“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.