advertisement
20 December 2011

Why young couples aren't getting married

With the share of married adults at an all-time low in the United States, new research unveils clues why couples don't get married – they fear divorce.

0

With the share of married adults at an all-time low in the United States, new research by demographers at Cornell University and the University of Central Oklahoma unveils clues why couples don't get married – they fear divorce.

Among cohabitating couples, more than two-thirds of the study's respondents admitted to concerns about dealing with the social, legal, emotional and economic consequences of a possible divorce.

The study, The Spectre of Divorce: Views from Working and Middle-Class Cohabiters, is published in the journal Family Relations and is co-authored by Sharon Sassler, Cornell professor of policy analysis and management, and Dela Kusi-Appouh, a Cornell doctoral student in the field of development sociology.

Worries about divorce

Roughly 67% of the study's respondents shared their worries about divorce. Despite the concerns, middle-class subjects spoke more favourably about tying the knot and viewed cohabitation as a natural stepping stone to marriage compared to their working-class counterparts. Lower-income women, in particular, disproportionately expressed doubts about the "trap" of marriage, fearing that it could be hard to exit if things go wrong or it would lead to additional domestic responsibilities but few benefits.

The study also found working-class cohabitating couples were more apt to view marriage as "just a piece of paper," nearly identical to their existing relationship. They were twice as likely to admit fears about being stuck in marriage with no way out once they were relying on their partners' share of income to get by.

The authors hope that their findings could help premarital counsellors to better tailor their lessons to assuage widespread fears of divorce and to target the specific needs of various socioeconomic classes.

(EurekAlert, December 2011) 

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

WomanNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.