Understanding the transition from living apart together to cohabitation - Who moves to establish a co-residential partnership?

Michael Wagner, University of Cologne
Clara H. Mulder, University of Groningen

We study the transition to co-residential partnerships among those who can be considered to be truly at risk of that transition: those in a LAT relationship. We use data from the four waves of the German Pairfam dataset (N = 2,139 younger people in LAT relationships in wave 1). In the final paper we will present multinomial logistic regressions of staying in a LAT relationship, separating, forming a co-residential partnership by moving, and forming such a partnership by having the partner move in. We test various hypotheses, among which hypotheses pertaining to relationship quality, investments in the partnership, resources and differences in resources between partners. Not many of our hypotheses are supported by our preliminary results, but we do find that older LAT partners, and those who are employed, are more likely than others to form co-residential partnerships. It is also noteworthy that LAT relationships appear to be quite dynamic: of the respondents found in a LAT relationship in Wave 1, only 20% were still in a LAT relationship with the same partner in Wave 4, 25% had formed a cohabiting partnership with the LAT partner, more than half were separated, and only a small minority had married the LAT partner.

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Presented in Session 39: Living arrangements