Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Sociology, MA

Committee Chair

Taniguchi, Hiromi

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Christopher, Karen

Committee Member

Christopher, Karen

Committee Member

Gagne, Patricia

Author's Keywords

happiness; disillusionment; married; cohabit; regression


Using national dyadic data from the 2010 Married and Cohabiting Couples (MCC) survey, I examine the effects on relationship quality of union type: “direct marriage”, “marriage after cohabiting”, “cohabitation with plans to marry”, “cohabitation with no marriage plan”. In addition, I examine whether these effects are different for men and women. Consistent with prior research, I found that cohabitors without plans to marry report the lowest levels of relationship quality and those who married directly report the highest levels of relationship quality. Also consistent with prior research, I find no gendered differences in the effect of union type on relationship quality for those who are married. However, in cohabiting union, the effects of union type on relationship quality are stronger for women than for men. This study adds to the growing literature by showing that the effects of union type on relationship quality are gendered for cohabiting relationships.