The Relationship Between Impending Parenthood and Cohabitation Outcomes: Changes across Time

Anna Cunningham, Ohio State University

In this study we examine partnership transitions and impending parenthood among two cohorts of US women. We use data from waves 1 and 3 of the National Survey of Family and Households (NSFH). Preliminary results indicate that a premarital conception decreases the odds of marriage for cohabitating women, but also decreases the likelihood of disruption. We further find that impending parenthood has changed across time. The event of a conception still decreases the odds of marriage, but the reduction is now only 2% versus 50% among the older cohort. The impact of a premarital conception on a marital transition has reduced significantly among the most recent cohort, and women that become pregnant are now only 2% less likely to marry compared to women that did not conceive. These findings indicate that the event of a nonmarital conception among cohabitating women carries little weight in their decision to transition into a marriage.

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Presented in Session 4: Cohabitation