Title of Project

A Cross-Cultural Perspective of Cohabitation in Young Adults

Researcher Information

Michaela Mercado

Project Type

Event

Location

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Start Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

End Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

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A Cross-Cultural Perspective of Cohabitation in Young Adults

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

The purpose of this study was to examine different perceptions, attitudes and values about cohabitation as present in male and female college students in two culturally different settings: South Florida and Bolivia. Cohabitation is defined as a couple living together in an intimate heterosexual union without being married. Most of the extant research examines attitudes toward cohabitation in middle-aged or elder adults after they have been in a cohabitating relationship for a few years. The present study investigates how young adults perceive cohabitation prior to entering a long-term relationship. The data was collected in both Florida and La Paz, Bolivia. The sample consisted of 306 respondents (200 participants from South Florida and 106 from Bolivia). The mean age of the participants was 25 years. The participants completed a 65-item survey. Some statements in the survey described cohabitation as a convenient relationship (“I believe a couple can cohabitate to share living expenses,” “I believe a cohabitation is about fun.”); others described cohabitation as a step prior to marriage (“I believe cohabitation is a trial marriage,” “I believe one must be faithful in a cohabitating relationship.”) We hypothesized that young adults’ opinions about cohabitation will differ depending on the gender of the participant. More specifically, young men are more likely to view cohabitation as a convenient relationship whereas young women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step prior to marriage. All data has already been collected and is currently being analyzed.