Cohabitation, One Form or Many? Evidence from the Canadian General Social Survey

Christina M. Wolfe, Pennsylvania State University

Few studies have attempted to tease apart differences in cohabitation, instead treating this family formation path as one-size-fits-all. Extensive comparisons of cohabitation have been made between the United States, Canada and European countries but generally regard Canada as a whole without regard to linguistic subpopulations. I use latent class analysis to look at current anglophone cohabitors within the 2006 Canadian GSS to better understand who these people are and how cohabitation plays a role in their family formation choices. Second, I attempt to explain the likelihood of class membership using demographic and family of origin variables such as parental cohabitation and separation. Results shown here suggest that research would benefit from a more nuanced treatment of cohabitation. I find five classes of cohabitors, varying by educational level, prior marital status, and childbearing. Class membership is significantly affected by respondent age, gender, family of origin and religiosity.

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Presented in Poster Session 3