Marriage and Cohabitation

Marriage and Cohabitation

Today’s children are born into and grow up in many different types of families.  For example, four in ten babies in the U.S. are born to unmarried parents – either single or cohabiting. Child Trends tracks and analyzes the changes taking place in the structure of the American family over recent decades and how these changes impact children. We review the research literature, examine trends in the data, conduct qualitative studies, and evaluate programs intended to promote and support healthy relationships within and outside of marriage.

Featured Publications

A Snapshot of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs for Youth

Nov 2015 | Mindy E. Scott; Elizabeth Karberg

This fact sheet provides descriptive characteristics of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education programs serving youth, characteristics of those served, and the most commonly used curricula, program goals, and expected outcomes. It was published as part of the Youth Education and Relationship Services (YEARS) Project.

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Relationship Violence Among Young Adult Couples

Jun 2012 | Amanda Berger; Jennifer Manlove; Elizabeth Wildsmith; Nicole R. Steward-Streng

The prevalence of violence in romantic relationships is difficult to measure. In part, this reflects the fact that men and women who experience violence in their relationships may be reluctant to report these acts because they want to protect a partner; they may assume that nothing can be done to prevent future violent acts; and they may fear retaliation.

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Childbearing Outside of Marriage: Estimates and Trends in the United States

Nov 2011 | Elizabeth Wildsmith; Nicole R. Steward-Streng; Jennifer Manlove

This Research Brief draws from multiple published reports using data through 2009, as well as from Child Trends’ original analyses of data from a nationally representative survey of children born in 2001, to provide up-to-date information about nonmarital childbearing; to describe the women who have children outside of marriage; and to examine how these patterns have changed over time.

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Factors Associated With Unmarried, Nonresident Fathers’ Perceptions of Their Coparenting

Jan 2010 | Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew; Allison Horowitz

Article examines the factors associated with fathers’ coparenting 36 months after a birth. This study provides continuing evidence that several aspects of nonresident men’s lives have important influences on their coparenting.

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