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Study: People in low, high income levels share marriage values

In the past, studies have shown that divorce rates are higher for those in a lower income bracket. A new study examined the issue further to determine why this might be. While the government has poured over $1 billion into an effort to confront higher divorce rates among low income individuals, the head author of the study believes the government should focus more on social issues rather than values.

The study used more than 6,000 participants from various states. Of the participants, 66 percent were female and 53 percent were currently married. 35 participants were classified as "high" income, while 26 percent were moderate and 29 percent fell into the low income bracket. 10 percent of those individuals were receiving temporary assistance for needy families.

One interesting finding of the study was that those with both low and high incomes shared very similar values concerning marriage, and both were less likely to favor divorce. That's part of what drove the authors to conclude that social factors may play a role in the higher divorce rate for low income individuals. For example, losing one's job or being unable to pay a mortgage can be a big stressor on a marriage. So can dealing with drug or alcohol addiction.

That's why it's possible that if the government were to invest more money on treating addiction and on other social factors, the marriages of low income couples might benefit, the study's authors say.

Source: Medical Daily, "Social issues are to blame for higher rates of divorce in lower income individuals," Nikki Tucker, July 10, 2012

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