Family Structure Variations and Intimate Relationships of the Children Involved

  • Chrysalis L. Wright Florida International University


One hundred sixty-six unmarried college students from continuously intact families, terminated parental cohabiting unions, and divorced homes participated in the current study. Participants from terminated parental cohabitating unions and parental divorced homes differed in their experiences with parental absence. Differences were also found across all three groups for dating behaviors and relationship attitudes. Participants from cohabiting unions were the youngest at their first crush, had more dating partners, more cohabiting relationships, more of a desire to end their current relationship, more positive attitudes about cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births, and more negative attitudes regarding marriage than the other two groups. Regression analyses were used to explain the dating behaviors and relationship attitudes of participants from terminated parental cohabiting unions and divorced homes with the model being more predictive of participants from cohabiting unions.


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