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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Living apart together relationships in Australia Seminar

5 March 2015
Building 58 Room 1023

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Mel Morgan – Centre Administrator on 023280592579 or email .

Event details

Centre for Population Change seminar

This presentation will present quantitative and qualitative results from an Australian project which aims to better understand Living-Apart-Together relationships.

The quantitative aspect of the study uses HILDA, a nationally representative panel study, to identify and classify people in LAT relationships. This qualitative aspect of this project is based on data collected through focus group interviews. Previous qualitative studies of LAT relationships have involved in-depth interviews of individuals or couples. Following Morgan (1997:12) focus groups were used in this study 'to produce data and insights that would be less accessible without the interaction found in a group'. This was the first time that all of the LAT group participants had been given an opportunity to discuss their experiences of being in a LAT relationship within a LAT-only focus group environment.

Through the LAT focus groups discussions it was possible to investigate how participants responded to questions about LAT relationships and what issues they considered to be of most importance within a group environment, highlighting areas of shared versus individual experiences in LAT relationships. The results contain insights into the reasons for having a LAT relationship, the benefits and disadvantages of LAT relationships, as well as the gendered aspects of negotiating non-cohabiting partnerships.

The findings highlight that there are some aspects which reflect different considerations for women and men in their experiences of LAT relationship. These include risk and fear of the consequences of relationship failure, including financial considerations; negotiation between LAT partners about the nature of the relationship; choice versus obligation in terms of caring in LAT compared to co-habiting relationship; and how the presence or absence of a child or children shapes LAT relationships.

Speaker information

Ann Evans , Australian National University. Fellow and Associate Dean

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