Study: higher education linked to higher rates of marital bliss

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they are happily married.

-57% of the middle group report being "very happy" in their marriages compared to 68% in the 70s.

-69% of the top group are happily married, which matches previous levels.

Marital Attitudes:

-43% of the middle and bottom group agree with the statement, "Marriage has not worked out for most people I know."

-17% of the top group agree with this statement.

Attitudes on Teen Pregnancy:

-48% of teens with parents belonging to the bottom group claim they would be embarrassed to get someone pregnant, compared with 61% in the middle, and 76% of teens in the top group.

Family Units:

-58% of 14-year-old girls with parents in the middle group live with both their father and mother; a 16% decrease from 74% in the 70s.

-81% of 14-year-old girls in the top group live with both their mother and their father; an increase of 1% since the 70s.

The researchers' analysis of these statistics suggest that this decline in the strength of marriage represents a devastating social shift for Americans. This attitude ignores the possibility that other, possibly more functional alternatives to marriage exist. It also seems to suggest that if we values marriage, we should also value education.


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Marriage as an institution is declining in America, at least for those groups lacking a college degree. This was the conclusion researchers from the University of Virginia and New York's Center for Marriage and Families drew from three nationally comprehensive surveys conducted between 1972 and 2008.

The study divides the population into three groups based on education: those who don't have a high school diploma (the bottom), the 58% of Americans who graduated from high school but not college (the middle), and those with a bachelor's degree or higher (the top).

Divorce Rates:

-36% of the bottom group get divorced or separated within ten years of getting married, which is slightly less than in the early 70s.

-37% of the middle group get divorced, compared to 36% in the 70s.

-Only 11% of the top group get divorced compared to 15%  in the 70s.

Marital Happiness:

-52% of the bottom group believe

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