Attitudes towards Unmarried Cohabitation in Europe

Lívia Murinkó, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Zsolt Spéder, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Several studies have aimed at enumerating factors that influence the choice of first union type and the marriage decision of cohabiting couples; however, only a few studies examine the reasons for between-country variation in the popularity of consensual unions. In the present paper, our aim is to identify some country-specific measures that help explain cross-country differences in the approval or disapproval of unmarried cohabitation in Europe. Three hypotheses - diffusion, insecurity and individualization hypotheses – are considered. We use data from the European Social Survey on attitudes towards unmarried cohabitation in 25 countries. Employing multilevel linear regression models, several county- and group-specific differences could be identified. The results support both the diffusion and the individualization assumptions.

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Presented in Session 88: Attitudes and Expectations in Family Formation