The Effects of Premarital Cohabitation on Fertility

Suzanna Carr, University of Maryland

This study aims to evaluate the predictive effectiveness of premarital cohabitation on complete fertility using the most recent wave of NSFH data (which is to be released later this fall). Past studies have found that the members of the study cohort who have cohabitated pre-marriage have entered into parenthood at similar rates after marriage as their non-cohabitating counterparts, suggesting that cohabitation does not affect the rate at which people enter into parenthood. This study aims to see if pre-marital cohabitation has had an effect on the overall levels of fertility of this subgroup, and how their fertility compares to those who did not cohabit with their spouses before marriage. Considering the level of interest in cohabitation and its seeming lack of influence on timing of entry into parenthood, this study investigates the longer term effects of pre-marital cohabitation on overall and more complete fertility.

Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility Determinants, Family Planning, and Sexual Behavior