Effects of Parental Cohabitation on Romantic Relationships of Adult Children

Christina M. Wolfe, Pennsylvania State University

Although an extensive body of literature has been written on cohabitation, little information exists on how parental cohabitation affects the lives of their adult children. I present evidence for an intergenerational effect of cohabitation using nationally representative data. Additionally, I explore the effects of parent cohabitation on the divorces and nonmarital births of adult children. Data for this study was taken from Cycle 20 of the Canadian General Social Survey, collected in 2006. Findings indicate that parental cohabitation significantly increases the likelihood of offspring cohabitation, even after inclusion of controls. Individual cohabitation remains a strong predictor of divorce and nonmarital childbearing. Successful parental cohabitations (i.e. not ending in divorce) decrease likelihood of divorce for adult children. Parental cohabitation increases odds of nonmarital childbearing for adult children through their increased likelihood of cohabitation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3