Change in Young Adult Union Formation and Dissolution over Twenty Years: A Cohort Comparison Using the National Longitudinal Surveys

Claire M. Kamp Dush, Ohio State University

Using data from the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, I compare union experiences in young adulthood for two cohorts, approximately twenty years apart. I find that the NLSY79 sample was less likely to survive to age 29 without having entered a union, compared to the NLSY97 sample. The magnitude of the difference was about 0.06. However, I find that the NLSY97 are much more likely to enter a cohabiting union, while the NLSY79 was more likely to enter a marital union. For the conference, I plan to compare the duration of first unions by cohort, and specifically for cohabitation, I plan to examine the duration and outcomes (marriage or breakup) for cohabitation. Race and social class differences will be discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 6