A C O M P R E H E N S I V E R E V I EW O F R E C E N T R E S E A R C H (SECOND EDITION)
David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead – THE NATIONAL MARRIAGE PROJECT
A careful review of the available social science evidence suggests that living together is not a good way to prepare for marriage or to avoid divorce. What’s more, it shows that the rise in cohabitation is not a positive family trend. Cohabiting unions tend to weaken the institution of marriage and pose special risks for women and children. Specifically, the research indicates that:
l Living together before marriage increases the risk of breaking up after marriage.
l Living together outside of marriage increases the risk of domestic violence for women, and the risk of physical and sexual abuse for children.
l Unmarried couples have lower levels of happiness and wellbeing than married couples.