Researcher: Fear of divorce fuels lower marriage rate

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here in St. Louis, more couples are deciding to live together before deciding to marry. The phenomenon is taking place across the nation and a Cornell University professor recently set out to discover why.

She conducted in-depth interviews with 122 people, focusing primarily on cohabitation. What she found in respondents’ answers surprised her, however. Though she and her team of researchers focused mainly on cohabitation, people surveyed spoke again and again about their fears of divorce.

Two-thirds of the interviewees spoke unprompted about their fears of divorce, she said, in her findings published in the November issue of Journal of Family Relations.

The Huffington Post recently interviewed the social demographer about her findings, trying to get her insights into the information she gathered from the interviewees.

She said she and her research team never asked specifically about divorce. Instead, they asked people what the benefits are of cohabitation versus marriage.

“The fact that divorce spontaneously arose in such a large proportion of the responses was what was surprising, because we weren’t looking for it, and it kind of slapped us in the face,” she said.

However, just because they fear divorce doesn’t mean they’ll never get married, she noted. Many couples are simply delaying marriage rather than rejecting it.

She said because the majority of young couples now live together before marrying, a certain level of anxiety about marriage is revealed.

The young cohabitating couples are “being more cautious and they might want to take more time” before marriage, she said.

Source: Huffington Post: “Marriage Rates: Divorce Fears To Blame For Low Rates?,” Katherine Bindley, Dec. 22, 2011

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