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“Ethnic Variations in Characteristics of First Unions” 191

African American women (Schoen, Landale, Daniels, & Cheng, 2009).

A four-category maternal education variable was created: less than

high school, high school graduates, some college, and university and

above. Less than high school is used as the reference group.

Generational status is undoubtedly important in immigrant studies and

thus is also included in the analyses. A three-category variable was

created, with the third-generation as reference group.

D. Missing Values and Complex Survey Design

There are few missing cases in the analytical samples. For race,

maternal education, and generational status, the percentages of

missing cases are about 1% or fewer. Listwise deletion was used to

handle missing data. The complex survey design of the Add Health

study was also taken into account during model estimations.

Appropriate longitudinal sampling weights were applied to the

statistical models. In addition, clustering and stratifying variables

were both applied to adjust the standard errors.

E. Statistical Analyses

Descriptive statistics are first presented to offer an overview

of the study population and to point out general patterns of

differences in union characteristics in each racial/ethnic group.

Statistics are shown for all race/ethnicity groups as well as for all

Asian subgroups. Next, logistic regression models were fit to

explore the differences in first union behaviors, such as the

likelihood of forming a cohabiting and a marital union by Wave 4,

the outcome of a first cohabitation and whether a first marriage is

preceded by a pre-marital cohabitation. Finally, the race of the first

cohabiting/marital partner by racial/ethnic group was also

examined. Logistic regression models were first fit for all

respondents and then for Asian Americans only to reveal subgroup

differences as shown in Tables 2 and 3.