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      Reexamining the Case for Marriage: Union Formation and Changes in Well-being

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      Journal of Marriage and Family

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          This article addresses open questions about the nature and meaning of the positive association between marriage and well-being, namely, the extent to which it is causal, shared with cohabitation, and stable over time. We relied on data from the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 2,737) and a modeling approach that controls for fixed differences between individuals by relating union transitions to changes in well-being. This study is unique in examining the persistence of changes in well-being as marriages and cohabitations progress (and potentially dissolve) over time. The effects of marriage and cohabitation are found to be similar across a range of measures tapping psychological well-being, health, and social ties. Where there are statistically significant differences, marriage is not always more advantageous. Overall, differences tend to be small and appear to dissipate over time, even when the greater instability of cohabitation is taken into account.

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          Most cited references 69

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          A Theory of Marriage: Part I

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            Beyond Separate Spheres: Feminism and Family Research

             Myra Ferree (1990)
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              THE ESTIMATION OF CAUSAL EFFECTS FROM OBSERVATIONAL DATA

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Marriage and Family
                Wiley
                00222445
                February 2012
                February 2012
                January 11 2012
                : 74
                : 1
                : 1-18
                Article
                10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00873.x
                22611285
                © 2012

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