Using a nationally representative survey (N = 4,612), we analyze whether there is a difference in the Netherlands between cohabiting and married persons with regard to the frequency of contact with one's own family as well as the parents of the partner. Clustered regression analyses show that, as expected, cohabiting persons have less contact with family members. Results are consistent with the selection perspective, which attributes the lower levels of contact to background characteristics, influencing the orientation of the cohabiting toward family. The uncertainty perspective, which attributes the lower levels of contact with the parents of the partner to the greater uncertainty regarding the stability of cohabiting relationships, is partially supported.

, , , ,,
Journal of Marriage and Family
Department of Sociology

Hogerbrugge, M., & Dykstra, P. (2009). The family ties of unmarried cohabiting and married persons in the Netherlands. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71(1), 135–145. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00585.x