Study: Social issues lead to divorce among low-income families

Stress and marital fighting caused by money problems and substance abuse are enough of a reason for any Missouri resident to want to get a divorce. Of course, these issues and stressors are ones that could affect anyone. And while it isn’t to say all low-income families are arguing over money or dealing with issues related to substance abuse, statistically, these are issues that tend to affect those in the low-income brackets more than those in the high-income brackets.

A recent study set out to examine the correlation between socioeconomic statuses, how people value marriage, and the likelihood that a couple would end up getting a divorce. From there, it was determined that while there are similarities between those considered high-income and low-income, there are also clear differences in terms of the likelihood of divorce.

The study was conducted through phone interviews and included participants from four different states. In total, of the 6,012 people who were part of the study, 53 percent were married and 66 percent were female. The average age of the participants was 46.

In terms of socioeconomic standings, 35 percent were high-income, 26 percent were moderate-income and 29 percent were low-income.

By analyzing their responses, researchers determined that while high-income and low-income participants both held similar views on the value of the institution of marriage, those in the low-income category were more likely to end up getting a divorce due to the added stress of having to deal with social issues, such as financial hardships and substance abuse.

Dr. Benjamin Karney, who helped lead the analysis in this study, claims this is proof the government needs to be doing more to strengthen marriage by focusing on those social issues affecting low-income families.

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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