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The long-term consequences of relationship formation for subjective well-being

Soons, J.P.M. and Liefbroer, A.C. and Kalmijn, M. (2009) The long-term consequences of relationship formation for subjective well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71, 1254-1270. ISSN 0022-2445.

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This study examines how relationship transitions affect subjective well-being (SWB) and how this effect changes over time. We used prospective data containing information about 18 years of young adults’ lives (PSIN,N = 5,514). SWB was measured with the Satisfaction with Life Scale.Within-person multilevel regression analyses showed that dating, unmarried cohabitation, and marriage had additional well-being enhancing effects. After entry into a union, well-being slowly decreased. A large SWB decrease was found after union dissolution, but through adaptation or repartnering well-being increased again. Well-being of never-married and never cohabiting young adults decreased slowly over time. These effects were independent of parenthood and employment. Our results confirm expectations from the resources theory but contradict some assumptions of the set-point theory. Key words: adjustment; cohabitation; dating; fixed effects; models; union formation; well-being

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Ned. Interdisc. Demografisch Instituut (NIDI)
ID Code:7601
Deposited On:15 Dec 2009 01:00
Last Modified:26 Oct 2010 14:22

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