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Is government assistance connected to divorce? Study says yes

It's no secret that financial woes can cause marital strife, and often leads people to divorce. But a new study released recently is one of the first to note the connection between receiving government assistance and getting divorced.

The study, out of the University of Missouri, says people who are on government assistance are much more likely to divorce than those who are not. That's true even among people who are in the same low income bracket.

According to the Huffington Post, the study was conducted by a relationship and marriage education expert. He studied 295 couples, 64 of whom were receiving government assistance. What he found surprised him.

Couples who made $20,000 or less and received some form of government assistance were found to be much more likely to be unsatisfied in their marriages. The same was not true for those who made similar incomes but did not receive assistance.

Since the unemployment rate is high, more people will likely need government aid. Theoretically, that could be bad news for those marriages. But why?

The researcher who conducted the study believes that working brings a sense of accomplishment, and those who are out of work and on assistance are lacking that feeling. And for men, in particular, receiving assistance may wound their pride and make them feel more stressed.

The marriage expert says he is developing a plan to help train social workers to be able to help couples who may be receiving government assistance with their marital problems.

Source: Huffington Post, "Government assistance and divorce: what's the connection?," Stephanie Hallett, Sept. 14, 2011

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