Playing house: the effects of premarital cohabitation on marital satisfaction

This study was designed to examine the relationship between premarital cohabitation and marital satisfaction. Researchers suggest that there is a "cohabitation effect" in that there were higher reports of divorce, and lower levels of marital satisfaction, when couples cohabitated before marriage. In this study, 147 heterosexual individuals that were married were surveyed. Subjects answered a series of nine questions (including demographic information) that inquired into aspects of their current marriage. Four different research questions were tested investigating the effects of premarital cohabitation on marital satisfaction, commitment, length of time of dating before cohabitation, and length of time between cohabitation and marriage. Results indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in marital satisfaction between couples that cohabitated before marriage and those that did not. Furthermore, age and income were found to have a statistically significant impact on whether couples cohabitated before marriage.