“Easy out” [compared to marriage]oFour typesJust part of dating/practicalTry things outTransition to marriage; Made explicit before cohabitation occurs.Don’t believe in the institution of marriage (i.e. homosexuals)How does it influence relationship outcomes? Why?oRelationship outcomesPremarital cohabitation is associated with:Increased risk for divorce, especially:Serial monogamists- People who have only cohabited with one individual.Non-Hispanic, white womenWorse marital communication qualityLower satisfactionIncreased perception of marital instabilityIncreased likelihood of domestic violenceCorrelational evidence on this is highly debated; No causal connection.oExplanations for outcomesExperience; AKA “Cohabitation Effect”The experience of cohabitation CAUSES the changes of marital success to decline.Selection Effect
People who cohabit are fundamentally different than those who choose notto cohabit.People who cohabit are more likely to come from divorced families, thereby making them more likely to divorce themselves.Low income/SESTend to be less religious, therefore making divorce more acceptable.Inertia EffectSome couples who would otherwise not have married end up marrying anyway.°°Interdependence Theory – What are the three major components that define relationshipdependence and satisfaction? Know how these three components interact with one another.The way interacting individuals influence the experiences of each other via their behaviors.oMeasured by researchers via the use of “I” vs. “we” or “our” in describing one’s relationship; The more “we” Greater interdependence, and vice versa.