This study examines how personal traits affect the likelihood of entering into a cohabitating or marital relationship using a competing risk survival model with cohabitation and marriage as competing outcomes. The data are from Waves 1, 3, and 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a rich dataset with a large sample of young adults (N= 9835). A personal traits index is constructed from interviewer-assessed scores on the respondents' physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming. Having a higher score on the personal traits index is associated with a greater hazard of entering into a marital relationship for men and women, but the score does not have a significant influence on entering into a cohabitating relationship. Numerous sensitivity tests support the core findings.
- Personal traits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science