Racial/Ethnic Differences in Fertility Behavior and Intentions within Cohabiting Unions

Kimberly A. Daniels, Pennsylvania State University

Using data from the 1995 and 2002 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth this study examines the potential racial/ethnic variation of the role of cohabitation in the family system. Cohabitation represents an increasingly prevalent family form and past and current research examines the role of cohabitation in the family system. Three potential roles of cohabitation have been advanced, that it is an alternative to being single, a precursor to marriage, and an alternative to marriage. Past research suggests that examining the fertility behavior of cohabitors is a promising avenue for understanding the role of cohabitation. In addition, existing studies in this area suggest that cohabitation may not play the same role for individuals from different racial/ethnic backgrounds. This study uses information from fertility related behavior and intentions to add to research on whether the role of cohabitation varies for White, Black, and Mexican American women.

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Presented in Poster Session 6