Department of Sociology, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, Netherlands (M.email@example.com).
Is Marriage More Than Cohabitation? Well-Being Differences in 30 European Countries
Article first published online: 1 DEC 2009
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2009
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 71, Issue 5, pages 1141–1157, December 2009
How to Cite
Soons, J. P. M. and Kalmijn, M. (2009), Is Marriage More Than Cohabitation? Well-Being Differences in 30 European Countries. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71: 1141–1157. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00660.x
This article was edited by Jay Teachman.
- Issue published online: 1 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 1 DEC 2009
- life events and transitions;
- multilevel models;
The study aims to assess, first, whether there is a gap in well-being between unmarried cohabitants and the married, second, if selection factors can explain this so-called cohabitation gap, and third, if the size of the cohabitation gap differs across countries and how this can be explained. We use pooled data from young adults (18–44) in 3 rounds of the European Social Survey (N ≅ 31, 500). Multilevel regression analyses show that there is a moderate cohabitation gap that can be partly explained with the selection factors material resources and religiosity. Country differences were clear and could partly be explained with the level of institutionalization: In countries where cohabitation is more accepted and more prevalent, the cohabitation gap is smaller.