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Study: Does divorce rate correspond with income level?

A recent study, which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, took a look at income levels and divorce rates. While people with low incomes and those with high incomes were found to have similar values, it's believed that socioeconomic factors play a role in a higher divorce rate among people with lower income levels.

The study involved more than 6,000 participants in several states, some in Texas. The average participant was 46 years old. 29 percent of them were considered low income, with 10 percent of those receiving temporary assistance for needy families. 35 percent fell into the high income category, and the other 26 percent had moderate incomes.

Interestingly, those with high and low incomes matched up in terms of their values. People in both groups were less likely than others to favor divorce. Those with lower incomes, however, are known to have a higher divorce rate.

Part of the reason may be socioeconomic factors. People with less money were found to value the economic aspects of marriage more, such as having a good job. It's possible that stresses, such as losing a job or failing to pay a mortgage, contribute to marital strife. There may be other social issues that affect the divorce rate as well, such as drug or alcohol addiction.

One head of the study believes that while the government has invested a lot of money in confronting the divorce rate among lower income individuals, it has not taken the right approach. He believes that initiatives should focus more on social issues rather than values.

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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