The influence of youth’s premarital cohabitation on the risk of their first marriage

YANG Hui1 SHI Renbing1

(1.School of Sociology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology)

【Abstract】Based on 2010–2014 longitudinal data of China Family Panel Studies and using the method of event history analysis, this article mainly explores whether the youth’s premarital cohabitation would occur and the influence of occurrence time on the risk of first marriage. According to the findings, the occurrence of premarital cohabitation could increase the risk of the youth’s first marriage; from the perspective of individual time,the earlier the youth enter premarital cohabitation, the higher the risk of first marriage is; from the perspective of social time, the youth who enter premarital cohabitation in suitable marriage stage have a higher risk of first marriage, and the risk of first marriage in which man is older than woman is higher than that in which woman is older than man; from the perspective of history time, the premarital cohabitation has a stronger positive impact on the risk of first marriage to “post-90s” than “post-80s.” In the end,this article divides the cohabitation into three types, namely transitional cohabitation, instrumental cohabitation and purposeful cohabitation. We regard current Chinese youth’s premarital cohabitation as the transitional cohabitation, which could explain why premarital cohabitation has increased the risk of Chinese youth’s first marriage.

【Keywords】 youth; premarital cohabitation; risk of first marriage; transitional cohabitation;


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    [1]. ① Risk is an important concept in the event history analysis (also known as survival analysis). Common risks include death risk and divorce risk. The risk of first marriage refers to the possibility of the first marriage of the research object within the time unit of certain risk time. This study uses the risk of first marriage instead of the age of first marriage, because the analysis from the perspective of the risk of first marriage can include the individuals who have started premarital cohabitation but have not completed the first marriage. Generally, as the risk of first marriage increases, the age of first marriage may decrease. Similar uses of this concept are also common in the studies of the age of first marriage (Wang and Wu, 2013; Zeng, 2014; Li and Wang, 2017). [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 05, Pages 63-74+96

September 2019


Article Outline



  • 1 Research background
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Concept definition and research hypothesis
  • 4 Research design
  • 5 Result analysis
  • 6 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote