Ethnic Variations in First Union Characteristics among Asian American Young Adults

Yen-hsin Alice Cheng, Academia Sinica

This study investigates the characteristics of first cohabitation and first marriage formed by Asian American young adults, focusing specifically on ethnic variations between East Asians, Filipinos, and other Asians. The 4th wave of the Add Health data that collects complete union histories of all respondents when they reached the ages of 25 to 30 in year 2007-2008 offers a unique opportunity to study first unions formed by recent young immigrants. The preliminary findings show that the level of cohabitation is very similar across all Asian subgroups when sociodemographic covariates are considered. East Asians delay marriage longer than the other two groups and that they are somewhat less likely to turn a first cohabitation into a marriage than Filipinos. Filipino Americans are significantly more likely to have a first marriage preceded by cohabitation than the other two groups. Finally, East Asian Americans lead the trend of interracial partnering.

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Presented in Session 207: Ethnicity, Pan-Ethnicity, and Race