An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship between Cohabitation and Marital Stability in Lagos State, Nigeria

  • AM Ariyo
Keywords: Cohabitation, Marital Stability


The study investigated the relationship between cohabitation and marital stability through a survey, in which one hundred and twenty five married couples were drawn from selected areas of Lagos State in Nigeria, using stratified sampling technique. Information elicited from the participants through an administered questionnaire reflected a Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.78 and o.72 respectively. Descriptive statistics and Spearman rho Correlation were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that 55.2% of the respondents cohabited before marriage. The reported spearman rho correlation of -0.193 with P value of 0.031 for cohabitation, while correlation for marital stability is 0.0629 with P value of 0.54 suggested that cohabitation has significant negative relationship (at P>0.5) with marital stability. However, the decomposition of the analysis showed that age and gender were significant intervening factors between the two variables. The participants also identified other complementary factors to promoting marital stability. These include mutual understanding 91.2%, wife's total submission to her husband 87.2%, mutual respect 84.8%, mutual love 88.0%, and sexual satisfaction 87.2%. Others include financial satisfaction 85.6%, effective communication 83.2%, and respect for in-laws 35.2%. The findings highlighted the limitations of cohabitation alone as a tool for promoting marital stability, and suggested the need for both pre- and post- marital counseling for achieving same goal.

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