People who marry in their early 30s least likely to divorce

Family|July 19th 2015

People who marry in their late 20s or early 30s have the lowest chance of getting divorced, a researcher has concluded.

Sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger of the University of Utah examined existing relationship data from the National Survey of Family Growth, an ongoing US government initiative.

People who marry at the age of 20 are no less than 50 per cent more likely to get divorced than people who marry at 25, his findings revealed, and for each succeeding year, a person’s chances of divorce fall by a further 11 per cent on average. But from the age of 32, the odds begin to increase again.

This applies regardless of gender, education, religion, family status or other factors, Wolfinger notes. He said the phenomenon was a relatively new one.

“To the best of my knowledge, it’s only recently that thirty-something marriage started to incur a higher divorce risk. It appears to be a trend that’s gradually developed over the past twenty years.”

People who marry later in life may be intrinsically less suited to marriage, he suggested, or may perhaps have married someone else who is.

“…the kinds of people who wait till their thirties to get married may be the kinds of people who aren’t predisposed toward doing well in their marriages. … Such people naturally have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Consequently they delay marriage, often because they can’t find anyone willing to marry them. When they do tie the knot, their marriages are automatically at high risk for divorce.”

A individual’s relationship history could also affect the situation, he added.

“If you’ve had many boyfriends or girlfriends, your exes might play havoc with your marriage. They may offer the temptation of adultery.”

Read more here.

Photo by Julie Elliott via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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