Transitions Into and Out of Cohabitation in Later Life

  • Brown S
  • Bulanda J
  • Lee G
  • 44

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 33

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Cohabitation among adults over age 50 is rising rapidly, more than doubling from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.75 million in 2010. A small literature provides a descriptive portrait of older cohabitors, but no study has investigated transitions into and out of cohabitation during later life. Drawing on demographic and life course perspectives, the authors developed a framework for conceptualizing later life union behaviors. Using data from the 1998 - 2006 Health and Retirement Study, they estimated discrete -time event-history models predicting union formation (i.e., cohabitation or marriage) among older unmarried individuals (N = 3,736) as well as transitions to either marriage or separation among older cohabitors (N = 377). Those who formed a union were as likely to be in a cohabiting relationship as a marriage. Older adult cohabiting unions were quite stable and unlikely to culminate in either marriage or separation. During later life, cohabitation appears to operate as a long-term alternative to marriage.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aging
  • Cohabitation
  • Families in middle and later life
  • Marriage

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free