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Keywords:

  • cohabitation;
  • family economics;
  • gender;
  • marriage;
  • relationship quality;
  • western European families

Research has linked economic factors to relationship quality in the United States, primarily using cross-sectional data. In the current study, 2 waves of the Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics data (n = 2,937) were used to test the gendered association between economic factors and relationship satisfaction among young German couples. In contrast to U.S.-based studies, the findings showed striking gender differences in the association between economic factors and relationship satisfaction for Germans. In cross-sectional models, women's relationship satisfaction was positively associated with receiving government economic support, and men's satisfaction was positively associated with poverty status and negatively associated with being a breadwinner. Longitudinal models revealed that changes in poverty status are associated with women's satisfaction, but men's satisfaction remains tied to their role as family provider. These unexpected results suggest that men's satisfaction is positively associated with a more equal division of labor market activity between partners.