Interrelated Decisions: The Impact of the Timing of Life Course Events on Rates of Transitions from Cohabitation to Marriage

Renee Ellis, University of California, Irvine

Sociologists have long been interested in the transitions from cohabitation to marriage. Much of the research on transitions focus on income, having children, race, education or other characteristic a cohabiting couple may have. Although it is clear that these things matter for marriage transitions the importance of timing and how it relates to marriage transitions has not been fully explored. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the timing of marriage from cohabitation relates to other lifecourse events. This paper focuses on three questions. First, does experiencing other life course events such as childbirth or buying a home impact the rates of transition from first cohabitation to marriage? Second, is there a window of opportunity where these events have a greater chance of influencing transitions, or does home ownership or having a child increase the chance of transitioning overall? Third, are there racial or socioeconomic differences in transitions?

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Presented in Poster Session 1