Title page for ETD etd-017112249741411

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pioli, Mark
Author's Email Address dunham1@roanoke.infi.net
URN etd-017112249741411
Title The Effect of Cohabitation on Egalitarianism in Marriage
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Edwards, John N.
Snizek, William E.
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Chair
  • egalitarianism
  • household division of labor
  • cohabitation
  • gender ideology
Date of Defense 1997-05-05
Availability unrestricted

This study examines the relationship between premarital

cohabitation and egalitarianism in marriage using data from

the two waves of the National Survey of Families and

Households (N = 13,017). Multiple regression and path

analysis techniques are used to test this effect.

Cohabitation is viewed as an experience in which patterns

of behavior and attitudes are formed that influence later

marriages. It is hypothesized that this experience leads to a

more egalitarian household division of labor and less

traditional gender ideologies among married individuals

who cohabited premaritally, as compared to those that did

not. Path models test the extent to which cohabitation's

effect on later marriages is explained by the household

division of labor and gender ideology at time-1. Based on

attitude-behavior research, 1) a higher correlation between

household division of labor and gender ideology is

expected for premarital cohabitors than for

non-cohabitors; and 2) a measure of attitude toward

sharing housework should better predict household

division of labor than does general gender ideology. The

analysis showed that premarital cohabitation does have a

positive effect on household division of labor and gender

ideology in marriage through indirect (and possibly direct)

paths. The attitudinal and behavioral measures were not

more closely linked for cohabitors, and the specific

attitude-toward-the- behavior measure was not a better

predictor of household division of labor than general

gender ideology. I conclude from this analysis that the

experience of cohabitation leads to more egalitarian

marriages and that this is largely due to household labor

during cohabitation.

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