Research has shown that low-income couples are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce than couples with more money. According to researchers at the University of California, money problems, drinking and drug use is the cause of this trend. However, researchers say that lower-income people value the institution of marriage as much as those with greater incomes. A study which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, suggests that efforts to strengthen marriages of lower-income people need to focus on the problems faced by these people instead of just promoting the value of marriage.
In the study, co-authors Thomas Trail and Benjamin Karney surveyed 6,000 people in Florida, California, New York and Texas, with an average age of 45, and found that people with lower incomes were less likely to approve of divorce and more likely to value the economic aspects of marriage, which included both the husband and wife having good jobs. The research showed that people with lower incomes do value marriage as an institution and have similar standards for choosing a marriage partner, and also experience many of the same problems that more affluent couples go through.
This research has proven, according to the authors of the study, that our government needs to spend less money on initiatives that promote the value of marriage and spend more money on initiatives that take into account the social issues of lower-income people and how they negatively affect marriage in this demographic group. By realizing how these social issues affect marriage, researchers feel that lower-income individuals would have a more positive outlook on marriage, and those couples already married, would take those steps necessary to create a more successful marriage.