Volume 20 - Article 10 | Pages 195-208

Active-duty military service, cohabiting unions, and the transition to marriage

By Megan Lemmon, Mira Whyman, Jay Teachman

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Date received:12 Feb 2008
Date published:24 Feb 2009
Word count:3298
Keywords:active-duty military service, cohabitation, marriage, union transitions


A small but growing body of research has begun to identify the consequences of military service during the all-voluntary era. In this article, we examine the relationship between military service and the likelihood that cohabiting unions will be converted into marriages. Our paper extends previous research by making a distinction between the effects of active-duty verses reserve-duty service on the transition to marriage using data from the 1979-2004 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Our findings indicate that there is a positive relationship between active-duty service and cohabitors transitioning to marriage.

Author's Affiliation

Megan Lemmon - Western Washington University, United States of America [Email]
Mira Whyman - Western Washington University, United States of America [Email]
Jay Teachman - Western Washington University, United States of America [Email]

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