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(F) Race of Married Partner

For the first marital event, both Filipinos and South Asian

Americans are significantly more likely than East Asians to marry an

Asian partner or a partner of other racial minority groups than to

marry a white partner. Such a pattern is stronger among Filipinos

than among South Asian Americans, as demonstrated in the odds

ratios listed in Table 4m. Similar to the models presented

previously for first cohabitation, this ethnic variations in partner’s

race/ethnicity remain robust even when socio-demographic

covariates are added to Model 2. In particular, the odds of

first-generation Asian Americans to marry other Asian coethnics

than to marry a white partner are about five times higher

(OR=6.04, p<.10) than third-generation Asian Americans.

Comparing Tables 4c and 4m, the tendency to marry a non-white

partner is much stronger in marital unions for both Filipinos and

South Asians than in cohabiting unions, when the reference group

is their East Asian counterparts. Hypothesis H4 is partially

supported because only East Asians are significantly more likely to

have a white married partner, but not Filipino Americans.

IV. Conclusions and Discussion

This study explores the understudied ethnic variations in first

union characteristics among Asian American young adults. The

findings show that the prevalence of ever having cohabited in young

adulthood is much lower among Asian Americans than other racial

groups. Very little ethnic variation is found across the three Asian

subgroups examined in this study: East Asian, Filipino, and South

Asian Americans. The findings show that it is nativity status that

matters for the likelihood of cohabitation, rather than ethnic group

membership. The odds of first-generation Asian Americans to have

never cohabited are two times higher than their third-generation

counterparts. Overall, the prevalence of cohabitation observed

among the 25- to 32-year-old Asian American young adults here is