The study, of 7,272 individuals, found that about 15 percent of separated couples neither reconciled nor filed for a divorce within 10 years. That demographic tended to be less well-off financially and less educated than other couples in the study.
“Those with young children may find it difficult to support themselves and their children if they divorce. Divorce may not protect them because their spouse may be unwilling or unable to provide financial support,” said study author and Ohio State professor of sociology Zhenchao Quian in a press release.
The study followed participants for about 30 years, from 1979 to 2008. Researchers found that religion was not a factor in whether couples chose to separate, divorce, or reconcile.
What do these findings mean for the future?
“Tough economic times are likely to make these trends continue,” Quian said. “Long-term separate may continue to be the norm for the disadvantaged unless they can see a better alternative, both in terms of spousal availability and economic independence.”
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