. (2005). Cohabitation and exchanges of support. Social Forces, 83(3),1097-1110. <br />Hohmann-Marriott, B. E. & Amato, P. (2008). Relationship quality in interethnic marriages and cohabitation. Social forces, 87(2), 825-851. <br />Percheski, C., & Wildeman, C. (2008). Becoming a dad: employment trajectories of married, cohabiting, and non-resident fathers. Social Science Quarterly, 89(2), 482-499. <br />
    13. 13. References<br />Popenoe, D. (2009). Cohabitation, marriage, & child wellbeing: A cross-national perspective. Social Science and Public Policy, 46, 429-436. doi: 10.1007/s121-1500.99.2.425.<br />Rhoades, G., Stanley, S. & Markman, H. (2009). The pre-engagement cohabitation effect: a replication and extension of previous findings. Journal of Family Psychology 23(1), 107-111. doi: 10.1037/a001-4358.<br />Rhoades, G., Stanley, S., & Markman, H. (2005). The pre-engagement cohabitation and gender asymmetry marital commitment. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), 553-560. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.4.553.<br />Williams, K., Sassler, S., & Nicholson, L. (2008). For better or worse? The consequences of marriage and cohabitation for single mothers. Social Forces, 86(4), 1481-1506.<br />Wydick, B. (2007). Grandma was right: why cohabitation undermines relational satisfaction, but is increasing anyway. Kyklo, 60(4), 617-645. <br />