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Study examines benefits of cohabitation v marriage
A recent study by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that cohabitation can be equally as beneficial to a couple's well-being as marriage.
The study looked at the effects marriage or cohabitation had on a couple's health and well-being, and also at how long these effects continued to last.
According to co-author, Kelly Musick, the study found that "differences between marriage and cohabitation tend to be small and dissipate after a honeymoon period. Also, while married couples experienced health gains -- likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared health care plans -- cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem. For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy and personal growth.”
Musick went on to say that: "Marriage has long been an important social institution, but in recent decades western societies have experienced increases in cohabitation, before or instead of marriage, and increases in children born outside of marriage. These changes have blurred the boundaries of marriage, leading to questions about what difference marriage makes in comparison to alternatives."
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