Currently cohabiting: relationship attitudes, intentions and behaviour

Publication type

Conference Paper


BHPS-2007 Conference: the 2007 British Household Panel Survey Research Conference, 5 July -7 July 2007, Colchester, UK


Publication date

June 1, 2007


Non-marital cohabitation is heterogeneous and evolving, but information on relationship intentions of cohabiters are absent from most large-scale surveys. Attitude and intention data are collected from current cohabitors in the BHPS. Analysis of successive BHPS waves explores relationship intentions of current cohabitors, integrating event history analyses of relationship intentions with responses about the advantages and disadvantages of cohabitation. Successive BHPS waves permits tracing and reconstruction of relationship biographies of individuals and couples. How do relationship intentions vary by socio-demographic characteristics? How do intra-couple relationship intentions vary? Do individuals or couples achieve their relationship intentions? How persistent are individual's and couple's relationship intentions? What factors explain changing relationship intentions over time? What influence do intervening events have on changes in attitudes to cohabitation? These analyses move beyond a study of what happens when and to whom, and contribute to understanding why individual trajectories have evolved.






Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest