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Longitudinal Study: HILDA
Title: Do co-residence and intentions make a difference? Relationship satisfaction in married, cohabiting and living apart together couples in 4 countries
Authors: Tai, Tsui-o 
Hewitt, Belinda 
Baxter, Janeen 
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 30
Abstract: BACKGROUND A large body of research has compared relationship satisfaction and quality in cohabiting versus married relationships. Despite increased recognition of couples in living apart together (LAT) relationships, very little research has examined the experiences of couples in LAT relationships compared to co-residential unions. OBJECTIVE Our aim is to develop knowledge about the experiences of different union types by investigating relationship satisfaction of people in LAT, cohabiting, and marital relationships. We differentiate those with intentions to marry for cohabiters, and those with intentions to marry or live together in LAT relationships. We also examine differences by gender and country. METHODS Using data from Wave 1 of the Generations and Gender Survey in France, Germany, Australia, and Russia (n = 9,604), OLS regressions are estimated to investigate a) differences in relationship satisfaction across relationship types, and b) across countries. RESULTS Married people have the highest levels of relationship satisfaction. People in non-marital unions with intentions to marry or live together are significantly more satisfied than those without marriage or cohabitation intentions. Those in LAT relationships with no intentions to live together have the lowest levels of relationship satisfaction. There is evidence of cross–national variation with differences in relationship satisfaction byunion type most pronounced in Australia and Russia. Gender differences are found with women reporting lower levels of relationship satisfaction than men. CONCLUSIONS LAT relationships are qualitatively different to co-residential unions. It is important to further develop our understanding of the experiences of couples in these relationships.
Keywords: Relationships -- Cohabitation; Relationships; Relationships -- Non-coresidential
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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