English title: Is Marriage More Than Cohabitation? Well-Being Differences in 30 European Countries

Author(s): Judith P. M. Soons - Matthijs Kalmijn -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


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.

Volume: 71

Issue: 5

From page no: 1141

To page no: 1157

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1741-3737.2009.00660.X

Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family