The Role of Cohabitation in Remarriage


Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box C, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (


Using 3 subsamples of remarried respondents (n =1,583, 971, and 926) in the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households, this study investigates how different types of cohabitation, especially postdivorce cohabitation, affect the timing and quality of remarriage in the United States. Ordinary Least Squares regression analysis indicates that postdivorce cohabitation in general and postdivorce cohabitation with multiple partners in particular delay remarriage. Furthermore, echoing previous research findings on the relationship between premarital cohabitation and relationship quality, the ordered logistic analysis shows that postdivorce cohabitation with a spouse is associated with lower levels of remarital happiness, and postdivorce cohabitation of all types tends to be associated with higher levels of remarital instability. Implications of these findings are briefly discussed.