The influence of marital status on the degree of togetherness with the partner
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The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which marital status has an effect on togetherness with the partner. Married people are expected to have a higher degree of togetherness with their partner because they are more likely to view their relationship as a long-term investment, leading them to participate in more shared activities with their partner. In addition, it is expected that this effect is weaker for higher educated people because they are more individualistic. With the use of New Families in the Netherlands data, the effect of marital status on the degree of togetherness is measured among a sample of 1,612 married and cohabiting parents. First of all, the results show that married people have, in general, a higher degree of togetherness with their partner than cohabiting people. Furthermore, separate regression analyses are done for two different types of togetherness, namely: social leisure activities, and couple-specific/bonding activities. Results show that married people engage in more social leisure activities with their partner than cohabiting people, but no difference was found between married and cohabiting people with regards to couple-specific/bonding activities. Lastly, no evidence is found to suggest that the effect of marital status on togetherness differs between lower educated people and higher educated people.