Recently, we've been hearing that fewer and fewer Americans are tying the knot, with the U.S. marriage rate at its lowest point in more than a century. Now, a new study looks at why one group of Americans -- the working class -- is putting off or forgoing marriage altogether.
"Working-class people with insecure work and few resources, little stability and no ability to plan for a foreseeable future become concerned with their own survival and often become unable to imagine being able to provide materially and emotionally for others," lead researcher Sarah Corse -- an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville -- told The Telegraph. "Insecure work changes peoples' non-work lives."
Researchers also noted that middle-class people were able to invest more time and money into their relationships through things like therapy sessions and date nights, whereas working-class Americans were not.
The not-yet-published study, entitled "Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post-Industrial Landscape," was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York. Researchers interviewed 300 working- and middle-class Americans to gauge how their job status played into their relationships.
Click through the slideshow below for more interesting findings about marriage.
Online Gaming Can Hurt Your Marriage
According to a Brigham Young University study, couples reported <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/16/is-online-gaming-messing-up-your-marriage/">lower marital satisfaction</a> when one spouse's gaming interfered with bedtime routines. Seventy-five percent of gamers' spouses wished their partners would put more effort into their marriages; however, when both spouses gamed, a majority reported greater satisfaction in their relationships.
The "Honeymoon Phase" Is A Myth
It turns out couples are happiest <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/marriage-research_n_2234804.html?utm_hp_ref=marriage">AFTER their first year of marriage</a>, according to an Australian study. Newlyweds were found to have a lower happiness score than couples who had been married longer. Researcher Melissa Weinberg attributed this to a "wedding hangover," or the depressed feeling couples get when the wedding is over and the marriage begins.
Getting Angry Can Help Your Relationship
Florida State University researchers discovered that short-term angry discussions can <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-08-21/news/33307414_1_relationships-forgiveness-successful-marriage">actually be beneficial</a>. Getting angry can help signal that certain behavior from your partner is unacceptable, said lead researcher James McNulty.
Cohabitating Couples Shown To Be Happier Than Married Couples
A study released in January found that while married couples exhibited health gains (most likely due to marriage benefits such as shared health plans), unmarried cohabitating couples experienced <a href="http://news.health.com/2012/01/23/living-together-may-be-mentally-healthier-than-marriage-study/" target="_hplink">greater happiness and self-esteem</a>. Clarification: Language has been amended in this slide to represent more accurately the findings of the report.
The Later You Have Sex, The Better Your Relationships
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that having sexual intercourse at a later age corresponded with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/19/virginity-and-marriage-_n_1981755.html?just_reloaded=1">less dissatisfaction with relationships</a> in adulthood. Higher education level and household income also corresponded to a later age of first sexual experience.
Interracial Marriage Rates And Acceptance Rising
Not only are <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/16/us/interracial-marriage/index.html">more interracial couples marrying</a>, but interracial marriage is more widely accepted than ever before. In 2010, 15 percent of new marriages in the U.S. were between spouses of different races; in 1980, only 6.7 percent of marriages were interracial.
Married People Are Healthier, Live Longer Than Singles
<a href="http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/study-married-couples-live-longer-healthier-lives-than-singles/">Studies show</a> that married couples experience lower levels of cancer, heart disease, depression and stress. The health benefits are even more pronounced for marrieds than for couples who are simply cohabiting.
Young People Expect Marriages To Last
A survey found that 86 percent of single and married people aged 18-29 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/marriage-expectations_n_1784371.html">expect their marriages</a> to last a lifetime. Researcher Jeffrey Jensen Arnett told HuffPost that young people tend to have a romantic view of marriage and go into marriage determined to make it work.
Married Women Drink More Than Single Women
A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/marriage-alcohol-study-wives-drink-single-women_n_1810133.html">study on marriage and alcohol</a> found that women drink more after getting married, possibly because they are influenced by their husbands (on average, men drink more than women). Men, on the other hand, were found to drink less after getting hitched.
Son-In-Law Key To Successful Marriage
Here's another reason to get along with your in-laws -- unless you're a woman, that is. A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/in-laws-and-marriage_n_2199637.html">26-year longitudinal study</a> found that when a husband reported having a close relationship with his wife's parents, the couple's risk of divorce decreased by 20 percent. Conversely, when a wife reported having a close relationship with her husband's parents, the couple's risk of divorce increased by 20 percent.