-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Fears about the emotional,
financial, social and legal consequences of divorce explain why the
percentage of married adults in the United States has reached an
all-time low, researchers report.
The study of 122 people in cohabitating couples found that 67
percent said they worried about having to deal with the fallout of
divorce, the University of Central Oklahoma and Cornell University
researchers said in a Cornell news release.
Compared to working-class people, their middle-class
counterparts had a more favorable view of marriage and regarded
cohabitation as a natural stepping stone to marriage.
Lower-income women were especially likely to have doubts about
the "trap" of marriage. Many believed it would lead to more
domestic responsibilities with few benefits or that it could hard
to get out of a marriage if things go wrong.
The researchers also found that cohabitating working-class
couples were more likely to view marriage as "just a piece of
paper," that would be nearly the same as their existing
These couples were twice as likely to have fears about being
stuck in a bad marriage once they became reliant on their partner's
share of income.
The study was published in the December issue of the journal
The findings could help premarital counselors devise lessons
that ease fears of divorce and address the specific concerns of
various socioeconomic classes, the researchers said.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers
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