Predictors of marriage and dissolution amongst cohabiting couples

Open Access
Beattie, Brett Aaron
Graduate Program:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Paul Amato, Thesis Advisor
  • relationships
  • cohabitation
  • marriage
This study assesses the relative risk of moving into a marriage relationship among cohabiting couples as opposed to dissolution. Various studies have posited a link between human and economic capital attainment and the likelihood of marriage. Using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 we are able assess how both personal and couple level variables affects the likelihood of a transition into marriage. It was found that there was no effect of household income, yet when the male partner earned more as compared to the female partner, the likelihood of marriage increased. It was also found that conceiving a child increased the probability of marriage, while having a child present or giving birth had no effect. Thus among some couples, cohabitation may be an expression of commitment rather than marriage.