We're not living together: informal cohabitation in emerging adults
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study used grounded theory methods to investigate the functions of informal cohabitation in the development of romantic relationships among emerging adults. In-depth interviews from 16 participants revealed that individuals engage in informal cohabitation because they want the comfort and convenience it engenders. However, they exert control over space, time, possessions, and the relationship itself so that the level of relational closeness and commitment do not exceed a desired level. Ultimately, informal cohabitation acts as a stopgap measure between casual dating and more committed types of relationships (e.g., fulltime cohabitation or marriage).
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