The coastal plains of the States of Paraná and Santa Catarina, in Southern Brazil, were first settled around 6000 B.P. by shellmound builders, a successful fisher-hunter-gatherer population that inhabited the coastal lowlands practically unchanged for almost five thousand years. Shellmounds were typically occupied as residential sites as well as cemeteries, andare usually associated with rich alimentary zones. Around 1200 B.P., the first evidence of ceramics brought from the interior is found in coastal areas, and together with ceramics there is a progressive abandonment of shellmound construction in favor of flat and shallow sites. Here we consider if these changes were reflected in the postmarital residence practice of coastal groups, i.e., if the arrival or intensification of contact with groups from the interior resulted in changes in this aspect of social structure among the coastal groups. To test the postmarital residence practice we analyzed within-group variability ratios between males and females, following previous studies on the topic, and between-group correlations between Mahalanobis distances and geographic distances. The results suggest that in the pre-ceramic series a matrilocal, postmarital residential system predominated, while in the ceramic period there was a shift toward patrilocality. This favors the hypothesis that the changes experienced by coastal groups after 1200 B.P. affected not only their economy and material culture, but important aspects of their sociopolitical organization as well.