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Sliding Out? Cohabitation Dissolution in Low-Income Families

  • Claire M. Kamp Dush

    (Ohio State University)

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    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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    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
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp10-16-ff
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    1. repec:mpr:mprres:4134 is not listed on IDEAS
    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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