When the First Union Comes to an End: Is it Less Distressing If We Were Cohabiting?

Posted: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Lara Patrício Tavares

Lara Patrício Tavares

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa

Arnstein Aassve

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

Using the British Household Panel Survey this paper explores the extent to which marital and cohabiting unions differ with respect to the short term effects of union dissolution on psychological distress. We test the hypothesis that spouses experience larger negative effects but the results show that this difference is not statistically significant once the presence of children is controlled for. Having children is found to be a major source of psychological distress when one is going through union dissolution. However, it does not explain high psychological distress which seems to be associated with intrinsic factors (the personality trait neuroticism) rather than with contextual factors.

Keywords: cohabitation, marriage, union dissolution, marital protection, psychological distress, BHPS, GHQ

Suggested Citation

Tavares, L. and Aassve, Arnstein, When the First Union Comes to an End: Is it Less Distressing If We Were Cohabiting? (February 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284867

L. Tavares (Contact Author)

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa ( email )

Rua Almerindo Lessa
Lisboa, 1300-663
Portugal

Arnstein Aassve

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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