Does Premarital Cohabitation Predict Subsequent Marital Stability and Marital Quality? A Meta-Analysis


  • This article was edited by Cheryl Buehler.

Department of Psychology, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (


Cohabitation with a romantic partner has become common in recent decades. This meta-analysis examined the link between premarital cohabitation and marital stability ( k = 16) and marital quality ( k = 12). Cohabitation had a significant negative association with both marital stability and marital quality. The negative predictive effect on marital stability, however, did not remain when only cohabitation with the eventual marital partner was analyzed, suggesting that these cohabitors may attach more long-term meaning to living together. Moderator analyses demonstrated that effects of cohabitation have remained consistent over time, despite the fact that cohabitation has become more normative.