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“Ethnic Variations in Characteristics of First Unions” 201

variation is reduced to insignificance when socio-demographic

covariates and generational status are considered in Model 2.

However, once the race of the married partner is added to Model 4,

the odds of Filipino Americans cohabiting with their partner prior

to their first marriage are more than one time higher than whites.

In general, the chance of pre-marital cohabitation is much lower

(OR=0.63, p<.10) if the race of the first married partner is Asian

rather than another minority group. When the sample is narrowed

down to only Asian Americans, as shown in the right-hand-side

models, Filipino Americans are significantly more likely (OR=3.38,

p<.01) than East Asian Americans to engage in premarital

cohabitation prior to their first marriages, holding all things

constant. In particular, the likelihood of cohabiting before marriage

is much higher when the partner is white (OR=2.88, p<.05) than

when he/she comes from a minority group or is of Asian

background (test between white and Asian partners not shown but

significant). These findings support hypothesis H3 that stated fedrst

marriages formed by Filipino Americans are more likely to be

preceded by cohabitation than those from East and South Asia.

(E) Race of Cohabiting Partner

The next set of models examines the variations in interracial

partnering between Asian subgroups. As can be seen in Table 4c,

Filipino Americans are much more likely than East Asians to

cohabit with an Asian partner (OR=4.61, p<.01) or partners from

other minority groups (OR=3.13, p<.01) than with a white

partner. This pattern persists till Model 2 and becomes even more

pronounced after socio-demographic covariates and generational

status are considered (OR=3.56, p<.01 and OR=5.08, p<.01).

South Asians are no more likely to cohabit with non-white partners

than East Asians. Hypothesis H4 is partially supported because only

East Asians are significantly more likely to have a white cohabiting

partner, but not Filipino Americans.