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Sliding Out? Cohabitation Dissolution in Low-Income Families

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  • Claire M. Kamp Dush

    (Ohio State University)

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    Abstract

    This study examined the cohabitation dissolution process in the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study (n = 1572). Seventy percent of low-income mother's cohabiting unions that did not end in marriage dissolved within 5 years. Of those, 75% broke-up while 25% maintained a romantic relationship with their former partner. Hispanic mother's unions were less likely to dissolve but more likely to end in a break-up. Black mothers had the highest rates of dissolution but were most likely to continue the romantic relationship. Older mothers and those with unemployed partners more often experienced dissolution with a continuing romantic relationship. Mothers reporting lower pre-dissolution relationship satisfaction were more likely to experience dissolution as a break-up. Post-dissolution, mothers who initially maintained a romantic relationship were more likely to reenter a union with their former partner while mothers whose union had broken-up most often remained so. Results suggested that low-income mothers slid out of cohabitation, and sometimes back in.

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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP10-16-FF.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1279.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp10-16-ff

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    Related research

    Keywords: cohabitation; cohabitation dissolution; break-up; relationship quality; race;

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    1. Robert S. Kahn & Dominique Brandt & Robert C. Whitaker, 2004. "Combined Effect of Mothers' and Fathers' Mental Health Symptoms on Children's Behavioral and Emotional Well-Being," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4134, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Jensen, Eric W. & James, Sherman A. & Boyce, W. Thomas & Hartnett, Sue A., 1983. "The family routines inventory: Development and validation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 201-211, January.
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