Direct and Indirect Influences of Parents’ Marital Instability on Children’s Attitudes Toward Cohabitation in Young Adulthood

Data from the Intergenerational Panel Study of Parents and Children are used to investigate direct and indirect influences of parents' marital dissolution on adult children's attitudes toward cohabitation. Results suggest that parents' marital dissolution during childhood increases children's support for cohabitation at age 18, and the influence is greatest when the parents' divorce is followed by remarriage. The analyses show that the influence of parents' marital dissolution is partially transmitted by parents' attitudes about cohabitation, parents' and children's religious involvement, and children's sexual behavior during adolescence. The influence of parents' marital dissolution on children's attitudes toward cohabitation weakens as the children age from 18 to 31. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]