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Summary: The Pre-Engagement Cohabitation Effect: A Replication and Extension of Previous Findings

Couples Cohabiting Before Engagement and Marriage Demonstrate Lower Marital Satisfaction and Greater Potential for Divorce

·         More than 70 percent of couples now live together before they marry. In this study, married couples were questioned regarding their marital satisfaction. Couples who cohabited before engagement demonstrated significantly lower quality marriages and greater likelihood of divorce than those who cohabited only after engagement or marriage. Deciding to marry only after having lived together is a risk factor for having more problems in marriage (“the cohabitation effect”)The results of this study are in line with previous research on the deleterious effects of cohabitation before having made a public commitment to marry.1

 

1The Pre-Engagement Cohabitation Effect: A Replication and Extension of Previous Findings, Journal of Family Psychology 2009, Vol. 23, No. 107-111.

 

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